Monday, October 1, 2012

Elissa: God's Promise

 Elisabeth nickname:(Elissa)
\e-lisabe-th, el(i)-sa-beth\ (Hebrew),the meaning of Elisabeth is "God's promise; God is my oath, God is my vow"

If her Dad and I were going to list off a few words to describe this preciousness we would choose: fun, loving, affectionate, deepHILARIOUS,leader and powerful

Elissa has a BIG personality with a lot of love to share. When this girl is passionate about something just try to hold her back. She can't help but share her heart with almost everyone she comes in contact with. Despite the many roadblocks that life may have put up in front of her, this girl has developed the muscles to hurdle over them. She is strong and bold in her faith. 

This may surprise some that don't know her very well...She is also extremely tenderhearted. She has a love for children that is so deep and raw. As we witnessed her this summer loving on the children we visited in Africa (many orphans) we were once again reminded - this is what she was created for. 
The Abba Heart of God!  Pure Religion.

Let me give you a little bit of history on this treasure of ours. When she was 13 years old she attended a youth group called Teens for Christ. Well, one night when she came home she plopped herself next to us and said "Guess what my prayer request was tonight?" Hmmm...we had no idea. A kitty? New pointe shoes? A family vacation to somewhere tropical? No?.... 

Okay - as we are guessing it is about killing her.... she is about to burst. "No, no, no! I asked that we would be able to adopt a little boy from another country." 
WHAT? Your prayer request was what? 

Our expressions must have been greeting card worthy...and I mean those greeting cards that look so ridiculously funny that just the picture itself makes you giggle.

As we stumbled through the next few moments trying to collect our thoughts about this idea -we must have had quite a range of expressions. I believe the final response was something like this. 
"Well - keep praying because it will take a MIRACLE!" with a possible hint of sarcasm.

***I would like to add a sweet lil' note right here and say a word to the adults out there - do not look down on the youth - the prayers of the young are righteous. And BOY did God prove this to be true. 

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, 
but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, 
in love, in faith and in purity
-1 Timothy 4:12

Well you can probably guess what happened from here. Elissa kept on praying...kept on praying...

It is a TOTAL God story. We will leave all of the details of our adoption process for another post - but I will tell you God orchestrated the next two years of events like only HE can. It simply was... A MIRACLE!

Meet our Son, Nate.

Isn't he precious??? 
(Nate is 6 years old in this photo.) 

Since our first peek into the window of Elissa's heart for orphans we have been given many opportunities. She has been to Tanzania and Kenya three times. She has returned to the Philippines. All of these trips to work with and love on children.  

She continues to amaze us with her ability to  L O V E & her passion to D O something with that love. When in her element she simply LIGHTS up the room with her smile - it is contagious. Why? Because she was created for this by her Father. Her Abba Father who adopted her.

 If we look back to the top of the post we see Elissa's name means "God's PROMISE". God's promise  - HIS VOW - is simple. We BELIEVE in HIM - we understand our need for Him,  accept Him as our Savior and we are guaranteed we will spend an eternity with Him in His DEEP, ABIDING LOVE. That is the heart of our Abba Father - a heart of LOVE. That is God's promise to us. You see he has a heart for the orphans who are longing for their Father's love. We are ALL orphan's who have a deep, yearning  need to be adopted into His family. His arms are opened wide and he is waiting.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- - Ephesians 1:4-5

So then, brothers,we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. - Romans 8:12-17

Isn't this the cutest? LOVE it!

So what is Elissa planning now? Well, after our recent trip to Nairobi, Kenya to work in the Kibera Slum she has decided to return for a years time to work with the children. She is working hard to raise support and get everything in line to make the move within the next 6 months. What can we say but she has her Daddy's heart for orphans.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world - James 1:27

God has been teaching us, as parents,  what it means to TRUST him completely with our precious ones. What we once thought of  as far as keeping our kiddos safe & protected has now spanned the globe. We have come to realize the ONLY safe place for our most prized possessions is in the will of the ONE who created them - for HIS PURPOSE.

Elisabeth: God's Promise

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