If I had a nickel for every time I said that phrase over these last 4 months, our support would be covered for months! As missionaries on furlough, most conversations start like this…
“For how long?”
“We don’t know… yet.”
“When are you going back to Kenya?”
“We don’t know… yet.”
“What will Tavin and Taleah do when you leave?”
“We don’t know… yet.”
“Are you going to rent your place again?
“We don’t know…yet.”
I could go on, but you get the idea. For this lengthy yet over due post, I try to explain our redundant, ambivalent answer given to many reasonable questions, and hopefully pray for us. I wanted to refrain from writing till we had some concrete news to share but details are far from settled… Sooo:
We are currently on furlough with a USA immigration (USCIS) visa for Henry that expires September 27th. Henry is 100% adopted - our child, our son; but since we adopted as residents of Kenya, USCIS requires us to have legal and physical custody of Henry for 2 years while living outside the USA after the adoption finalized (November 2014). We’ve been in USA since March 28th and this time does not count towards the 2-year requirement rule. (Note: this would not be a current problem if we were not detained by Kenya's adoption moratorium that went into effect in the middle of our process.) Sooo, (it gets more complicated):
In May, Henry's hearing was informally checked by BOCS. He failed those tests, which led to more formal testing in June. In July, Henry was diagnosed with bilateral nerosensorial profound hearing loss. In other words, he can’t hear information. (Think if you only heard loud garbled announcements made at airports… Yeah. That’s Henry’s world of sound. Fyi though - doctors/audiologists are AMAZED at his coping strategies Click link for how Henry hears you.) Henry is now a candidate for cochlear implant surgery that involves mega money, tedious therapies and time-time-time.
Our dilemmas that require the repetitive “We don’t know…yet” are:
1. Do we do the surgery and when? Henry will loose whatever natural hearing he has if we elect to go this direction. We need a long stretch of time in USA for it to benefit Henry.
2. How do we finance this? Henry is not a citizen yet so insurance for him in USA is E.X.P.E.N.S.I.V.E. He does not qualify for government medical programs because he is not a citizen. Every grant program we seen so far has citizen requirements.
3. How do we start this process that needs consistent attention if Henry is not allowed to stay in USA or get citizenship?
Things we’ve done to discover solutions to the “We don’t know…yet” are:
1. Prayer – prayed and praying!
2. Researching speech development for children with hearing loss and how to introduce hearing to a child who has never genuinely heard the variety of sounds that form communication.
3. Filed our $350 visa extension for Henry with the USCIS.
4. Contacted our US Rep. Scott Tipton asking him to contact USCIS on our behalf and request Henry’s citizenship. This will help free us to make decisions that are in our family’s best interest and continue working as missionaries without travel restrictions.
What’s happening now?
1. Henry got hearing aids this week. The aids will only enhance the sound he can already hear. They are the first step to introduce hearing changes to Henry. He is also attending a summer school session to help with socialization.
2. We wait, patiently, persistently, proactively for God, knowing He works all things well.
3. The ministry in Kenya continues – We interact with the management team regularly. Resource Center files are completed via our internet correspondence. The mamas keep meeting regularly for bible study and a new tailoring class starts soon.
Saying, “We don’t know… yet” to Henry’s situation and our pending mission strategies (implementing orphan caregiver programs and taking DIGGS Resource Center model to African leadership conferences) is difficult, except for the word - yet. That word carries hope because we know Jesus - the One who knows all. He directs the universe and has the hairs on our heads numbered. Nothing escapes His attention. His love for us is unlimited. We remain confident in Him - faithful God.
Those who wait on the Lord are not put to shame. Psalm 25:3.
We are abundantly grateful for your continued support at this time. Please be free to connect with us through phone calls, emails and comments. We love hearing from you.
Mark and Lisa have a full schedule of speaking for August.
Tavin has a full time job and his own vehicle.
Taleah does part-time work and dance.
Henry continues to thrive and adapt well.
The ministry in Kenya keeps functioning without crisis.
Favor with USCIS.
Some health issues for Lisa.
Henry’s continued development.
God’s wisdom for pending decisions.
One of the mama’s we worked with, Rose Brenda, was in a serious motorbike accident. She is pregnant medically unstable.
|Big brother drives!|
|Ants in Kenya are a big problem but Taleah likes these ones.|
|Henry gets new "ears!" and our amazing audiologist.|
Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement
hugs from the haugers