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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Down the Long Road
It has been a little bit since our last update.  The nature of the adoption process, as we are finding out, is that there is a lot of waiting.  First, let me give you an update on the total amount raised by the Walk of Hope.

I want to give you a conservative number, since not all of the money has come in.  Currently, the amount is right around $2500.00.  I am praying that it will ultimately be about $3,000 by the time all the money comes in.  We hope to be getting the check in the mail soon to the Orphanage in Peru.  You can see more about this orphanage here.

So what now?  Well, we are currently in a lot of discussions with the placement agency in Alabama.  It would be soooo much easier if these conversations could take place face to face, but the staff at Lifeline has been terrific.  Literally they have spent nearly two hours on the phone with us in just the last week.  There have been a couple of hiccups and some things that still need to be ironed out. We knew this process would be long, and we appreciate you patience and ask that you continue to pray and send notes of encouragement along the way.  We have some major decisions that will need to be made in the next week, and we would love for you to pray for wisdom.  I cannot be more specific at the moment, but I will give an update after the fact.  For now, please pray!

In many ways, Erika and I feel like we are blazing a new trail, in that we do not know what we are doing, and have had to work really hard for the information.  Erika has been a great help in the research and information side of things!  Hopefully, God will use what we are learning to enable us to help other families in the years ahead!

If you would like to donate, or send a word of encouragement, please do so via this blog, or you can call or text my cell# 910-742-4888. 

Again, I wish we had more to share at this point, but this is part of the process.  We covet your prayers and support.  Thanks!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Well...the walk is done! My wife and children came to Myrtle Beach and picked me up (literally) on Wednesday late afternoon.  The support via text message and twitter was overwhelming!  I was humbled by all of the people who took the time to send words of encouragement.  I wanted to write this post to give you a recap.

I did not make the 110 miles I had planned.  Due to the injury to my knee on Tuesday, I had to stop early and be driven to my overnight stop at the Rose Bed and Breakfast in Calabash. More about that in a minute.  This unexpected event meant a loss of some miles on Tuesday that I was unable to make up.  I did walk the distance needed on Wednesday, but fell short overall by 15 miles.  So I walked 95 miles over 3 days.  I was a little disappointed, but I still felt good that I walked farther than I had ever walked before, and I did make it to Myrtle Beach!

So many people helped make this walk successful, and I would like to say THANK YOU!  I would also like to say thank you to the owners of Rose Bed & Breakfast in Calabash, NC.  Warren and Nancy generously donated a room for me to sleep in Tuesday night, and were warm and gracious hosts.  If you are ever going to Myrtle Beach, please consider staying over at the Rose.  You will not regret it.  Information can be found at .  

Yesterday, which was Thanksgiving was a wonderful opportunity to eat and that order.  My feet and legs are quite sore, but mending quickly.  I am thankful that God gave me this opportunity.  There were many times along the way that I wanted to quit.  Many things kept me going.  I thought of all those who were supporting me financially and emotionally.  I thought of the orphans around the world who just need someone to help them.  I tried to imagine my pain in some way identifying with the pain they face every day living without a family, or adequate food and shelter.  Then someone pointed out that the pain I was in could be my "labor pains"!  I think they are right!  I am also grateful for my wife who supported me every step of the way, and held down the fort while here husband was out walking! I love her!

I will post soon regarding the total amount raised, as some of the donations are still coming in.  If you have committed to help are would like to now, please let me know as soon as possible.  I would like for the donations to be in by the end of November.  Thank you so much!

The journey is not over.  It didn't end at Myrtle Beach.  We still have so far to go.  Please continue to pray with us as we pursue God's will in our lives concerning adoption.  If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 910-742-4888 or email me through this blog.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From The Heart Of Children

These photos were taken this morning by one of our church members who teaches in a local Christian school.  Yesterday, jokes were read by different students and sent via text to encourage Pastor Mark as he walked.  Mrs. Tracey's students want to help and have been bringing in coins to support the Walk Of  Hope.  Shown here are the students giving money from their piggy banks!  Thanks to Tracey Sink's class, the Beginning Learning Center,  for their support throughout the walk. 

 You Tube update from this morning:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Been A Looong Road

The road seemed really long today, the second day of the Walk Of Hope.  Setting out on already sore feet from yesterday's trek, Mark began walking again early this morning.  Today's scenery was monotonous, with little to break it up.  There were some houses, but it consisted mostly of trees, trees, trees, and you guessed it! More trees! The photo from today does have a few buildings in it, but there was just a lot of nothing to see, making it seem like he was making very slow progress.  A twisted knee, acquired this afternoon, is bringing the walk to an earlier halt than was planned, but Mark still walked for 8.5 hours today - quite a bit longer than the walking I did today!  Though a bit behind schedule to complete his goal, Mark is planning to rest his feet and give his knee a bit of time to recover in hopes that it will be well enough to allow him to finish his walk tomorrow.  Thanks for all the texts, Tweets, calls, and support today: he has not responded to many of them today but really appreciates everyone cheering him on.  Please keep them coming: tomorrow will be an even bigger challenge and encouragement will be needed and appreciated again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

And He's Off...

 It's here! Preparations for this Walk of Hope have been several weeks in the making, but now we are already three hours into it! 

 Our family arrived at our church parking lot this morning at about 6:45 and were met by four men from our church who came to pray with him and see Mark off.  It was a cool 54*, cloudy, and windy, but it was not (and is not) raining!!  (It rained all day yesterday and the chances for rain today were at 70%.  We have been praying about the weather and are excited to see an answer to that prayer.)

Mark stated that he feels like a trussed up turkey with all of the layers he is wearing for warmth and to keep the circulation moving in his legs. Armed with a backpack containing Gatorade, some snacks, reflective gear, and a cell phone, he and one of our church men started out.  He is planning to walk about 40 miles before stopping tonight, which will take a little over 11 hours at his current rate of speed.  Thanks to a borrowed solar phone charger, Mark will not have to worry about the battery on his phone dying, and calls or texts of encouragement are welcome. ((910) 742-4888)  If you text, Mark does request that you identify yourself (especially if he not likely to have your number) in the text so that he knows to whom he is responding.   As of 10:30 am, Mark is at the McDonald's in Hampstead.  You can see a video and follow his progress on Mark's Twitter account, @preacherfoster, or if you are not on Twitter, go to to see his Twitter feed. 

It is not too late to sponsor the walk! If you would like to be a sponsor, please fill out the form to the right of your screen and click submit. Thanks for your support.

 Here are the links to two of the you tube updates done today.  You may need to copy and paste the second one in order to view it (vs. just clicking on it).

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's a Family Thing

Adoption is a family thing.  It takes a family, and all of a family to be successful.  When we considered adoption we set our children down and asked their permission as well.  They were excited then and they are excited now.

Above is a picture of the Walk of Hope sweatshirts we had made up for next week's walk-a-thon.  Though I will be doing the walking alone, I could not do it without them.  I am not walking for myself.  I am walking for my family, and I am walking for the child who will soon become a member of the family.

For myself, I am proud to be the head of a family that is so willing to open their heart's and their home to a  precious children in need.  If you think about it, please pray for me on this coming Monday-Wednesday.  You can follow me on twitter @preacherfoster for updates. We could still use some additional sponsors so please pray whether God would have you help us.  I look forward to posting pictures and an update when the walk is complete.  Thank you!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Countdown to Adoption Walk

households,Photographs,sports,stop watches,stopwatches,timers,timing watches,watches
One week from today I will begin the longest walk of my life.  I have trained, and prepared myself to the best of my ability.  Succeed or fail, I will be going for it.  Many people have expressed interest in helping.  I thought I would post the following ways you can help.

1. Financially!!!  Ok, I know people are stretched right now, but the recent elections show us that people have money to give to what they are concerned about.  I am concerned about the plight of the fatherless.  Our family has decided to do something about it.  Won't you help?  Every donation helps.  Really!

2. Prayerfully.  Let me know you will be praying.  I will need strength beyond my ability to complete the walk in the allotted time.  Please pray for safety and strength to complete the journey.

3. Logistically.  If you are a local, then there are other ways you can help.  I will need someone to meet me at designated times to bring me food and replenish my liquids.  I will need someone to bring my night bag to the hotels where I will be staying.  Can you help?  Call me and let me know! 910-742-4888

We still have a long way to go before we are able to cross the finish line of adoption.  We have so much to learn and so far to travel, but I believe that if we do what we can, God will do the rest.  I also believe He will touch the hearts of others to help along the way.  Remember, He is concerned about the fatherless!  Will you pray about what God would have you do?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Doing What You Can

We are coming down to less than 20 days until the Walk-a-Thon.  There are days when I am overwhelmed with the enormity of the task of adoption.  The cost alone is prohibitive, and then there are all of the other giants that mock and tell you that it can't be done.  They are right.  It can't be done.  That's what is so great!

Yesterday I set out to walk 24 miles in one stretch, along the route I will be taking during the actual walk-a-thon.  Up to this point the farthest I have walked at one time is twelve miles.  To be honest it was tough.  There were a number of times I wondered what I was doing!  I did it though.  Someone asked the question, "Based on your walk yesterday, how do you feel about the actual walk coming up?"  My answer was simple. "I think it's impossible.  That's why I can't wait to get started!" 

Let's face it, sometimes God calls you to do something impossible. So what do you do?  You do what you can, and trust God to do the rest!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Why Peru?

'Questions' photo (c) 2008, dsb nola - license:
We have had a number of people ask us questions regarding our adoption decision.  Most of these questions have been sincere questions by people who are honestly curious.  Adoption is one of those issues that gets people talking, and thats a good thing.  I thought I would try to answer some of the questions concerning my family's decision to adopt.

I have given a lot of thought to this article.  My wife may write her own article about this topic soon, but these are my feelings on the matter. I trust this will answer questions for those who are genuinely curious. I will list the questions that have been asked, followed by my answer.
1. How did you come to the decision to adopt from Peru? wife and I put all the countries in a hat and closed our eyes and reached into the hat...  Of course we didn't do it that way.  Our decision to adopt from Peru was more of a process of prayer and elimination.  We were open at the beginning to anywhere.  In fact, Peru was not even on our radar. When the decision to adopt was made, we began seeking information and trying doors.  Many of those doors seemed to be locked.  Many of those doors, which at first seemed open, were later shut.  One by one God slowly directed us, through much prayer and discussion, to the country of Peru.  He used a relationship we have with a Missionary family in the country of Peru to help solidify this decision.  Most of the major decision my wife and I have made have happened just this way.  God slowly narrows down the direction until there seems to be one option remaining.  I am not saying that God may not still change this, but for now we believe this is the direction.
2. Are you adopting because you cannot have any more children naturally? No.  Somewhere people get the idea that the only people who should adopt are those who can't have children of their own, or people whose children are all grown.  My wife and I have no incapacity to conceive.  This is a choice we made after much prayer, to open our home to a child who had none. By the way, we asked the permission of our children as well.  They are excited about the idea of a new sibling! 

3. Why are you adopting from a foreign country when there are so many children right here in America that need homes?  Wow, talk about a tough one!  This is a question which while most have asked sincerely, there have been some who have seemed almost offended.  I will try to answer this carefully. First of all, let me express that I am not quite sure why this is such an issue for people.  Perhaps it is Patriotism?  Americans should only adopt American orphans?  Perhaps it is concern about Immigration.  "There are too many people from other countries coming here already".  We in America are not opposed to legal immigration.  It is illegal immigration with which we have a problem..  There are those who have a problem with it because of the racial differences.  I am trying to be careful, but my question to those would be this: Which ethnic group is American?  American is a nationality, not an ethnicity.  America has always been a melting pot of different ethnic groups.  We are all Americans.  So my natural question is: Does it matter what ethnicity I adopt so long as they are an American?
Secondly, I do not believe adoption has borders.  There are just children everywhere that need a home.  Here or there, the need is the same.  
4. Are you adopting from Peru because it is cheaper to adopt from a foreign country?  No.  If anything it is far cheaper to adopt from the U.S. There are many programs which make adoption much more affordable in the U.S. than from a foreign country.  Also the requirements are no less.  We still must meet all of the U.S. requirements just as if we were going to adopt from the States, then there are the requirements of the foreign country.  It is actually quite a bit more expensive and demanding to adopt from another country.  So why are we doing it?   Because it is not a matter of nationality, cost, convenience or anything else but the decision to follow God wherever He leads.  Right now, that seems to be Peru.
I am sure there are many more questions that I will be asked as the process moves forward.  If you have a question or comment regarding this post, I would love for you to leave one in the comment section below.  If you disagree, feel free to leave a comment, but please be appropriate.  Please also bear in mind that these are simply our reasons.  They do not have to be yours. I am not saying everyone should do as we are doing.  I am saying we are doing so because we believe God has led us this way.  We cannot make a difference to every orphan in the world, whether we adopt from the U.S. or Peru. However, we believe we can make a difference to one.  That is our desire.
Thanks to those who have offered your support thus far.  We have a great ways still to go.  If you would like to help, please consider donating financially to our endeavor by clicking on the Donate button to the right of the screen.  Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Walking for Hope

'Walk in Icho Namiki' photo (c) 2011, Jordi Sanchez Teruel - license:
The date is set!

On November 19-21 I will be walking from Holly Ridge, NC to Myrtle Beach SC!  The distance will be Approximately 110 miles!  Please pray as we begin organizing this event.  Currently I am planning on walking alone, but I will need your help and support.  Would you consider sponsoring me for this event?  Every bit helps.

I am partnering with New Life Children's Home in Peru.  You can find their information Here or by going to  They are lending their support to this event and I will be sharing the proceeds 50/50  so if you sponsor me you will also be helping the homeless children in the country of Peru.

Why are we doing a fundraiser?  My wife and I will need approximately $2,500.00  to take the first steps forward.  These costs will cover services provided by our placement agency.  This is a necessary part of the process and we are praying that God will provide this money in His time.  I am just hoping His time is now! Haha!

What can you do?

1. email me at and let me know you are in, and for how much.

2. click on the donation link on this blog and donate now.

3. begin praying now for strength and additional support.

Will you pray about helping us?  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Let the Fund Begin!

Sorry for the horrible play on words in the title!

I want to let you know about the first fundraiser we are having to help cover the cost of adoption. 

In the early part of November, I will be walking approximately 110 miles, from Holly Ridge, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC.  I am asking for churches, businesses, and individuals to consider sponsoring me either per mile or a one time donation. 

I am partnering with a licensed Christian orphanage in Peru, and the funds raised will be split 50/50.  I believe God can help us to raise a large portion of the $30,000.00 needed, even in this tough economy.  God is concerned with the fatherless!

In the next couple of days I will post the details on where you can sign up to help, and a list of things needed to make the walk successful.  Will you please pass the word for us?  Thank you!

Check back soon for an update, or subscribe to be notified by email.

Friday, September 28, 2012

It Begins With A Dream...

Like most things, our decision to adopt began with a dream: my dream that is.  I don't think my wife ever dreamed she would find herself on this journey!  

For many years my dream remained locked in my heart behind a door labeled "Maybe Someday".  Then a little over a year ago, things began happening which made me start searching for the key to that room!  Conversations between my wife and I began happening.  She began showing an openness to the idea that I had never seen before.  She began praying and then not too many months ago, she informed me that she was in agreement.  I had a green light! 

We began gathering information, and were overwhelmed!  How was this even possible!  The costs we found were staggering!  They still are.  I confess that I began to be fearful.  Maybe I had jumped the gun a little on this one.  I allowed some months to pass and simply prayed for God to give me clear direction.  He answered.

Through some phone calls and further prayer, God has led us to the country of Peru.  We believe that this is the place from where God has chosen to add to our family.  I am excited!

We have informed our Families and our Church.  They are supportive, which is nice!  We are currently in the process of raising money.  The costs will amount to somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000.00!  We don't have that much lying around!

I am currently working on a bold fundraiser which I will blog about soon.  For now, please pray with us.  Take a moment and leave a comment of encouragement.  We are not naive about the road ahead. We have prayed much, and sought much counsel.  We are moving ahead.  

Soon we will have a link on the site where you can donate if you would like to help.  Untill then, I can be reached at 910-742-4888 


You may send correspondence to 
Mark Foster
P.O. Box 477
Holly Ridge, NC 28445