Can God Be for Me While His Hand Works Against Me?

Can God be for me while his hand works against me?

Photo by: The Archibald ProjectThis is the question I found myself wrestling with during the latter half of last year. I started from what I know to be true: God is for me. This much I knew for sure. But on the other hand, there was something else that I knew with certainty: God had called me to adopt this little girl from Africa. We had been pursuing this adoption for over a year and half and it seemed and we had run into nothing but roadblocks and frustrations. At first I blamed each setback on The Enemy. “Satan hates adoption.” I told myself. “He’s trying to distract me with sideways energy.”

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“Fight for Her” – The FULL Story

My original post was intended as a public letter to my church where I serve on staff. The intent was to get the word out to our church family as quickly as possible and as concisely as possible.  Our story however, continues to spread. We did not anticipate that God would use our story to bless and encourage so many people. We knew that God was telling a story. Now we know that he wants that story told. So, here’s the full story, the story of our adoption.

In reality, the journey to bring Chloe Laiti into our family began 12 years ago when I first proposed to my wife in Uganda, forever tying our hearts to Uganda and it’s people. Truth be told, there was a part of me that always knew a little Ugandan child would be a part of our family. Nevertheless, the more tangible parts of our journey began in October 2010 when Kelly and I were back in Uganda on a mission trip. God began moving in our hearts and we weren’t exactly sure what he was doing, but we knew our lives would never be the same. Continue reading

“Fight for Her”

So many of you have asked so many questions about what has happened and what is currently going on with our adoption. The goal of this letter is to give you a brief summary of the events that have transpired which have brought us to where we are now and what lies ahead.

In December of 2010 my wife Kelly and I began the process of adopting a little girl from the babies home that Journey sponsors in Uganda, Africa.

Our first Ugandan court date was scheduled for November of 2011. It was subsequently cancelled and rescheduled for April 2012. After our court date in April, we were awarded guardianship of Chloe and immediately began the process of immigrating her to the US.

In June of 2012, the US Embassy in Uganda denied our request for a visa saying that our case was “not clearly approvable.” They sent our case to the US Citizenship and Immigrations Services field office in Nairobi, Kenya. It was during this process that we fully anticipated being granted our visa. However, after several months, we were sent a request for more evidence. With the help of an attorney, Kelly traveled back to Uganda to collect the information they required. Nevertheless, in October the USCIS informed us of their intent to finally deny Chloe a visa, giving us 1 more month to change their minds. We hired a new attorney to fight for us during this process and we have been waiting to hear back once again.

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Returning Early September…

This site will recommence in early September. In the meantime, you can explore the old posts. For updates on what in the world is going on with our adoption process, you can follow our family blog at Our attorney has advised us to keep it password protected, so if you need the password, leave a comment, message me on Facebook, or email me and I’ll shoot it your way.

Regardless, please remember to keep us in your prayers.

Why We Chose to Adopt

In case you are unaware, we are in the process of adopting a little girl from Uganda, Africa. We receive questions all the time. And with all of the recent difficulties surrounding Josh and Tasha’s adoption process (see below for details), I thought it would be helpful for me to address the most common questions here.

Why adoption?

Simply answered, we believe God has a heart for adoption. Scripture encourages us to care for the widows and orphans. Spiritually, we were all once orphans and God adopted us into his family. When called by God, why would we not respond by doing for someone else what he has already done for us.

Why Uganda?

As a family, our hearts have been tied to Uganda ever since before we were married. Over 10 years ago, I actually proposed to my wife on the Nile River overlooking some falls in Uganda. It was that same trip when my Ugandan friend and mentor Godfrey Wanamitsa (Director of Arise Africa International) took me to an area of land called Bukaleba. I felt like Abraham as he took my brother Josh and me to the top of this hill overlooking all the land and he said “As far as you can see in nearly every direction, God is going to give us this land.” In total it was about 5 square miles of land right on Lake Victoria. He went on to explain how they were going to build an orphanage, and a pastor’s training school, and a hospital, and many other things. Several years later, God blessed this great man of faith, and he did in fact give them land free of charge. Soon thereafter, through a series of miraculous connections and partnerships, Arise Africa broke ground on the orphanage. Our church family along with many other people were able to partner with them in the building of “our orphanage.” In September of 2010 the first phase of the orphanage, the “babies home” was completed. In October of 2010, we had the opportunity to visit the orphanage one month after the first phase was completed and were able to see the very thing that had been a labor of love for so many years. It was then, that we very specifically felt God’s call on our lives to adopt a child from “our orphanage.”

Why now?

We believe that God created one of these dear Ugandan orphans to be a member of our family, and it is our greatest desire to bring her home. Her name is Laiti. Even though we have only met her once, we have already accepted her into our home and family and consider her our daughter. Our girls talk about her and pray for her often and are eager to have her home. We are simply in awe of God and how He has and is working in our hearts through this adoption process. It is only because of Him that we have the love, family, time, care, and affection to give to this precious little girl that we don’t yet truly know but already love.

What’s going on with Josh and Tasha?

Some of you may be aware of the recent difficulties and setbacks that have occurred with my brother and his wife and their adoption process from the same orphanage. The short version is that bureaucratic technicalities may keep a little girl from a chance at having a family. The issues are more than I can adequately explain here, but I would highly encourage you to follow their blog to get the full story. It’s worth your time. You’ll need the password: TRUTH. They certainly need your prayers and support. Most of all they need a BIG God to do something BIG on their behalf. Furthermore, it would seem that my wife and I may be about to walk into the same $#!%-storm that they are going through. Please pray for God’s favor on them and us. Please pray that God is allowing this to happen so that he can do something amazing that only he can take credit for.

Also, please pray for us. Pray that we can figure out all the issues causing the problem with their visa approval for their little girl so that can hopefully fix those issues in our case if at all possible. Lastly, please take some time and send Josh and Tasha some love and support. They need it now more than you can possibly understand. You can contact them one of the following ways:

Facebook  |  Josh Twitter  |  Tasha Twitter  |  Josh’s Uganda Cell: 011-256-77-778-4652


Recently I had a conversation with someone at church that went like this…


Friend: Dude, what’s up? You’re not eating?
Me: No.
Friend: Are you fasting?
Me: Yeah
Friend: Didn’t you fast this time last year… and the year before that?
Me: Um, actually… yeah. I did.
Friend: Dude! That’s awesome!
Me: No, not really. It actually kind of sucks. I freakin’ hate fasting.
Friend: Then why do you do it?
Me: Because I need it.


I’ve struggled with posting this blog for sometime now, because I don’t ever want to be guilty of being the guy that Jesus spoke of: Continue reading

Collide: Special 3:12 Event

This weekend marks the beginning of a new series in 3:12 called “Collide.”

Ask anyone who’s ever run into a sliding glass door that was closed, or went for the same baseball as a teammate, or experienced a fender bender at a stoplight-a collision changes things. Whether it’s a bump on the head or a cracked bumper, something is not the same as it was before. The same thing happens when we collide with God or His truth or even other people. We’re changed. But unless we put ourselves in a position to collide, everything will stay the same. So are you ready to change, are you ready to collide? Continue reading



If you go to Journey, for many of you this has been the elephant in the room. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. The elephant in the room is the thing that everybody knows about but doesn’t talk about. Reports keep getting back to me on people who “have issues” with my tattoos. This, of course, means they ARE talking about it, they just aren’t coming to me about it. I’ll ignore for the moment they are violating the biblical principle of going directly to your brother if you have an issue with him. So let’s settle this here once-and-for-all. And if in the future anyone says anything to you about my tattoos, I would strongly urge you to kindly send them this link.

Do I have tattoos: Yes, I do.
Do I think tattoos are bad: Obviously not, or else I wouldn’t have gotten them.
Do I plan on getting more tattoos? Yes, as a matter fact, I do.
What does the Bible say about tattoos? I’m glad you asked…

Are Tattoos Sinful?

Well, to be honest, the issue is pretty simple and straightforward. There is one verse in Scripture that is often used to support the idea that it is sinful to tattoo your body. Here it is. Continue reading


Lately, I’ve been struggling with the question of what are realistic expectations to place on students. Let me explain. The goal of Journey Students is to “reach students who reach students.” We believe that it is too small a goal to simply reach students who are far from God. We want to reach those students, lead them to life in Christ, and then raise them up in such a way that they become a part of reaching others.

That’s the goal. Now with the goal clearly in focus, we’ve been strategizing about how to get there. The proverbial “bump” in the road that I’ve continued to run into over and over again is that all of the so-called “tools” of evangelism feel so wooden, stale, and inauthentic in the hands of my teenagers. Recently, a girl confided in me that she has friends that don’t know Jesus, and she doesn’t share Jesus with them. She said “if I were to say, ‘If you were to die tonight do you know for sure you would go to heaven,’ they would look at me like I’m stupid because nobody actually talks like that.”

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It’s Time to Blow The Dust Off This Thing

Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Well maybe not, but it certainly is time to finally dust off this old blog. Actually, it’s quite a bit more than a simple “dust off.” It’s a complete renovation. Life has been crazy over the past year and I was forced to prioritize in order to make sure that I got the most important things done. Blogging, as you can imagine, was very near to the bottom of the list and so it was just “axed” altogether. The plan was to wait until I knew I had a sufficient amount of time to devote to it a week. So here we are over a year later, and I’m finally at a point where I believe I have both the time and the desire.

Not only is the design new, but several other things are new as well. The comments are now fully integrated with Facebook and Twitter so that you can log in using one of those accounts, and you can share your comments through those sites as well. All of the feeds have changed, so if you would like to follow me, please resubscribe using one of the links on this page. I hope you enjoy the new sight!