Donate to Angels Exist Foundation to help Selena!

Go to any Wells Fargo location and tell them you would like to make a Donation to the Angels Exist Foundation (WF will take your donation directly and wire it to our foundation account)

Donate via PayPal here

Purchase an Angels Exist Foundation survival bracelet here

Angels Exist : Selena
Years of God's faithfulness: Happy Birthday Selena!!

About one month ago, on April 28th, Selena Grace had her 7th birthday. The party that the family put together for her was amazing and it doesn't get much cutter than Selena in her bumble bee costume. In the States, Angela, Nathan and I (Charity, our 8 week old, just watched...), made a birthday cake and celebrated Selena's life together with our parents. We also nervously released a sky lantern over a near-by field near my parent's house. I don't think it made it all the way to Guatemala but we wrote Bible verses on it that have guided us through this season of waiting as well as birthday wishes for Selena. Nathan also scribbled his love for his Guatemalan sister. There are a couple of verses that have guided us along and have been a constant comfort and foundation under our feet.



"No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11

"I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it." Isaiah 46:9-10

I'm not sure when God's sovereignty over everything was taught to me but I am unashamedly confident it is what the Bible teaches about God. He controls big things, small things, seemingly unimportant things and even broken adoption laws that are still yet to be repaired. This doctrine of God's control probably came in waves for me. Angela and I were members of the Village Church for seven years where we were introduced to a teaching by Matt Chandler called, "Two wills of God." This teaching/sermon was focused on the context of salvation, but addressed a lot issues regarding God's control. It resonated with me, not having grown up in a church that said such things, but I was reading these kinds of things in the Bible. Then after some time processing Matt's teaching it was recommended that I check out a teacher from Minnesota named John Piper. He's a pastor/author that has had a huge impact on the staff of the Village and I soon learned why. He showed me through many of his books and teachings that God guides every aspect of our lives and ordains even the difficulties. And that can create a lot of problems in your brain if you do not have categories for such things but the Bible had already created those categories for me, I just had not put the pieces together with such clarity. Piper helped me see.

This doctrine has been a rock that we as a family stand on in the midst of waiting for the adoption laws to change.  It also gives an amazing amount of confidence that God knows every single piece of every single part our story, even the most minute details. I don't know what I would do without such a precious doctrine. I am glad that the God of the Bible, the one true God, is this kind of God.

-Walker

 
Jan 30 2013

Many of you who have been following our story know that we have been prayerfully pursuing the adoption of Selena for a very long time, 5 years to be exact. It can cause so much anxiety and impatience, and sometimes I get so weary in this never ending process. When something seems so out of my control I tend to clasp down on everything around me and micro-manage a lot of areas in my life. This creates frustration and causes tension in our home often. Recently the Lord brought to memory a conversation Angela and I had with a friend of ours who loves Selena very much, and I was reminded of a truth that has the ability to steady my boat in this sea of uncertainty, and I wanted to share that with those that love Selena.

We recently moved cities, which caused us to move churches, but for seven years our home was the Village church in Flower Mound. This was a very special place that the Lord used mightily to impact our lives.

It was our first out of the country mission trip, with the Village, where we met Selena. Well, at church one Sunday night our good friend, Linda DeVault, was in attendance. She holds a special place in our hearts because she is one of the missionaries in Guatemala that took care of Selena when she was sick for a while. She takes little short breaks from her mission work and comes into Dallas sometimes and attends a church service, so it was especially exciting to see her there at the service. With four services you rarely see anyone you know so we were so excited and welcomed her with some very big hugs.

She has journeyed with us since the beginning with Selena so she holds some authority when she talks about the situation. She pulled us aside and told us she wanted to tell us something. She knew that the adoption process had stalled and we were now waiting until the country changes it's law, which could be a while. She said, "This is going to be hard to hear but your pursuit and adoption will be impossible." And she lingered. It didn't sit well with me and it just caused me to pause for a sec. She then picked up with a smile, "but when God does something that doesn't seem impossible but is impossible, that is when He gets the most glory." She hugged us and told us she was always praying for us and Selena and then we said our goodbyes.

I imagine to a lot of people what Linda told us seems very discouraging. And at first, that's how it sat with me too. But then the Lord started to gently remind me that what she said was true. That what she said was Biblical. Think of the story of Joseph. Seventeen years! Seventeen years, he faced terrible impossible circumstances.

But Genesis 50:19-20 gives us the bedrock that would allow someone to face something like that. Joseph tells his brothers, "What you meant for evil, God meant it for good." What? God meant it? What does that mean. I'm confident, with the rest of the Bible supporting me, that God allows us or even guides us through difficulty because he has good and wise purposes of doing so. Even writing that last sentence feels anti-intuitive and it is. It goes against our human intuition. But God stands above us. He stands with an impeccable record. He stands with a character that's unchanging. He stands with purposes for our good and his glory, always! This is what I have to preach to myself every time I feel my heart start to get frustrated that Christian people, from America, cannot adopt special needs children, from Guatemala.

Every time my heart feels up with sorrow, and longing and gets so heavy it feels like I can't breathe.

So let us pray for the impossible. Believe that the impossible is not a detour but a pathway to God's glory. Thank you for all of you who have been following our story. Please keep Selena, Nufito, Mimi, and Junior in your prayers. And thank you for any of you that do currently or have ever contributed to meet the monthly financial needs of Selena and the family. Grace and Peace.

-Walker

 
Dec 12 2012

We just recently returned from our yearly visit to see Selena and the Echeverria family. What an amazing trip! This trip took us to San Marcos, a city we had never been to before, as the family recently moved there to plant a church. It is a beautiful little town with beautiful people. Selena is doing so well. She is growing like a weed and is so happy. We cannot say enough about the Echeverria family and the love they have for sweet Selena. They take care of her like she was their very own child. A bit of good news that we learned while there was that Selena no longer needs any medications, including her seizure medication according to her neurologist. This is such a huge blessing because the medications made Selena very drowsy. We had never seen her so alert and vibrant! What a blessing! We are of course including new pictures of our sweet angel.

Since returning from our trip several things have happened. One being a praise and one being a prayer request. The praise: Angels Exist Foundation put on a benefit fundraiser last week for Selena and it was a huge success! Our hearts were overwhelmed and overflowing by the end of the night. So many people were so very generous with their time and money, all because they know how special Selena is and ultimately because of their love for the Lord. The prayer request: San Marcos, Guatemala recently had a large earthquake and the town is in shambles. Our gracious Lord protected Selena and the Echeverria family and their home but many were not so fortunate.

Please pray for the broken hearts and homes there in a part of the world that has so little to begin with. Our hearts are broken for them.

Lastly we would like to say thank you to everyone who has read our story, prayed for Selena and supported her. We pray that God would bless you to abundance for your generosity. The Echeverria family would like you to know how grateful they are as well. They always pray that God would return double to you!

 
Our Story

Meeting SelenaWe went to Guatemala with our church in July 2008. There was a special little surprise waiting at an orphanage for us there. Her name was Selena. She stole our hearts and we have not been the same since. She was so tiny even though she was already 2 years old. She was also very weak and lethargic. She was not even able to sit up on her own. I wondered at that time if sweet little Selena was born this way or if she was just malnourished and needed fattening up. We found out that Selena had recently been dropped off at the orphanage and that she came from a small village in the mountains with no running water and very little resources. Later we learned that Selena had been rescued out of an abusive home. We prayed fervently while we there about what our role would be in little Selena's life. We felt God calling us to something big. We were in love in such a way that can only be explained as “God love.”

The orphanage had about 100 children living there and they were understaffed which made it difficult for them to adequately care for a child like Selena who needed so much. It became apparent that Selena would need a home but we had no say in the matter at that time.

In the hospitalWe left Guatemala excited and heart broken. We immediately began looking into the international adoption process when we got home. What we found were a lot of closed doors. As of right now, the US has closed the door on Guatemalan adoption (this happened in 2007 and it is still closed to this day). Then to make matters worse, Selena got VERY sick. She spent a little while in the ICU with high fever, pneumonia, and anemia. The doctors were not very hopeful. We prayed and pleaded for our little girl while we awaited daily phone calls to give us updates on her health. Within 3 days, God did the impossible. He brought her back.

The doctors all agreed that Selena needed more care than the orphanage could provide after being so sick. The orphanage agreed to let her stay with a missionary friend of ours from our local church living in Guatemala. There she was able to get the attention and care that she needed to thrive. At first Selena was having a very difficult time eating. We then began praying that God would give her the ability to drink from a bottle and swallow, as this was very hard for her. God again did the impossible. She began eating and gaining weight.

Physical TherapyWe went back to Guatemala in September 2008 to visit Selena. When we saw Selena this time it became more evident that Selena did in fact have cerebral palsy. This was something we suspected when we met her but was unsure at the time. Now she was healthier and stronger but still unable to sit on her own or even hold her head up. But one thing was certain; we loved her more than ever. We were scared because we knew that she still had many obstacles ahead of her. She had started physical therapy and was making gains. She is so tough and we are so proud of her. Leaving this time was even harder because we knew that eventually Selena was going back to the orphanage. In the meantime, our missionary friend needed to get back to work during the day. We needed a baby sitter. This is where Mimi Echeveria comes in. She had met Selena at church and had also fallen head over heels in love with her. She agreed to keep Selena during the day without hesitation. This was temporary however, and Selena had to go back to the orphanage. We were scared and heart sick because we had less contact with her and were not sure how she was doing there.

MimiIn November of 2008 Josh lost his teaching job. This was unexpected but the Lord used this in an amazing way. There was a team from our church headed back to Guatemala that month and Josh went with them just to hang with Selena at the orphanage. During his week there he spent most of his days at the orphanage with Selena. It was so good to see her but she was struggling to stay healthy there and it became evident that the orphanage would not be a good place for to stay. They did not have the resources needed to care for a child with cerebral palsy. She would need one on one care for the rest of her life. Enter the Echeverria family back into the story. Remember, Mimi Echeverria had assisted in nursing Selena back to health and had fallen head over heels in love with her in the process (this is very easy to do because Selena is so sweet and lovable). She and her husband Nufito, along with their 24-year old son Junior, agreed that they would take care of Selena for as long as it took for international adoption to open up. That was nearly 4 years ago. They are truly a gift from God in our lives. They are now her legal guardians in Guatemala. They take Selena to her physical therapy sessions, they feed her, clothe her and love her as if she were their own. We know all of this because we visit as often as we With Mimi and Nufitocan (now once a year) and we have contact with them nearly weekly if not daily through email, Skype and text messaging. What a blessing technology is! In the process they have become our second family as well. We trust and love them very much. On top of everything that they have done for Selena, they are now church planters. They are helping with a local church plant in the city of San Marcos and have recently moved from Huehue to there to share the love of Christ with the people there. We can not say enough about the strength of this families love for the Lord. It is amazing and very encouraging to us.

Living in Guatemala with a special needs child is not easy of course and there are plenty of expenses that come along with that. FamilyIt’s hard to believe that Selena is 6 years old now. She is doing well but requires a lot of assistance and care. She receives various types of physical therapy and seizure medication on top of the cost of food, clothing and overall care. Over time we have purchased different kinds of things like strollers and even found a way to get them enough money to purchase a small reliable car (there old car is a story in and of itself, trust me). Mimi is not able to work outside the home because Selena needs 24/7 care and Mimi has so graciously and lovingly devoted her life to Selena, and she knows that Selena is worth it. We have supported this dear family for 4 years, as we know that God has called us to do so and it is our joy to do so. After prayer and recent conversations with friends, we feel lead to allow others the opportunity to partner with us and be a blessing to this wonderful family as well. Would you please prayerful consider how you might be able to help, and if you would like to donate to this sweet family please click the link below and follow the instructions. Angels Exist is a foundation set up to help support children with medical needs. On their website is a link for Selena. All donations are tax deductible and guaranteed to bless families that need support. We plan on keeping a running blog, full of updates and pictures along the way. Our story is one where ultimately God will be glorified in the trial of waiting and joy of trusting him along his path.

Below is a breakdown of all of Selena’s and the family’s monthly needs and the cost:

Physical Therapy: $26.41
Medication: $100.00
Food/clothing/overall care: $200.00
Money for the family to pay bills etc. as Mimi is not able to work: $187.52
Total Monthly Cost: $513.93

How you can pray:

Smiling

  • Pray for the Lord to open up international adoption in Guatemala. Selena is so blessed to have the love of a family but many children are not so fortunate. Orphanages in Guatemala are over crowded and low on resources since the country closed and many children are lacking the love of a family.
  • Pray that we would be able to adopt Selena when adoption opens. We love her as if she were our own child and would be beyond blessed to make that official.
  • Pray that the Lord would continue to provide for all of her needs and ultimately that He would heal her.

 

Thank you,
Josh and Angela Walker


 

Donate

Go to any Wells Fargo location and tell them you would like to make a Donation to the Angels Exist Foundation (WF will take your donation directly and wire it to our foundation account)

Donate via PayPal here

Purchase an Angels Exist Foundation survival bracelet here