Prayer for My Dad and My Grandpa

Will you please pray for my family? As you may know, my Grandpa Ralph (my mom’s father) is in the hospital and has been for a few weeks now. I found out today that he is still unresponsive, and the decision has been made to provide nothing more than what is necessary to keep him as comfortable as possible. Of course, this means that, barring a miracle, he does not have much time left. God is clearly a God of miracles, so I do pray for healing. But, I also know that God’s plans and timing are perfect, and complete healing is not always a part of His plan. I find hope and assurance in His providential and almighty hand. Please pray, though, not just for my grandpa but also for my Grandma Nikki, my parents and the rest of our family during this difficult time. May the Lord use this suffering to draw people to Himself!

Likewise, will you continue to pray for my dad? He had an appointment with the radiation oncologist today and has a significant compression fracture at T12 on the right side of his back from the cancer eating away at this bones.  He will start radiation tomorrow for 10 days to T11, T12, L1 (three segments of the spine). This WILL destroy the cancer in that area but does nothing to heal the collapsed bone, which will likely take a few months to heal. Along with the obvious struggles of having stage IV adenocarcinoma lung cancer, this news certainly didn’t brighten anyone’s day. Please pray for my dad to heal quickly and for his faith and hope to be in the Lord. Also, please pray for my mom to be able to balance all of these emotions right now with her husband going through so much, as well as her dad likely not having much time left.

Thank you! To God be the glory!

 

FALLing behind

Mineola Baptist Fish Fry 2013
Mineola Baptist Fish Fry 2013
Members worked hard this past Saturday to fry a ton of fish and make a ton of food in order to serve the community. It was a blessing to be a part of it!

Well, summer is over and so, apparently, is my ability to keep up with DrakeCity. This is the last day of September, and yet this is DrakeCity’s first September post. Sorry.

I’d say the lack of posts are due to our busy schedule, but that would mean DrakeCity would never be updated. Rather, I just have not prioritized our website. Instead, I’ve attempted to keep up with posting pictures via social media and been somewhat “regular” in tweeting.

Of course, those of you who receive our email prayer updates are able to keep up with us much better. We certainly appreciate and thank you for your prayers!

While we are walking through an uncertain time (regarding our future) in our lives right now, we trust and know the Lord Jesus Christ has His perfect plan in place. We want to be where He wants us to be, and we want to do what He wants us to do. Most importantly, we want to be who He wants us to be – faithful hearers and doers of His Word.

Please pray that we will honor God as a family and seek Him above all else. May His name be made great in the Drake household and be made known in all the world!

Summer Fun & Pictures-a-Plenty

feeding the goatsWow! This summer is flying by with plenty of travel, plenty of fun, plenty of exhaustion and plenty of pictures. If you want to see a bunch of pics, particularly of our kids, please click HERE.

The most recent highlight of our summer has been Levi learning how to ride a bike. I gave him one push on it yesterday, and he told me he could do it on his own. A few minutes later, he was riding all over the place. That is basically all he and Noah have wanted to do the last two days.

Being outside has been the desire of all four kids, and we are beyond thankful for all the land on which they have to play, all the time they’ve had to play and the awesome weather we’ve had. We are enjoying God’s beautiful creation, loving our time with family and trying not to let our abundant travel wear us out.

Even though the travel has been tiring, though, it has been an incredible blessing. This past weekend we had an amazing time with our Missouri Valley Baptist Church and Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church families. They are such amazing people and a tremendous encouragement to our family and many others. Before that we spent a week up north with my family, both in Iowa and in Minnesota. Fun was had by all!

Please continue to pray for us as we seek the Lord’s wisdom and direction for our lives. We want to follow His leading and obey His Word, but I’ll admit that our future is still uncertain at this point. Of course, it’s not uncertain for the Lord, as He knows all things and has His perfect plan in place. The foolish people we are, though – we don’t always follow Him as we should and don’t always discern His direction for our lives. This might simply be a time He is teaching us patience and dependence on Him (something we always need to grow in), or He might be in the process of leading us exactly where He wants us. We’re not sure.

Our hearts long to be back in Istanbul, but they also long to be with family here in the U.S. God’s plan is best, and we trust His wisdom. Thank you for praying and for being such an encouragement!

Adoption, Thanksgiving, Birthday

Well, a lot of things have happened in the past week, so please consider this a “brief” update. We arrived in the U.S. a week ago Sunday and got over jet lag pretty quickly. Praise the Lord!

Last Wednesday we went to court to begin the “re-adoption” process in getting Zoe’s name legally changed and getting her U.S. birth certificate. Miraculously (thanks to God’s providential hand and thanks to our good friend Nathan Carroz, who happens to be a good lawyer, too), that process was much easier than we ever anticipated. Our court hearing went smoothly, and we got Zoe’s birth certificate that same day (a process that usually takes months). Then, we were able to apply for her U.S. passport and should have that back in 2-3 weeks. Praise the Lord!

Today was our meeting with a local social worker who came to complete Zoe’s 3-month “post-placement report.” That went really well. The final thing we have to do is apply for Zoe’s Social Security number, and we will be able to do that, Lord willing, next week. Then, it’s just a waiting game before everything is complete. When we started the adoption process just over one year ago, we never dreamed it would go this quickly or this smoothly. God has shocked our socks off in blessing us beyond our imaginations and has been so good to us. Praise the Lord!

Last Thursday, of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving with Marsha’s family here in Windsor Valley. It was a fun day at Marsha’s parents’ home, even though it included 14 kids running/crawling around the house. Thankfully, the weather was nice, and we did a lot of playing outside. To see some pictures from the past week, please click HERE. We sure are thankful for family and friends, as we have the best. Praise the Lord!

Then, Saturday was Silas’ second birthday. We had a great time celebrating with everyone here at Marsha’s parents’ house, and you can see some pictures by clicking HERE. Hard to believe Silas is already two years old, as most of you haven’t seen him since he was a baby! Time does fly, and God’s incredible blessings surround us more and more all the time. Praise the Lord!

Today was my dad’s PET scan to see if/where his Adenocarcinoma cancer has spread. We probably will not know anything until his next appointment on Friday, but please continue to pray for his healing and for his faith in Christ to be real and strong. This is obviously a difficult time for him and the rest of our family, but I am beyond thankful that God is always in control and has a perfect plan. His ways are sometimes difficult to comprehend, but His faithfulness and goodness never end. Praise the Lord!

 

Will you please pray?

We received some difficult news yesterday. My dad, Robin, has a form of lung cancer that is typically caused by asbestos, and before his initial appointment Thursday, none of us had any idea this was coming. As a healthy 55-year-old coach and teacher who doesn’t smoke and takes good care of himself (besides eating a bit too much chocolate now and then), my dad is not a person I ever imagined would have lung cancer.

“I guess this is one of those curve-balls life throws at us,” he told me on the phone yesterday. Yes, life does throw us many curve-balls  and I am thankful that God is never surprised by any of them. He is always in control and still heals in miraculous ways all the time. Will you please pray for my dad’s healing and for the Lord to use this difficult time to grow all of us in our faith and reliance upon Him? We will know more after the biopsy Monday, but in the meantime, please pray for the powerful hand of God in this situation.

Making the news even more difficult is the fact that, as many of you know already, my dad’s dad (“Grandpa David”) was diagnosed with a very serious form of lung cancer just a few months ago. The two forms of cancer are different and unrelated, but the difficult news is equally overwhelming. Please also pray for Grandpa David, that the Lord will heal his body and draw him close to Christ.

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10). Thank you for praying!

Exciting Adoption Update

Praise the Lord! Our adoption case has been submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, which means we will likely be picking up Zoe next month and bringing her home! We are beyond thankful for how quickly and smoothly things have gone throughout the adoption process, and we give all the glory to God for His faithfulness and grace to our family and to our little girl.

Will you please pray for us to have wisdom about the logistics of the upcoming trip? In order to save money and make things much easier for Noah, Levi and Silas, Marsha is likely going to go on the trip by herself. Please pray for God’s grace, peace and wisdom as we make these plans.

Furthermore, we covet your prayers for our subsequent trip to America. In order to complete Zoe’s U.S. citizenship, we will be required to bring her to the U.S. before February. Please pray for God’s wisdom in regards to the timing and logistics of that trip, too. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

And our daughter’s name is…

…Zoe Lee Drake. Yes, we have finally decided on a name for our little girl. Zoe means “life” in Greek, and Lee is Marsha’s middle name. Thus, both the first and the middle name have much significance to us. We already love Zoe just like she is one of our children, and although it is not official yet, she really is our daughter. “Life,” because of what adoption represents, seems like a fitting name for little Zoe. Just as our Heavenly Father lovingly adopted us through Jesus Christ and made us His children, we are privileged to be able to adopt Zoe and make her one of our children.

To update you on our status, we have already been given a court date of June 27th in Ethiopia! Please pray for us, though, as we desperately need to get an important form filed with the U.S. government and are having a difficult time getting that done. If things do not move miraculously fast, our court date may get delayed and then our second trip to Ethiopia to pick up our daughter and bring her home with us would get delayed. If all goes as we hope and pray, Zoe will be home with us here in Istanbul this fall. We covet your prayers and trust God is in control, as always!