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Pastor Mark & Kristen Lukens

Anastasia Grace Lukens and Maxim Samuel Lukens

September 20th began just like any ordinary day – or so we thought, as this was to be anything but an ordinary day.  We received a telephone call from a friend who had heard from their friend of a crisis situation involving two Russian children, ages six and eleven. Our friend, knowing that we had lived in Russia and had a love for the people there – their language, culture and food. They thought of us and called to ask if we might consider taking these two children for the weekend until their move to Texas could be arranged.  As we inquired further, we found out that these two children were facing not one disruption, but two.  Their first adoptive family decided not to keep them and then their next adoptive family changed their minds at the last moment.

Our family immediately gave an answer – a resounding YES! By the next day, September 21st, two children were brought to our home, but the plan had now changed from taking them for a weekend to adopting them and making them a permanent part of our family.  We learned that there was no plan for these two siblings – no family waiting for them.  These two had been abandoned by their birth parents, sent to orphanages by their grandmother, rejected by the two adoptive families they thought would be their family forever, and now here they were in our home.  We spent years doing foster care, time working in the orphanages while living in Russia, raised six children of our own, and worked throughout the years with many, many children.  Yet, the needs of our two new children were extensive.

Years of neglect, abuse and abandonment had left deep scars and wounds.  The violence, anger, deep grief, etc. that we faced was huge.  We quickly were reminded that it was only God who could work in this situation.  We wondered at times if we were up to the task, yet we were certain that we have a big God. We have a God who is about the business of doing the “impossible”.  We wondered how all the finances would be covered.  As a pastor/pastor’s family of a small church plant living in New England (an expensive place to live), we were well aware that we don’t have extra finances. We simply don’t have savings. We live each day trusting the Lord to provide our needs, and this adoption process was going to be the same.

As the days unfolded we watched God graciously provide — clothing at the right time, finances for the home study, groceries delivered to our door with a smile and someone telling us they just wanted to bless us, wisdom and patience in the midst of trial, etc.  God’s provisions have been so abundant.  We were upfront from the beginning with the adoption agencies – we couldn’t pay for an adoption.  We would gladly take these children, love them as our own, raise them, point them to Christ, but we simply didn’t have extra funds to cover all the legal fees, etc.t have extra finances.

Early on, we were told that the ABBA Fund was an agency that we could contact and that they could possibly help us out.  God provided a grant from someone – somewhere.  We have no idea of the details, but we do know that we now, officially, have two new members of our family and all the legal fees are paid for.  We have two children, now 7 and 12, who are officially Lukens.  This has probably been one of the most difficult years of our life, yet we have seen a faithful God do amazing things.  We now have a little seven year old boy who once could not even be touched without attacking and whose mouth constantly uttered profanity and hatred, who now generously gives hugs and is learning about the God who created him.  We have a twelve year old daughter whose anger has turned to tears and then to joy as she realizes that there is a God – a God who has had a plan all along – a plan to give her hope and a future.

We still have a very long way to go with our two new children, but we stand amazed at all that has been accomplished in these past months.  It is astounding.  It is God.  We praise God for His provisions and for the way He used the Abba Fund to bless our family and make a way for two orphans to find a family forever.

Lukens All

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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