A Christian father, who along with his wife and three children, moved to Africa in 2013 after the U.S. government refused to let them bring home their newly adopted daughter from Uganda, spoke Friday what it means to act on God’s convictions despite not knowing exactly what The Lord is calling for.
Jonathan “Smooth” Via, a pastor and missionary affiliated with the humanitarian organization Arise Africa, gave his family’s testimony while speaking at the 2018 Evangelicals for Life conference at the J.W. Marriott, hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission ahead of the March for Life in the nation’s capital.
Via, who proposed to his wife, Kelly, on the banks of the Nile River in 2001, has for many years had a passion for the people of Uganda and has served on many Arise Africa short-term missions there.
Although the Vias had made several mission trips to the developing country in the past, Via explained that it wasn’t until they went there again for a short-term mission in 2010 that their lives would change forever.
It was that year when Arise Africa had just opened what Via referred to as a “babies home” in response to requests from local pastors who were looking for ways to help orphaned and at-risk children. Naturally, the Vias decided to visit the home.
“It was while we were [at the babies’ home] that something changed in me. I don’t have the words to put to it. But, it was like God was tearing open a hole in my heart, like he was making room for somebody who he was about to bring into our lives,” Via told the audience. “It was when we got back to the room that night that my wife and I began to talk about it and she felt the same way.”
Via said that it felt like God had “drastically altered” their entire future.
“I told [my wife] … ‘We don’t get to go back and pretend like it’s business as usual anymore,'” Via recalled. “It was several months later that we finally turned in an application with an adoption agency with the express purpose of adopting a child from Arise Africa’s babies’ home.”
Via explained that there were some initial setbacks that are common with adoptions from countries like Uganda. Once everything got approved through the Uganda court system for them to adopt from the babies’ home, the Vias were finally able to travel to meet their new adopted daughter, Chloe, in April 2012.
The Vias believed it would only be a matter of weeks before they would be able to return home to the U.S. with their new adopted daughter.
However, God had “something completely different in mind,” Via explained.
“It was immediately after that date that it began to feel like everything was falling apart,” Via emotionally said.
Although the Vias made it through the Uganda court system and were named her legal guardians in May 2012, the situation took a turn for the worst after the Vias applied for a visa for Chloe through the U.S. Embassy.
“For reasons unbeknownst to us, we don’t know entirely what happened, but I do know for sure that the consular who was adjudicating our case for some reason became convinced that something unethical or something sketchy had happened in the process of our adoption,” Via said. “She set out from that point forward to sabotage our adoption.”
“It is a bold claim, I realize, but we actually caught her on several blatant lies and misrepresentations of our case,” Via continued.
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Source: Christian Post