MIA is an abbreviation for “missing in action.”
Just call me Mr. MIA. I really enjoy keeping you all updated on the life and adventures of the Sloan family. However, when Asia came into our lives, we set aside quite a bit to just enjoy our new family. It’s been a sweet 8+ months. We have enjoyed every single minute, well- all except for the 3am “screamfests”. Those suck but everything else has been a gift.
Our beautiful daughter is amazing. I am little bias but she really is a wonderful little girl. She has a joyful demeanor, loves everyone she meets, sleeps fairly well, loves to explorer of all thing forbidden (including the dog’s food!) and is as healthy as can be. We dare not take these things for granted. We know what it’s like to sit up with her in the hospital. We praise God for her health and for that cute little grin. We hope you enjoy her as well…
Trip to the Middle East
This fall I was able to go on international trips to Lebanon, Ethiopia and France. They were all great trips but one sticks out.
In September, I traveled with 3 other good friends to Beirut to visit a non-profit serving Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have lost their homes, jobs and family members through the civil war in Syria and through the carnage of ISIS. If you’ve turn on the TV or watched the news online, you have seen the wicked deeds of both Bashar Hafez al-Assad, president of Syria, and the terrorist group ISIS who are spread across Syria and Iraq. Both have sought to crush the weak and helpless around them.
On this trip to Lebanon, we were able to travel north, just five miles from the Syrian border, and provide food and essential supplies to displaced Syrian families. We sat in their tents and heard stories of their homes being flattened and of husbands and sons who were unjustly imprisoned.
We also traveled to southern Lebanon to provide aid and to visit families. We sat in the home of one family whose father who had been killed by a sniper and talked to a former solider who fled and is now hunted. He was tired of fighting for a wicked army. He risked his life to save his family and now hides in a small apartment in this area of the country
We were hit with story after story of murdered family members and whole towns destroyed. We heard stories of greed and uncontrolled wickedness. It was a privilege to suffer with these refugees, if only for a few days. Pray for my new found friends. May they find relief from their sufferings and trust in the God who created them and offers them forgiveness and eternal live. May they find that Jesus truly can empathize with their sufferings.
We do not know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, or why is it so random, but now at least we know what the reason is not. It cannot be that he does not love us. It cannot be that he does not care. He is so committed to our ultimate happiness that he is willing to plunge into the greatest depths of sufferings himself. He understanding us, he has been there, and he assures us that he has a plan to eventually wipe away every tear. [Rev. 21]
Tim Keller, Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering (p.121)