I am writing this from Liberia after a jam-packed week with emotional highs and lows. Some of you may know that Leigh-Ann and I have worked hard to adopt Titus.

Unfortunately, this dream has not ended the way we had envisioned it.

We had dreams of bringing him home to America after we finalized his Liberian adoption, however the consulate administrator refused to sign his visa. After pleading our case in every way possible, including communication with the President, we had no other choice but to rescind our parental rights.

Since I needed to come back to Liberia to complete this process, I asked a friend if I could join with him and his team on a mission’s trip.

Over the past week, we have visited orphanages, schools and churches offering medical assistance, clothing and soccer equipment. We have done our best to share the love of Jesus.

We have touched, hugged and spoken with hundreds of children, teens and adults. The amount of germs our immune systems have fought off must be incalculable. We have laughed, cried, listened, sweat…and our damp skin has become a magnet for every form of dust and sand.

Nearly every day, we made it back to our guesthouse dirty and exhausted but with a smile and a deep sense of fulfillment.

In spite of the main purpose for this trip…it has exceeded all expectations. Our team has developed deep friendships with each other and many others in Liberia. We’ve personally witnessed a country under pressure (depressed, oppressed, suppressed, repressed, etc.).

In spite of it all, the Liberians laugh…a lot…maybe more than I do in America. They smile the most beautiful smiles. They are generous in spite of their poverty. This was perhaps most evident in the orphanages for the blind and the deaf.

I am rebuked.

Similar to our new friends here in Liberia and our experience with Titus, you and I live with missed expectations. Though it may not be a failed adoption or come as a result of a civil war (which has contributed deeply to the problems in Liberia), life does not always play out as we envision it.

This Sunday at New Life, I look forward to worshipping with you at 9:00 or 10:45am. Pastor Dave will be sharing a sermon from the perspective of Peter on Palm Sunday.

The parallels between Peter’s experiences and our own are similar in many ways.

Peter and the disciples are dealing with a new reality of a Messiah that was going to die. For three years they dreamed of serving Jesus while He ushered in a new Kingdom. Just a few days before the crucifixion, Peter and the disciples walked with Jesus to shouts of Hosanna and songs of praise. And then EVERYTHING changed. Expectations were destroyed.

Then, a new day dawned. Jesus raised from the dead and a new reality formed. There is so much to contemplate….and celebrate.

If you are unable to join us in person, we would love for you to tune into our livestream HERE.