We are in a season of celebration.
Asher Francis Garber was born at 4:13 a.m. May 16, 2016, in Klaipedos Gimdymo Namai (the local birthing hospital).
If you've been following our story the past few years, that statement alone should be enough to explain why we are celebrating. If not, THIS POST from December 2014 should catch you up.
Although the birth itself did not go as we planned, we are excited to share that Asher is healthy, hungry, and happy!
So many photos!
What is the significance of the name?
Regarding "Asher," we liked the idea of a name either from the Bible or from nature. Asher is a name that kind of straddles both categories, with an ash being a type of tree and Asher being one of Jacob's sons and a tribe of Israel.
The middle name, "Francis," is in reference to Saint Francis of Assisi. Known for his love of nature, critique of capitalism, objection to violence, and vitally important efforts in reforming the early Christian church, we could think of no figure (aside from Jesus) whose life and message strikes a stronger chord within us.
What is the baby's nationality?
Asher has U.S. citizenship -- naturalization is not an option in Lithuania like it is in the United States.
What are your immediate plans?
We will remain in Lithuania until we receive Asher's passport and get the OK that he is good to travel. We anticipate this will be sometime July. Then we will travel to Barcelona. As we mentioned in a blog post in March, Spain is our next long-term destination for service and the community in Barcelona is very excited to meet Asher and get to know Alisha better.
After a short stay there, we will be heading to the United States to reconnect with family in the Midwest, attempt to network with additional churches for fundraising purposes, and finally settle back into the Phoenix Valley while we fundraise.
How can we support you?
We have all the baby clothes we could ever need for the next several months (thanks to a particular LCC student) and are, in general, good with baby "stuff" here in Lithuania. That said, if you're looking to support us, you could do one (or more) of the following:
- Donate through Mennonite Mission Network We have been incredibly blessed by the generosity of many, many people during our time at LCC International University and pray such giving continues as we prepare for our service in Spain.
- Connect us with your church Serving in Spain (and having a larger family) means we will need to raise more money to serve each year. Our home community -- the people of Trinity Mennonite Church -- has been beyond generous in their support these past four years, but we need to network with more communities in order for our service to be sustainable. If you think your church community would be interested in developing a partnership, please let us know!
- Prayer We have so much to learn as parents during this season of our lives and are experiencing an incredible amount of transition. We're also not entirely sure what the future looks like for us and a relying on God and God's people for support during the upcoming months. We ask for your prayers as we step out into the unknown.