Provision and More Waiting

Praises for a $2000 grant from Heart of Bride Ministry for Orphans.  Check out their website: http://www.heartofthebride.org/

 Praises for a free wooden swing set from Craig’s list, although Ron is driving 1 and ½ hours each way to get it!  Praises for a connection through Sharon United Methodist Church we aquired two dressers.  Check out their rummage sale coming up soon on July 10,11, and 12.  Praises for an awesome core team for our Both Hands project, and a sweet family, Tamara Ball and her children Parker and Emma, to do this awesome project with/for! 

We continue to just feel the Lord providing for us each day in new and unique ways.  We feel so blessed and supported by our church, family and community.  I am so thankful for the people praying for and supporting us, knowing these precious boys have all this support!

Been profoundly impacted by a verse in my daily Bible reading:

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closed his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in Him?

1 John 3:17

It is such a difficult reality that all of us in America are so wealthy compared to the rest of the world.  I pray that our hearts will never stop seeking His face and using all He gives us to help those who need it. How can the world look at us if we live just like them and see any difference?  Do we just look like the world but don’t do big sins?  Do our lives reflect any sense of real dependence on Him?  Do we even remember to ask for our Daily Bread? (David Platt in his secret church sermon asks this) Or are we pretty sure we can take care of all our own needs?  Questions to ponder.  

I have struggled with the waiting.  Right now we have heard no news.  Praying for a miracle to travel this summer.  If this happens, it will unmistakebly be the hand of God!  I pray Lord, that it would be your will to bring ours sons home soon.  I ask in Jesus name for a referral.

Thank you for all your support and continued prayers.  Can hardly believe our little Ella Joy is nearly one!  Thank you Jesus for Ella Joy.

Blessings in Christ,

The Schaffner Family

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Matching Grant Information

Some of you have asked about our matching grant information, I would be glad to send you a letter or here is the basic information you need:

To send a tax deductible donation for our $3000 matching grant:

  1. Please prayerfully consider giving a tax deductible donation as we have been blessed with a $3000 matching grant funded by Family Christian Ministries, through Lifesong for Orphans to help pay for our adoption expenses.  Our goal date is August 4, 2014, but funds will be accepted until our sons are home and/or the adoption is complete.

Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans.” In the memo, note “Schaffner  #4451” to assure it goes to the right account. Please mail to: Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL. 61744.  Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all U.S. administrative and fund-raising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners).  This means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.  Lifesong is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your gift is tax deductible.

Thank you for your prayers and for so many of you who have already so generously given! 
Blessings,

Ron and Michelle

 

Waiting

As I have struggled with the longing for our sons to be home, I have had to ask myself, what is it I truly long for? If I believe God is omniscient, which I do. If I believe God is omnipotent, which I do. If I believe He is merciful and just, which I do. If I believe God is kind, which I do. If I believe God is sovereign, which I do….then I must trust He is in control. He must be doing something in our hearts during this waiting time. He is perfecting us….He is preparing us…He is showing us Himself, preparing to be Glorified. To trust and rest in Him in this waiting has been a test for me. To truly be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition present our requests to Him, and allow Him to fill us with the peace that passeth understanding. And yet, to still pray every day with faith that I will see that email! 
I found the scripture that has helped me so much with this. Romans 8:23 says “And not only this, but also we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” I was floored when I read this! Oh! How we long for our children to be home, and yet our own spirit’s long for our position as sons to be complete. We long deep in our soul for that last “step” in our adoption as sons! We can all so relate to this now! He is enough. As we ache for our children, and rightly so….for He is father to the Fatherless! We also ache for Him. May Jesus fill us today. 

 

Adoption Potpouri

 

I am reading a book entitled, Adopted for Life, by Russell D. Moore.  If you have ever even considered adoption this book is for you.  This book was given to us by a young man who embodies the scripture in I Timothy 4:12 “  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”.  He is a college student but believes so much in adoption and supporting those who are adopting that he gave us the book along with a donation to our adoption.

Why I had never really considered the fact that Joseph was an adoptive father of Jesus I do not know.  But, Moore brings this out in his book.  Here is one paragraph of this amazing book:

“Joseph serves as a model to follow as we see what’s at stake in the issue of adoption. Joseph, after all, is an adoptive father.  In some ways, his situation is, of course, far different from that of any reader holding this book right now.  In other ways, though, Joseph’s mission belongs to all of us.  As Joseph images the father of the fatherless, he shows us how adoption is more than charity.  It’s spiritual warfare.” P. 59

It surely would have been so much easier for Joseph to forget this whole fatherhood thing, especially considering what others thought.  But, thankfully, he obeyed.

Please pray for us as we have a Skype grant interview on April 28th in the evening.   We also have an opportunity with Lifesong for a program called “Helping Hands.”  This is best explained by visiting this link and watching the short video: http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/adoption-funding/both-hands/

We recently were told that the earliest we would go for our first trip is early fall.  The wait is hard, but apparently this is happening across the board with all Haiti adoptions, with all agencies and all states as they transition to a Hague adoptive country.  We continue to pray for miraculous intervention by the Lord that our sons can get home in record time….and for His glory.  Would you join us in prayer for this?   We continue to ask the Lord for our first two week trip to be this summer and that the boys would be home by Christmas.

We were advised it might be helpful to share what we have personally given, so that others realize we are not expecting this entire adoption be funded by others.  We have refinanced, used our tax return and put some on a 0% interest credit card to get the first payment made.  That was about $33,500. 

 We continue to be blessed in so many ways that we see the Lord providing and working.  May we share some of the many different ways the Lord has provided?

  1.   Tonight was one of my favorite donations.  After our devotions about caring for the orphan and widow…Joshua brought us $20.00 and said, “This is for the adoption.”  Our children have already sacrificed their allowances and report card money, so this was huge!  Thank you Joshua!
  2. One night several months back when Ron was waiting in line at Meijer he began talking with an older lady.  She brought up being thankful for our food and then she shared she had been to Haiti on a mission trip before.  Ron shared we had the privilege to go on mission trips to the DR and we were adopting from Haiti.  Then she asked if we were the family in the paper and Ron said yes.  When Ron went to pay for our groceries she insisted on paying, saying, “The Lord told me to do this.”
  3. Another woman said she was sharing this story with her hairdresser while getting her hair done.  When her hair was done her hairdresser said, don’t pay me give this to the family that is adopting.  (we don’t even know either of these people)
  4. Another lady we do know said her family collected donations at Christmas.
  5. My mom has been passing out fliers at her swim class and even her dentist helped in our matching grant.
  6. We have had several donations of clothes for the boys and for our girls.  These things help so much as well.
  7. There is a lady at church who gives us eggs each week.
  8. My wonderful husband is working so hard teaching an extra hour this year and possibly next year.
  9. So many of you have shared our story on facebook and with friends.
  10. Another gal gave us her fundraising donations from her pilates class.
  11. We had never (please don’t scold us) set up a will and custody officially, and this kind gentlemen did it for us at a very reduced rate, Thank you!
  12. We have been amazed by the number of former students who have given and encouraged us!
  13. Our ladies prayer team has been praying for us every time they meet.
  14. Our Pastors and staff pray for us every Tuesday
  15. Several people have written us several grant referral letters.
  16. More sweet stories next time!

Thank you all so much for your prayers as we wait.  This in some ways is the hardest part.  We know God always works in our lives through waiting though.  So, we will wait upon Him. 

 

“My soul waits for the Lord…”  Psalm 130:6

 

 

For a tax deductible donation go here: http://www.awaa.org/give/eternal_family_program.aspx
or click on eleven campaign to give to our you caring sight.

Dossier Sent!

We just received news that our dossier is being sent to Haiti today! Hurrah! We are told it will be 6-8 months from today that we will receive our official referral for the boys. We are praying and ask you to join us in prayer for things to go quicker. We are specifically asking the Lord if we could travel our two week visit this summer. This would be so much easier in so many ways, especially re; Ron’s teaching load.
We have raised around $14,000 total and are applying for some grants and some matching grants. 
We continue to be humbled by the Lord’s goodness in all the details. 
Thinking upon the fact that we are orphan’s spiritually without the saving love of Jesus in our lives. Jesus said in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” I have thought about the fact that our boys do not even know yet how we already love them, how we have already been willing to give up all to be able to come get them….just as God had done for us in sending Jesus for us. He has paid the price for the sin of the whole world. He desperately loves us and wants us to be His children. 
Thank you each so much for your prayers, encouragement and help in this journey.
We are looking for single bunk beds and mattresses and if anyone has a wooden swing set in your backyard you do not want anymore, we will come take it down!
We will do our best to keep you posted with any new updates.
Blessings,
The Schaffner Family

Updates

Praises:
We have made it through the first financial hurdle:
$975. To USCIS
$5750. To America World
$28,150. For first ½ of International fees
We have about $31,850 in fees plus travel expenses left to pay. We have raised $13,300. and refinanced to free up $20,000. We have about 8,000 towards that plus the Abba Fund will give us a 0% interest loan for the last trip travel fees. Our last big chunk will be due right after we travel for our first trip. We were hoping to be traveling in June, but now are at least hoping and asking the Lord for the first trip to be in the summer as it is 2 weeks long.
We have our fingerprint appointments for 2/27/2014 at 2 pm. We will have to pick up Luke from UT as he has to get fingerprinted as well. Then we wait for our I171-H to arrive which is our last piece of our dossier! Our family coordinator is sending our dossier without it for now, it should be done being translated soon. I know all of this information is probably boring to you all! Where are the pictures and names you say? We cannot share that information until we get our dossier sent and receive the official referral. We have now what is called a “soft referral.”
In the meantime I am applying for grants like crazy. Please pray that some of the grants would come through.
Specific things to pray:
1. First trip would be in the summer
2. Some grants would come through
3. Full provision of rest of costs
4. Salvation of the boys
5. We would be able to find time and brain power to learn French and/or Creole
6. In all things, Jesus name would be praised, lost would be found
7. We would entrust the timing of everything into the Lord’s hands

Thank you for being with us on this journey. It has been so encouraging as our church as been studying about the parts of the body…and how they all are important. I think of how I cannot sing or wouldn’t be able to pull off putting a bulletin together, but how the Lord has given Ron and I hearts for adoption. No one person is better for what they do in the body….it is their heart and motive that matters. As Luke recently posted on his Instagram is an excellent quote re; this by AW Tozer:

“It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular but why he does it.”