So, let's take a battle journey together:
1. Grinns decide to buy land in Ukraine. This is met with much corruption and deceit with sellers, but finally we pinned down a property and a price and even found a notary office to seal the deal. This was all accomplished in 2007.
2. Grinns decide to build a house on the land in Ukraine. Imagine concrete trucks bringing half of what is promised and paid for, workers smoking marijuana on the job, and flea markets for shopping for all those building supplies instead of your neighborhood Home Depot, and you'll start to get a taste of what it's like to build in a former soviet union country. The process would continue with many daily battles for about four years. With out-house living, lack of running water, and no kitchen for at least 7 of those months. However, at some point the houses were livable and functioned as a respite for many. Even as many as 200 over the period of one year!
3. Grinns decide to adopt. Summing this grueling 2 year battle up in two sentences is like stuffing an elephant inside a shoebox. It's just as uncomfortable and impossible to do! I can't even begin to count how many verbal, paper, and court battles we fought to finally be given our precious children. However the final outcome was positive and worth the fight. January 21, 2013.
4. Grinns decide to pack up and head home for a while... possibly a very long while. The night before we fly out, the van was broken into and five of our bags were stolen. Inside one of the bags, inside another bag, inside a small folder, hidden under the seat was our land deed and our precious house documents. Somehow that thief knew they were stuffed in there and he took them along with my craft bag and camera and ran off never to be seen again.
Ukraine vs. Grinn Family (round #432)- advantage Ukraine
5. Grinns decide to send Matt back to reclaim papers, sell house, finish 2014 Tatar calendar and...
We'll just stop right there. Did we really think we could accomplish anything in 5.5 weeks? I mean, we have been battling for 8 years now. You'd think we'd be more reasonable by now.
Matt comes home in about a week and a half. He's no where close to reclaiming our documents. He has been to over 10 offices, met with Lawyers, friends, registrars, archive specialists, etc. with hardly anything as a result. Some were helpful in word but not action.
The only real and tangible help goes something like this: "I know a guy who can help, give me about $5000.00 and two months and I can get you all the documents you need re-issued from scratch."
Today as I was praying I kept asking the Lord Jesus to beg the Father on our behalf. To please help. I kept thinking, surely there is somebody who knows somebody way up at the 'top' that can really help us.
Then in a quiet voice the Lord reminded me who He is.
I caught my breath. He is the top of the top. Surely if it was in His plan, He would work out these problems with just a thought.
If Matt and I desire the Lord to use us and anything in our possession for His kingdom and His glory and His church and His work, then we will just have to be content with losing some of the battles to please His glory. His ways are not our ways. He just wants us to be faithful and obedient.
Did I mention how in the meantime, people are meeting in our home to worship and study and pray?
We are weary and constantly in limbo, but God is good. His love endures. Even though we feel like Ukraine keeps winning these ridiculous and time wasting battles, we know who's really in charge. And He promised to never leave us or forsake us. He also promised to give us food and shelter. Don't need much more than that.
Here we go... round #433