We have a date! On November 30, Tatiana will step inside an interview room and answer a barrage of questions about why she wants to study in America. And, because of her orphan status, the interview will be that much more intense. What connections does she have to Ukraine? What will ensure her return? The Embassy in Kiev does not know her. They do not know how hard she works or how determined she is. They only see the label "orphan" and surmise the worst. They want to know what will prevent her from jumping ship and applying for welfare in this goldmine of a country.
We have spent the last few months working to make her case strong so that when the interviewer looks through Tatiana's file he/she will see past the orphan label to the truth. It has taken every prayer we've uttered and every penny we've scraped together to get to this point. But we're not finished yet.
With twelve days to go, we're still $4000 short.
Sometimes, I must confess, all I can see is what we lack and I just want to cry. But, ever so gently, God directs my tear-filled eyes to look upward into His face and be reminded of the things He has already accomplished. And what is it He has done?!
Let me remind you that originally this was an $18,000 venture that began in May of this year. In an amazingly short five-and-a-half months, God has whittled it down to only $4000 remaining. Can I get an AMEN?! Come on, y'all, who else but God can do something like this?!
We have sold everything that's not nailed down ... and ... even some of the stuff that is. My book is doing amazingly well for a first-time, self-published author like me with absolutely zero marketing experience. (Readers are even buying it as gifts for their friends! Now, that's a compliment!!!) Listeners are downloading my husband's CD of inspirational piano solos. (Side note: I listened to his CD almost exclusively while writing my book. It's thinking music.) We have sold recipes and health food items and held yard sale after yard sale. I wrote an E-book to help children focus and learn during sermons. All of this has been done outside our regular work schedule. Ohmygoodness, it's been intense!!!
(Side note #2: In the process, God has opened doors for us to begin an online business - Nuts & Twigs Naturals. But, hold to your horses, the unveiling of that project will have to wait for another post.)
And then there are the people God has sent our way. Ordinary angels who have donated $1, $10, or even $1000 to help bring our girl here. Some are people we've never even met whom God has touched with a desire to help, to serve, and to share His love. Some have taken their own time to fundraise for us. All have blessed us incredibly.
Granted, we don't know what the final answer will be on November 30. But, I do know that God has been walking this road with us. He has opened doors we thought were sealed shut. He has parted the waters and made a path for us. To Him alone goes the praise and the glory.
Can I get another AMEN?!