Although we have had many exciting e-mail updates in the past, we
feel that today’s is perhaps the most important of them all.
At 10:55 a.m., we successfully boarded our plane and began our long
journey home! We were very excited to finally leave Kazakhstan,
but we were even more amazed at the miracles God worked to get us
on our way!
The morning started bright and early. We got up before Katie, packed
our things, arranged our passports and tickets, then delivered some
of our extra groceries to Tony and Mary (a couple we met in our
hotel who just adopted two older boys). After eating breakfast and
checking out of the hotel, we headed for the U.S. Consulate. Our
goal was to arrive 15 minutes early so we could be the first ones
there and get our exit interview done as soon as possible.
On the way to the Consulate, all our apprehensions and fears were
nagging us as we remembered the trouble we’d had a few days
earlier (if you remember, we had asked the Consulate to for a morning
appointment instead of the usual afternoon appointment). Well, we’re
happy to report that at 8:45 we cleared security and were escorted
to the waiting room. Then, by 9:05 we finished the interview and
held Katie’s U.S. visa in our hands. Praise God! Everything
went perfect and without any trouble (we didn’t even get a
stern lecture this time).
As soon as we left the Consulate, we jumped in the car and raced
to the airport. Luckily we were in good hands as Sem, our Almaty
driver, took every shortcut in the book. He even honked his horn
through the “blind” intersections to let the other cars
know we were coming through. Because of his superior driving skills
and keen knowledge of the roads, we made it to the airport just
in time for check-in.
Once we cleared customs and boarded our first plane to Uzbekistan,
we felt a wave of emotions sweep over us; we were finally on our
way home! God continued to bless us with a safe flight out, despite
the fact that we were on an airplane so small, the wing was mounted
on-top of the plane! It was a wonderful hour-long flight where we
were able to finally breathe a sigh of relief.
Now, we are sitting in the transfer terminal in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
where we have spent the day waiting for our connecting flight to
Seoul, Korea. Earlier today, this ornate soviet-era building was
busting at the seams with travelers from around the world; we were
nestled between Indians, Koreans, Russians, Kazakhs, and many more.
However, everyone else left this afternoon and together with one
other person, we are the only passengers here. All the lights have
been turned off and we feel somewhat lonely, but we really don’t
care because we are making progress in our journey home.
Our ability to leave Kazakhstan has only been by the grace of God.
We now know that through the delay in our departure, God was able
to use it for His glory. He clearly demonstrated His power these
past few days as He worked out every last detail. There were many
times that we doubted if we would ever leave Kazakhstan. In fact,
we have both been literally “worried sick” at various
times this week because there were so many indications that things
wouldn’t work out.
God’s working through the details of our return flights is
only a small snapshot of the way He has constantly been helping
us through this entire process. If it weren’t for His continual
direction, and the prayers from many of you at home, we would not
be heading home with our beautiful baby girl. Many people think
God doesn’t use miracles in these modern times, but our little
Kaitlyn is direct evidence that He still does! He took a childless
couple with limited resources and provided the most amazing gift
ever; a child.
As we think about this, we have to admit that God’s gift of
a child goes even further than Katie (or any other human child),
because His biggest gift to all of us was His own son, whom He dearly
loved. When God sent Jesus to earth, He did so as a way for us know
Him personally; because Christ lived as a human and died for us,
God can understand all that we’re going through. Whether we’re
facing issues with health, money, relationships, or even the desire
to have a child, God knows the pain we’re experiencing and
will be there for us if we call on Him. Maybe you have already made
a personal commitment to follow Jesus, but incase you haven’t,
we wanted to take a moment and let you know how.
To be accepted as one of God’s own, all we need to do is admit
that we’re not perfect and that we never will be; we need
Him to accept us as we are because we can’t make it to heaven
on our own. We also need to acknowledge that we believe God is who
He says He is; the one, true God, and that Jesus is His son. The
Bible says that when we open up our hearts to Him, He will always
be with us and will never leave. That truth alone has been the most
reassuring fact for us as we’ve been experiencing our recent
delays and struggles while in Kazakhstan; we knew that even on the
other side of the world, God was still looking out for us and that
everything was part of His great plan for our lives. God is very
much alive; we know that first hand!
Next time you receive an e-mail from us, it should be announcing
the good news that we’ve finally made it all the way home
(we plan to touch down in San Francisco on Wednesday at 3:38*).
Until then, we ask that you help us pray for a safe second half
of our trip, and a smooth drive home from the airport.
We miss you all and can’t wait to be home!
Kevin, Sarah and Katie
UPDATE: SINCE WRITING THE ABOVE LETTER, WE ALSO SUCCESSFULLY MADE
IT TO SEOUL, KOREA. OUR NEXT FLIGHT TO LAX HAS BEEN DELAYED A HALF
AN HOUR, BUT WE STILL PLAN TO ARRIVE AT SFO BY 3:38 p.m. PLEASE
KEEP OUR HEALTH IN YOUR PRAYERS AS WELL; WE HAVE BOTH BEEN FEELING
ILL AND ARE FIGHTING HARD TO GET BETTER BY THE TIME WE ARRIVE HOME.
*If you’re planning on meeting us at the airport, you can
go to our website and click the link at the top of the page for
the flight number and arrival info.