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Labor of love

Many of you know our dear friend Aron from Africa or have heard us talk about him. My family met Aron about 5 years ago at the Olive Garden in Orange. He was our waiter and my Pops instantly became best friends with him at dinner that night. Aron told us a little bit about his story (since my pops asked about his family) and instantly we were drawn to him. We left him a big tip and my mom, megan and I came back 2 days later to find him. We sat in his area and tried to get to know him more. Finally we all exchanged contact information and from that day on Aron has been part of our family. When we met Aron it had been 5.5 years since he had seen his wife and sons. They were stuck in a tiny country in Africa and could not get out and he could not get back in. Our hearts were broken for him, all we could do was pray. Aron would bring over the latest DVDs of his family and play them for us. He has 3 sons who are just incredible. They know 5 different languages and can recite the Bible. They are so in love with the Lord and their Faith is unlike anything we've seen. We have learned so much through these boys. The country they are from is extremely dangerous. They hate Christians, therefore there are no churches there. All the services are done in homes and the military walks the streets listening for worship music or any sign of a Bible study. If they are suspicious of one taking place inside a home they will raid it. If you are caught then the military will lock you up in what looks like a storage trailer (more like a dumpster with no way out). No one ever survives in one and they are left to die. Aron's family's house was raided last year and his sons flew out the windows and made it to safety. To make a really long and great story a bit shorter, I will get to the end of this... It has now been 10.5 years since Aron has seen his wife and children. His youngest son was 6 months old when he had to leave, the youngest is now 11, the middle son is now 13 and the oldest is 17. We have been praying diligently for this family to be reunited in the Lords perfect timing. There were times when it seemed like it was never going to happen. Aron had to jump through so many hoops to get to the next step and just when it seemed like he got over a hill, a mountain was placed in front of him. One thing that amazed me was Aron's persistence. He never gave up and more so never gave up on the Lord. He trusted in Him every single step of the way and placed his family in God's hands. His family on the other side of the world was doing the same, praying continuously...never giving up!! 5 months ago his wife and 2 of the sons were able to escape the country and fled to Egypt. There, they waited for their entrance visas to the US. Meanwhile, Aron's oldest son has not been able to leave the country. He is at the age where it is mandatory for him to join the (awful) military. Aron hired smugglers to get Marhowie out of the country, the first try was in April and it failed. The borders were covered with military and it was far too dangerous. We were deep in prayer praying for Marhowie's protection and for the perfect timing to come for him to escape. After a month of trying to escape once they tried again and were successful!! It was a bit scary but he made it and is now in Sudan waiting for his entrance visa to our country. Yesterday I got the best call, one of the best I have ever received. Aron called and I couldn't hear anything except "Praise God!!!" I called him back and a little voice picked up the phone, I didn't know what was going on....Aron got on the phone and exclaimed "Nikki, that was my son Ben, my family is in my arms!!!!" Ok, I was not ready for that. I was driving and its a good thing I had my hands free device on. I don't even remember what I said to Aron. I was crying and thanking the Lord. Have you ever had something that you have prayed soo hard for and in the Lord's perfect timing it was answered?! I'm pretty sure its going to be what labor is like. You pray soo incredibly hard for this and when it comes you are in absolute awe. We have labored in prayer over this situation for 5 years. For Aron it has been 10.5 years! There were times it seemed hopeless but we NEVER gave up! I can't even imagine what it was like for Aron to see his wife and 2 sons walk off the place and into his arms after being separated for over a decade! I cry every time I think about it because it's something that my heart and mind can't fathom. This past month my family and I have been trying to think of anything and everything that we can do to get their apartment stocked and furnished. My mom did a fabulous job with stocking their place with all the necessities and furnishings. Last night Chris picked up our old family dining table and I found some awesome couches on craigslist for them so my dad and chris picked them up. Aron came over last night with his youngest son Yoel to pick everything up. It was so amazing meeting that little guy! We felt like we already know him so well. Chris and I followed Aron and his son back to their apartment in Claremont with the couches and table and we got to meet the rest of the family!! His wife is such an amazing woman, she doesn't know english as well as the boys so there was a bit of a barrier between us but we didn't have to talk to express our love for each other. She went about her stuff in the kitchen and it was so beautiful listening to her praise the Lord. I understood every other word she sang. I sat on the couch and cried. Our hearts cry has been answered. It was more than an honor to help them move last night and get settled. I wish I had the energy to stay there all night and praise the Lord with them. It was an overwhelming experience. I can't imagine what they are feeling, we have just been on the outside of this miracle. Marhowie (oldest son) should hopefully arrive next month. Oh, how I can't wait to get that phone call and meet him!! This is a story of faith, true faith. They never gave up on the Lord, in times when it seemed impossible the Lord stretched them a little bit more and gave them the Faith and the endurance to keep running the race. Here we are 10.5 years later and their prayers have been answered. I hope this is an encouragement to someone to never give up. It is to our family. Our prayers and cries seem so small now compared to this family's but the Lord cares for each one just the same. His timing is so perfect and I can't tell you how amazing it is when your prayers are answered in His timing and not ours! He has been growing all of us through this. Our lives have been changed forever because of this family and their story. Our heart are overflowing with thanksgiving today. The Lord is so good. Never ever give up even when at times it seems your request is impossible...

Yoel, Aron and I


Unknown said…
What a moving story! I had to choke back tears as I read!!!
Ruth said…
PRAISE GOD!! Deliverance came for this family and is continuing! God will use them mightily in this country to pray and to praise HIM!!Thanks for sharing the story!

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