Thursday, July 19, 2012

What If Abortion Ended?

As we continued to keep an end to abortion in our prayers, we also continued to correspond with Randy & Kelsey Bohlender.  Part of their testimony is that the Lord challenged them to be a part of the solution for the problem that would exist IF all of the babies planned for abortion were to live......"If you are pro-life, then you have to be pro-adoption."  This point REALLY resounded within our spirits as a word of wisdom and truth. But it was a challenging truth to embrace, because it forced us to think differently about our feelings toward adoption.  

After all, in our salvation which is by grace through faith, Derek and I have tended to take for granted the fact that we are adopted into God's family.  We were confronted with the necessity of turning around and exhibiting that same Spirit of adoption to the world.  While trying to gain a deeper understanding of the Spirit of adoption that is spoken of in Romans 8:15, we have come to realize that we were thinking of the spirit of adoption as an “it.”  But the “Spirit” spoken of in that passage has a capital “S” in the vast majority of translations.  It refers to the Holy Spirit… i.e. God Himself.  So when we speak of the Spirit of adoption, we’re actually not just saying that there’s a spirit or essence of our being that has a mindset of adoption, but we’re specifying an aspect of our God that longs for adoption with such fervor that He refers to Himself in His own Book as the “Spirit of adoption” that we have received.  What revelation follows this?  We need to work to have this Spirit of adoption alive within us in a manifest way, such that we embrace Him, pray for the release of Him, advertise Him, and propose Him as an alternative to the mass murdering of millions of babies who have no voice.

Hmmmmmmm... we thought on that for a while.  And then we thought and prayed. And then we meditated a little bit.  We may have even pondered.  Rumination was definitely occurring.  Hmmmmmmm.  This revelation was huge for us.  And so, we began to wonder what part we would play in the adoption movement.  At the time, we were “DINKs” (Dual Income No Kids).  Josiah, our firstborn, was still a dream in our hearts.  We figured someday we would consider adoption for ourselves, but at that time we decided we would support others who were adopting.  So, for a few years, we have tried to support a few couples with their adoptions, but the Spirit of adoption has risen up inside of us, and the Lord is now leading us to do more.

In the next post, we will talk about having Josiah followed by our 2 year journey of infertility during which the Lord moved on our hearts to “do more.”  See how the story unfolds. God is so merciful.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lang Adoption Beginnings

We are moving into a new phase of our life, and I have a feeling that there will be a need to keep people up to date on our progress.  After a lot of forethought and prayer, Derek and I have decided to adopt a baby.  WE ARE ADOPTING!!  No, I am not kidding.  Can you believe it?  One day soon we will be a family of four, and three no more!

I (Andrea, with Derek’s editing and input when possible) am going to try to tell the story here on this blog and keep it up to date so that friends and family can check on our progress.  I may also post a few Lang happenings that are not related to the adoption process.  Here it goes:

 First a little BACKGROUND

So, the story begins about 7 years ago, in 2005.  We were living in East Tennessee in the Appalachian Mountains while Derek was going through the ETSU Residency program in Kingsport, TN.  We attended Hosanna Fellowship Church in Johnson City, and at church one day there was a man who spoke named Randy Bohlender.  We found out later that he and his wife, Kelsey, were close friends with a couple from our church back in the 1990’s.  From there, they went to plant a church in Cincinnati before eventually entering into full time ministry in Kansas City at the International House Of Prayer there (IHOP).

            As Randy spoke about his work in organizing a series of stadium events known as “The Call,” the Holy Spirit moved in Derek’s heart in a very unique way, such that Derek found himself wanting to support the Bohlenders financially in a long term capacity.  This was the first time Derek had ever received this type of unction from the Spirit, but it was unmistakably from the Lord.  We talked with Randy, exchanged emails, and so we began receiving correspondence from Randy and Kelsey about their ministry, although we were not financially ready to support them until later. 

This beginning, in 2005, was our first step toward deeper revelation about adoption, though we did not realize it at the time.  We had been Pro-Life since our childhood, but it had stopped there, with simply being Pro-Life and voting Pro-Life.  We were oblivious to the ramifications of being so blindly passive in this aspect of our belief system.  We did not know how important it was to see more, to know more, and to do more regarding the issue of abortion in the United States.  And so our knowledge and understanding began to grow.

About 2 years later, on July 7th, 2007 (7-7-07), a group of us from Hosanna Fellowship Church and the TRI-cities House Of Prayer (TRI-HOP) enthusiastically attended an event named "The Call: Nashville," spearheaded by Lou Engle and many others from the International House Of Prayer in Kansas City.  This was a wonderful step for us to take at this stage of our journey.  For one day, all day long, we sampled the difficulty of stepping out of the “comfort zone” of our normal, everyday, “business as usual” lifestyle as middle class Americans.  At LP field in Nashville, we entered into a one day water fast with more than 75,000 others.  The whole day was spent in worship and prayer, with numerous presentations of many different people crying out for the church to renew her marital covenant with the Lord, to repent for her toleration of Jezebel, and to pray for a new Jesus Movement to sweep the nation.  In and amongst the prayers throughout the day was the Spirit of Life, and many prayers were directed toward asking God for an end to abortion in America.  This was not easy.  It was hard.  Focusing on prayer and worship for the whole day under the July sun in a fasted state became challenging very quickly.  We realized, in part, just how weak we are, how good God is, and grasped more tightly an understanding of how much we need to connect intimately with His mercy and grace to walk out our calling as it relates to prayer for our country, the church, abortion, adoption, etc.

The Call events are solemn assemblies in the spirit of Joel chapter 2:12-17…

 (" ‘Now, therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’  So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.  Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him – a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?  Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room.  Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; let them say, ‘spare Your people, O Lord, and do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them.  Why should they say among the peoples, ‘where is their God?’’").

For about 12 years now, tens of thousands of people, with a high percentage of young people, have gathered together at “The Call” events to fast, pray, worship, and repent for the sins of our nation (especially the sin involving the shedding of innocent blood).  The vision includes America turning back to God and seeing revival in America, as mentioned before.  We believe that in order to see revival in our nation, we need to repent for the sins of our nation and turn from our wicked ways.  This is why one major theme of the prayers is to see an end to abortion throughout the US.  Prayers at these gatherings also include prayer for the healing of those who have had an abortion.  The Lord has laid these issues on our heart, and we have tried to remember these issues in our prayer time.  

In the next post we will explain how this background led us to start thinking about what role we would play as we would cry out for justice and mercy for our nation.  I’ll also mention how we started thinking about adoption for our family.