Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Over the past few weeks we have been “subjecting” the kids to lots of Bill Gaither music videos, and reliving many memories of the wonderful times we spent with in Gatlinburg with my folks and some dear friends. Lots of singing, praising, and laughing. And hearing many of the Gaither artists singing Bill’s song, “Because He Lives” really drove home the reason we are here in Kenya doing what we do. And even more how we can keep going on some days that certainly feel like we could toss in the towel. But we press on, because He lives!
The past few months has been such an emotional rollercoaster for the Bell family, and the ministry of MpM as well.
As many of you know our annual trip to the US took a turn we certainly did not want it to take. Due to the US Embassy not allowing Shaddy a travel visa, he and Jen had to stay back in Kenya while Dave, Ethan, and Selah made the trip back.
It was a good trip filled with lots of family time. And Ethan and Selah loved getting lots of time to spend with friends. But there was a huge “hole” in our blessings since our entire family was not there.
Our shortened furlough was a busy time of sharing the ministry mixed with a handful of family gatherings. It was great to see many of you at either the MpM Golf Outing, or the MpM Clay Shoot. Both events were very successful and wonderful days of fun and visiting.
As it turned out, as badly as we wished Jen and Shaddy were with us in the US, it was clear that God knew what was going to be happening during the six weeks we were apart.
Ten little ones came to MpM and had Jen not been in Kenya, we simply could not have accepted them all. Several of them had health issues, and a few required hospital stays.
And Shaddy would have really struggled with the air quality in the US had he come along. As usual, God knows best!
We did not get to see nearly as many of you as we had hoped, but God willing, next year we will get several more places!
Due mostly to the ages of our little ones, we have hit a window of time with few adoptions happening. In almost all cases the babies need to have been with us for six months before they are eligible to be adopted. Currently, out of the 30 little ones under our care, 19 of them are below six months of age. And our two oldest will turn two in Nov. So, we have a lot of little ones! And, on a side note, after so many boys it has been a shock to get five girls in a row! Currently we have 20 boys and 10 girls.
We are near capacity at the rescue center, so we are grateful that in the coming weeks we will be able to start building Forever Families again.
Because of the high number of babies in our care, and the fact that so many have needed medical care, and to give Jen a break from providing most of that care, we are excited that we have hired a Certified Nursing Assistant and will be adding a RN the first of November.
This will greatly improve for us in how we are able to care for our babies, as well as other Children’s Homes we work with. We are also hopeful this will allow us to bring our immunizations “in house” so we can better manage that part of our program.
We do have several cases that we ask you to lift in prayer. We have cases where there is biological family that may end up receiving the child back. In some cases, the court is leaning towards returning a baby to the mother that abandoned them. These are perhaps the toughest cases.
When a family can provide the needed care, there is no question a child should be with bio family. However, in some instances there is just not a proper environment to return the child to. In these cases, all we can do is trust and believe that God loves them more than we do and that He will take care of them.
One of the big changes this year has been the relocation of the Bell family to what used to be the Team Building. When we signed our lease agreement 10 years ago a part of that agreement was that the landowner would take possession of the main house, which we used to live in.
We don’t “lose” that house until July 2024. But with it impacting so many things we opted to make the more now during the time we don’t typically have many visitors. Teams earlier this year moved the Therapy Pool over next to the Director House (was Team Building!) and our family are now settled in and getting used to a bit different setting.
We have been busy clearing trees, putting in a new drive and gates, and laying out ideas for buildings. We are close, but still working out the finer details and getting quotes to discern if indeed we are to move ahead with building.
Perhaps the biggest news, and most anticipated event that happened after months of waiting, and years of praying, we now officially have a fifth child in the Bell family!
Shaddy legally became Shadrach Jason Bell on Oct 6. There was lots of doubts and question due to the delays and lots of negative feedback we had gotten, but as He always does, God came through and answered our prayers.
This is the first International Adoption in Kenya for around six years, and our prayer is that it will open the doors for other special needs children to find a Forever Family.
We are still being very careful about where we share this and request that you please DO NOT share this on social media.
Some prayer points we would ask you to lift:
Dave, Jen, Ethan, Selah, and Shaddy