Heading Home!

For 5_kids_roche_percee_8the past 9 months, we have been running Gentle Hands from a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada, on a "furlough" of sorts. It was our desire to give our children a chance to reconnect to their North American culture. We braved the long cold winter and saw God’s hand in many things. The kids played baseball, soccer, did ballet, took art lessons, took taekwondo, went to Sunday School, went fishing, and spent hours just playing outside.
Gentle Hands staff struggled without us but they survived. We made several trips back throught out the year for paperwork and adoptions but they mostly did it on their own. What a test for them. They learned to pray, I know that.
Evan was able to start his graduate studies in education and will be teaching full time at Faith Academy, the missionary school, where Jason, Noah and Elijah will be going to school. We are so excited. Merry Faye and Sarah Joy will homeschool with me for at least the next year.
 
Our filipino son, Jason, leaves this morning, all on his own, because he doesn’t have a visa to travel through the USA.  He packed his bags and cheerfully said, "Don’t worry, mom. I won’t get lost." (I don’t think that eased my mind any…)
God has been so good to us and we are thankful for all the friendships we have made, the green grass we have run in, the cool clean air, the wide open prairies and the beautiful sunsets. It has been good.
As I say goodbye to our little Saskatchewan house, I tuck away all the memories. They will need sifting and revisiting as we go back to a much more demanding and intense life style. But our hearts are ready to go- our children are anxious to get back to their "real" home and we know their is much work yet to be done in the rescue of children and boys.
Our children are so brave and so strong. The grace that God has given them is amazing…  and I am so proud.   
There are many ways you can help us as a missionary family- we have visas to pay for (to stay in the Philippines), airline tickets, setup expenses, living expenses, school costs for our children, and we need a new vehicle.
Most importantly, pray for our children as they move once again to the other side of the world. 

We do sincerely thank you for your partnership in prayer and in finances. You are the reason we are able to continue on with the call of God on our lives and the reason we can go home!

For love of the poor,

A Family Reunited!

Sometimes as a child welfare agency, cases are brought to us by the local department of Social Services.

Fe was a little odd. Her eyes muscles were very weak and didn’t always stay focused on the object she was looking at. It made conversation sometimes very difficult because her eyes seemed to have a mind of their own. At 7 months of pregnancy, her husband had left her to go back to the province and she had had news that he had died. She was alone. No parents or relatives of any kind. How would she take care of this baby?Feona

From the beginning, I couldn’t get rid of the burden I had for little Feona. I would just weep when I held her. I remember I told my dad that I had a little girl in my nursery that had a “broken heart”. She was never happy. Never smiled. Never seemed at peace. She didn’t really bond to any of the caregivers but insisted on being carried all the time. She was so difficult to care for.

But there was little choice. The mother couldn’t keep her, had nowhere to go, had no relatives, and decided to give her up for adoption.

Still the problem was how many times I went to the nursery and Feona’s cheeks were tear stained. She broke my heart! So last December, I had my social worker pull her name from our report and we waited. For what? I had no idea. I just knew I didn’t have peace about placing her for adoption.

Fe, the mother, came back off and on and we tried everything to help her. We even tried a trial reunification. We had to know if the mother was serious about caring for her baby. It was terrible. We caught her too many times yelling horrible things, and smacking the little one in anger. It just wasn’t safe. So back again to the nursery. The signed adoption papers still in my files…

But still I couldn’t submit her name for adoption.

Last week…

The younger brother of the father showed up in our office. My social worker, sceptical, insisted the father come in person. The brother went directly to the ferry, rode 24 hours, got his brother and within 2 days they were back here. We took the father in to see his daughter for the first time… she ran to him and wrapped her arms around his neck.

She had never seen him before.

The mother had left out part of her story. Why? No one knows. Maybe she was desperate, angry.  Who knows really with human nature. The father had had tuberculosis and went to the province to get well. He knew it was a danger to his unborn child. Fe got impatient and left the house they were staying in and the father couldn’t get any word to her that he was well again. I couldn’t believe the foolishness and the suffering that Fe and her little girl went through because Fe was impatient and miffed she had been left.

As I bundled Feona up, and gave them supplies to take home, the air was full of emotion. T017_2his precious little father had waited almost two years and not given up hope to get his wife and child back. I watched as he put his arms around wife and child.

I prayed over them and they left. I couldn’t stop the tears. It was unbelievable.

Oh, the amazing grace of God.