Hopeful Assurance

Wednesday was Silas’s 11th birthday, and the day before his birthday, a memory popped up on my phone from the day before he was born. Marsha’s parents, her sister Amber, and our niece Emery were visiting us in Istanbul in preparation for Silas’s birth. Surprisingly, Silas was a few days overdue, and on November 23, 2010, we decided to visit a famous attraction – the Rumeli Fortress – along the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul. As you can see in the pictures, this 475-year-old fortress has a lot of steps, so we did a lot of stair-climbing that day.

Over nine months pregnant, Marsha did not sit out the adventure either. She joined us, climbing those steps, and there were some in our group who wondered aloud if that was very wise. “What if she goes into labor while we’re up on one of these towers?!” Well, she did not go into labor then, but it was just hours later, early in the morning of November 24, that labor began. Silas was born a healthy boy, and perhaps that hiking adventure helped ensure his birthday was not after November 24. God only knows.

When we were well-over an hour from the hospital and climbing those steps on November 23, 2010, there were certainly no guarantees that Marsha would not go into labor. Of course, I was confident she would not, and more importantly, she was confident she would not – at least not so quickly that we would not have time to get to the hospital. Based on her understanding of her body, having given birth to two sons already, and how she was feeling that morning, there was enough assurance that we could safely explore Rumeli Fortress. Okay, perhaps I remember things slightly differently than Marsha, but all went well.

Still, no guarantees. In thinking through all of that this week, I was challenged by what I will be preaching on this coming Sunday, Lord willing. As we begin the Advent season with Richland Baptist Church, I hope to talk about the “HOPE” that only comes in and through a relationship with Jesus Christ (looking specifically at Luke 21:25-36).

Everyone wants hope. We all need hope. We long for hope and assurance, especially regarding things as important as the birth of a child. Yet, we are unable to assure hopefulness in most things. Only the Lord can do that, and He secured that hope by taking on flesh, living a perfect life, dying on the cross for our sins, and rising from the dead for the salvation of all who call upon His name. One day, He will come again – His Second Advent – to bring to completion the salvation of all who know Him.

Jesus said, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!” (Luke 21:28).

Are you looking forward to that day with hopeful assurance? If you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, you can and should and will. Without Jesus, though, that will not be a day of hope but rather a day of fear and devastation. Be certain of hopeful assurance by turning to Him today.

We cannot be certain of good health, safe deliveries, smooth circumstances, etc., but we can be certain that God never fails to keep His promises. Like only He could, Jesus declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Luke 21:33).

Happy 11th birthday to Silas Stephen Drake!

Turkey Time

I love this country because I love the people, love the culture, love the food, and love the history! Over the past several days, I have really enjoyed my time here with friends. We have had some great conversations about Jesus, and we have enjoyed Turkish hospitality.

Of course, I am greatly looking forward to being reunited with my family and, Lord willing, will be on my way home when this post is published.

Still, I wanted to share some pictures from my trip…

Breakfast at the hotel in Istanbul
Turkish flag
Çamlıca (overlooking Istanbul)
Asian side of Istanbul looking to the European side
Overlooking Istanbul
My dear friend Umut
On a walk to get some Magnum bars
Sea of Marmara
Riding on a ferry in Istanbul
Crossing from the European side to the Asian side
European side of Istanbul (old city)
Coming over to the Asian side
My good friend Necdet
First Bosphorous Bridge (connecting Europe and Asia)
1100-year-old church building in Muş
Old bridge outside Muş
Night lights
Van Lake
Enjoyed visiting Akdamar Church
Akdamar Church outside Van
The church building is on an island.
The Fortress of Van
Castle entrance
This castle is around 3,000 years old.
Looking down from the castle
The castle with Van in the background

The orphans blessed us!

During our mission trip to Guatemala June 1-8, we expected to be an encouragement and blessing to the children of Casa De Mi Padre, an orphanage and ministry of Child Rescue. Well, we might have been somewhat of a blessing, but it truly was the orphans who were a blessing to us. This was the common sentiment among our team of 17 who went on the trip. Praise the Lord for how he has delivered these children from some horrifying situations and placed them into a Christian home with people who love them, care for them and disciple them in Christ!

You can see photos from our trip HERE and even more HERE.

This past Sunday, Noah shared a brief testimony during our morning worship service, explaining some of the highlights from our trip. You can listen to the testimony HERE (best sound quality) or watch the video below.

Are you interested in going on a mission trip to Guatemala June 1-8, 2019? If so, you will have the amazing privilege of ministering to orphans, doing evangelistic outreach in public schools and the local community, worshiping and serving alongside a local church, and growing in your faith in Jesus Christ. Contact Richland Baptist Church for more information.

Then there were seven!

While we posted regular updates via social media while in China and have shared quite a few pictures, we have greatly neglected DrakeCity. Thus, this post is long overdue – we’re home and officially a family of seven!

After arriving in the states late on Friday, May 26th, it took us a few days to get over our jet-lag fog and feel like we were functioning humans again.Well, here we are: fully functioning (for the most part) and adapting to life with five children.

Of course, Micah has the biggest change to overcome, being only two years old and having lost everything he knew up to this point. Not to mention, he can’t truly express himself and explain the grief and confusion he must be experiencing.

That being the case, we praise God for His faithfulness in answering our (and many others’) prayers, and for how He has blessed us in and through Micah. While Micah certainly has a long road of adapting ahead of him, we believe he is doing very well and quickly bonding with our family. Please do continue to pray for him (and for us), though. May the Lord be honored in our family!

To see many pictures from our trip to China, you can check out an online album by clicking HERE. If you have any questions about our adoption and/or if there is anyway we can encourage you to adopt, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Almost There

Wuhan – Where Micah Nicholas is from, and where we will complete our adoption of him.

Three weeks from today we leave for China! It’s almost hard to believe that in less than one month we will be a family of seven.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family throughout this process! We would certainly appreciate if you would continue to pray over the next six weeks as we travel and bring our little boy home. Micah just turned two a couple weeks ago, and he has been with a foster family since he was only a few days old. Thus, this is likely going to be a very difficult transition for him.

Thankfully, we serve a God who knows all things and controls all things. Transitions are not outside of His wisdom and providence, so please ask Him to be at work in our family. We want to honor him in all that we do, and this adoption is certainly no exception.

While we likely won’t be updating DrakeCity while in China, we’ll do our best to post pictures and updates on social media. So, if you are not connected with us but want to keep up, please follow us on Facebook (Nick or Marsha), Instagram or Twitter. Lord willing, we’ll find a way to get updates out via these mediums.


P1070375 (Copy)Well, I haven’t done a very good job lately posting pictures and updating DrakeCity. I just uploaded several new pictures, though, so if you want to see new ones of the Drake boys, click HERE. You can also view pictures from my trip to Frankfurt, Germany, by clicking HERE. Life has been quite hectic over the past six weeks. Again, we are adjusting to life in the mega city of Istanbul after being in the U.S. for five months. Thank you for praying for us, as God continues to prove His faithfulness in our lives and in our ministry. To HIM be the glory!