Friday, July 13, 2007

Mary Phiri Hupp

“Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”~ Psalm 77:13-14

A journey that started many months ago came to fruition this past week. I first met Steve and Patti Hupp in April when they came to Zambia for the first time to meet the little girl they were going to adopt, a two-year old heart breaker named Mary. In June Patti returned to Zambia to complete the adoption and bring Mary home, a process that should have taken no longer than three weeks…so here we are six weeks later to tell of the miracle of Mary. Trouble was a brewin’ when the courts went on strike the first week Patti and Megan (our missionary who helps facilitate adoption) were here, essentially putting a halt on any progress to be made. Working with the Zambian government is difficult at the best of times, it makes it even more difficult to work with when they refuse to work. The strike ended about a week later but the effects of the strike lingered delaying the getting into court to get things finalized on the Zambian side. Then a four day Zambian holiday put another obstacle into it all compiled with a stubborn passport guy (I believe Passport Guy is indeed his official title!) who has the ability to bring forth adult tears in his office, helped delay progress even more.

Finally, with things finished with the Zambian side it was off to the American embassy to get documentation and a visa so that Mary could go home. This has always been the smoothest part of the process…until this time. A new hard nosed lady in the embassy decided to make things difficult and was requiring that they provide the embassy with a death certificate of Mary’s mother to prove she was in fact an orphan and Patti was not abducting her. I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to find official documentation in Zambia but to give you an idea…the filing systems in government and official offices is comprised of stacks and stacks of papers on the floor with little rhyme or reason to it. So trying to find a death certificate from a woman who lived and died in a compound is nearly impossible. To complicate things further their flights were continually having to be pushed back and changed in the busy season of flying where little was available and the cost of changing was substantial, compounded by the fact that Patti had left her two young children and husband behind in Indiana for well over a month now. With this new requirement hope suddenly looked very bleak that realistically they could get what they needed and fly out mid Thursday. Suddenly the horrible reality set in that this adoption may not work and Patti would have to leave Mary behind because what the embassy required was impossible to find. Tuesday and Wednesday things did not go well again with working with the embassy and there was only Thursday morning left before there flight. There was only one hope of left of trying to submit a letter from the nuns and the orphan home where Mary was first dropped off to try and satisfy the requirements of the embassy. So under the cover of darkness on Wednesday we set off with a letter to be signed by the sister at the home which didn’t say what the embassy wanted but short of making things up it was the best we could do. We had the Sister sign it and raced to the embassy. I stayed in the car with Mary. On the way in Megan suddenly realized that they had the wrong paper and the one they needed we had left with the sister. So back to the nunnery! We got the right paper and raced back, not without a Chinese fire drill in front of the embassy so I could go park the car with Mary. Now this was a long shot by far but God is a God of miracles and on July 12, 2007 a miracle occurred. With hours until their flight was supposed to leave the embassy accepted the letter and granted Mary her visa to go home Indiana. To God be the glory because there was no way this should have worked in the situation we were in. So on Thursday Patti and Mary Hupp took to the air to go home. I think God taught us all a lot through this situation. Of the many things onne being the power and necessity of prayer. Another, that our plans are not God’s plans but he alone is God and is in control.

So that’s the story of Mary. We are so excited for the Hupp family. You can check out pictures on my blog and flickr site: (go to the photographs link in the sidebar for more pictures). Take care!


I will tell of Your miracles, I will sing of Your deeds

You did not keep silent, You did not hide your power from us

Though our hearts grew faint and we could not see

Your remained faithful to an undeserving people

Your grace and mercy abounded

Christ has conquered our enemy

You made a way where we could not go alone

You led us despite our unbelief and have humbled us

Your work sings of your power and glory

You are the Living God, our life, our hope, our victory

May we live all our days for You, for You are good, Your love endures forever.

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