...:::chapter 2wo:::...

As many of you reading this well know, 2009 was a very unique year for us. It hosted a slue of firsts in our lives but has ultimately brought us closer together and, more importantly, closer to God. We packed up our things and left everyone but each other behind and headed off to the world of Uganda. A world, that up until then, we had only imagined through movies, books, and the World Wide Web.

Arrival here was almost whimsical! The new faces, sounds, smells, and traditions brought us spinning out of our comfortable Californian lives and into a renewed sense of being. Then, of course, that fanciful mind set started to fade with our own adaptation. Before we knew it, we found ourselves picking up new Lugandan phrases everyday and braving the frenzied city on our own two wheels (I love my bike!). We set into our routines and life here has become just that; Life!

To say we love it here would be a gross understatement. All the things, which at first, were strange and out of the ordinary, have now become a thread in the fabric that makes up who we are. We’ve completely fallen head over heals for the people here and the stories of who they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going, each one with so much hope for their future. Our time here has also given us the ability to better evaluate the need here and determine exactly where we fit into it. That very evaluation has led us to an understanding that the place we belong, the place God is heavily calling us to, is not one we could simply walk away from in August as planned. That being said, we’ve made the decision to, once again, listen to the unmistakable voice of God’s direction in our lives.

So what exactly does that look like? Glad you asked!

First off, as many are well aware, we’ve been asking for your partnership in prayer for a really special little guy here; Daniel.
Daniel came into our lives about 6 months ago through the baby home that we’ve been volunteering with as part of our work here. Abandoned by his parents, and left on the steps of a hospital, Daniel was the first one to arrive at the home, and came dangerously malnourished and under developed. Not only was he severely emaciated, but he also arrived with congenital Cataracts leading to two very weak, underdeveloped, but beautiful eyes! I really think those two wandering, googly-eyes, were what initially drew us to him. Over the last 6 months, we’ve had the joy of being a part of his growth, seeing him learn to sit up, crawl, grunt, walk, and talk (kinda?!?!).

It’s been the greatest blessing and revealed something huge to us! We Love this guy! I mean, we really LOVE him!  We love him and we couldn’t stand the thought of leaving such a joyous part of our life behind!

Now at first, this feeling was much more in Coryn’s heart than mine. I mean come on, she’s a woman with an amazing heart. Of course it was! But for me, I just wasn’t ready to come to terms with what being this guy’s dad would look like. I prayed constantly that God would just provide Daniel with a good family that would be the blessing to him that he has been to us! That way, we could go back home to our comfortable life, guilt free. Pretty selfish huh?
Well, God answered that prayer, but not exactly how I’d hoped. At the end of the year, while we were in Gulu serving alongside our home church, ROCKharbor, I heard an unmistakable calling. We were all gathered for the morning’s devotion, which was on the topic of allowing God to speak in our lives. I had been praying with an inspiring woman, Frankie, Frank the Tank, Galaway, and suddenly had an overwhelming phrase go through my head. ADOPT DANIEL. I immediately dismissed it as my own convoluted thought but then it just got louder! ADOPT DANIEL! I continued dismissing the “thoughts” as my own but they were so dang consistent! Finally I found myself weeping uncontrollably, unable to utter a single comprehendible word! I realized at that point that truth had fallen on me. God answered the prayer I prayed so many times before, “Give Daniel a good home”.

That was it! The second I recognized that voice my heart open up wide to the new life staring us in the face. We came home from that trip and haven’t looked back since. After expressing our desires to the church and getting their blessing, we started the process. We’ve applied for foster care and had our home study done in the last week and are now awaiting our court appearance. After that, we’ll await the approval of our appeal for legal guardianship.
Sounds great right? Well it is, but it does come with a few strings attached. To adopt the right and legal way, one has to foster the prospective child in country for 3 years! Yup, 3 more years in Uganda! But even this has been a blessing.

Knowing that we’ll be around longer has encouraged us to step up our ministry efforts here. We’re currently applying to be the managers of the very baby home that cared for Daniel, and so many just like him! We feel a special connection to it and the vision we share with them; to provide the orphaned and abandoned children of Uganda with loving, Christian families. I can’t express enough the excitement we both have for the prospective future! If accepted, Coryn and I will serve side by side in ministry, just as we’ve always hoped.
So, with this new chapter in our lives, we’d like to ask you for two things…

First and foremost, Prayer! Pray for God’s continued covering in the adoption process. Pray for Daniel’s continued health and astonishing development. Pray for us as new, completely clueless, parents! Pray that we continue to put God at the center of our marriage through all this newness! Pray that God maintains His unexplainable provision for our new family as we continue to follow His path. And lastly, pray that we relentlessly open up our hearts and ears to the voice of God!

Secondly, and probably the hardest for us to verbalize is that of provision. Our family survives completely on our personal savings, which was only budgeted for one year, as well as the support of friends and family like you. We ask that each of you take a moment to evaluate both yours and our current situation. If you feel the work we’re doing here is of God and are able to commit to even the slightest amount to enable us to continue in it, please do so. Either way, we do really urge you to keep us in prayer constantly!

…and stay posted for the announcement of our hug n’ love trip home with Daniel in the coming months!!!

Thank you all for your continued love, prayer, and support!

~The Kisslings

If you’d like to unite with us in this undertaking you may send donations to 3012 Herrington Ave. San Bernardino, CA 92405 payable to Africa Renewal Ministries and include "the Kisslings" in the memo line.

3 comments:

Trisha February 13, 2010 at 6:57 PM  

Wow. This was such a moving thing to read, and I am so amazed at what you both are doing for God. You will be wonderful parents! God bless all of you and the work you are doing.

Trisha

Horizons Thinker February 14, 2010 at 12:44 AM  

That is amazing Jamesdon! I was excited to see you when you came back, but I'll guess I'm going to have to wait for awhile. Good luck with everything and this is very moving! You are doing everything the right way and setting a great example for how every human should be.

DanK February 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM  

What awesome news! I am so incredibly happy for you! I just fired off an email to you. Please let me know how best to assist your ministry. May God Bless and keep you all...

Luv-n-Hugs! Dan

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A window into our adventure that is UGANDA