The Biggest Concern
This week, Heather and I had a Skype meeting with two missionaries from Menomonie, WI. We had never met before, so we took the time get to know one another, talk about our respective ministries, and pray for each other. Before praying, they asked me, "what are some of your needs that we can be praying for at this time?"
It's not an uncommon question, and it certainly wasn't unexpected, but it's been rattling around in my heart ever since.
There are a lot of visible needs at the Shelter during this pandemic. There's the need for health and safety. The need for hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment. There's the need for food, clean water, school curriculum, clothing, and medicine. For those of us going around town, there's the need for documentation and preparation to ensure safe passage through checkpoints. By the grace of God, through the generosity of our supporters, all these things have been provided. The children can play games, enjoy full meals, and receive all the love, support, and care that we can muster.
Then there are those needs that aren't as visible. There's the need for strength and calm; for endurance, patience, diligence, and faithfulness. There's the need for friendships and encouragement. There's the need for prayer and time spent with the One who ultimately provides for all our needs. Thank you for praying with us. I can tell you firsthand that they are being felt as we navigate this pandemic together.
There is a need I fear may go unnoticed, forgotten, or neglected by the world at large ...
But the one need that's been rattling around in my heart is one that I fear may go unnoticed, forgotten, or neglected by the world at large. This pandemic has strained governments and the systems that we have in place to help the vulnerable; to help the widow and the orphan—to help the least of these (Matt 25:40). Since the start of this pandemic, we have not had any children placed with adoptive families, and only a handful of our children have been presented for regional, national, or international matching (that is to say, the processes that governments use to match children with prospective adoptive families, both locally and internationally, has been severely hindered due to the coronavirus pandemic). What makes this reality even more difficult to face is the fact that quite a few of our children will be aging out of adoption in the coming months; meaning, they will reach an age where adoption is no longer allowed.
This is a video of an extremely long line that formed in Guadalupe, Cebu City when the local government announced it would be disbursing aid to impoverished families during the quarantine. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which we work with for referrals and placements, is also tasked with handing out this aid.
We knew this day could potentially come for our older children, and we've been doing our best to prepare all our kids for whatever life has in store for them, including independent adult life in the Philippines. We will prayerfully continue to do so, hoping to launch our older children into a healthy and beautiful adulthood.
But I would like to ask all of you to please take some extra time to pray. Pray for these kids who will be aging out in the coming months. Pray that they will be able to cope emotionally, and pray that all of us at CSC are able to provide them with the love and support that they need to be launched into a beautiful future without an adoptive family.
And pray for a miracle. Some of our kids have less than a few months before aging out. Pray that domestic and international government agencies will be able to process the needed paperwork, and that the right families will be searching at just the right time. Thank you for praying with us.