Interview with Pastor Greg Whiting: a beautiful adoption story

Today’s interview is with Greg Whiting, a husband, father, pastor, and one of my closest friends in college.  God has given Greg and his wife, Teresa, a beautiful adoption story. When the two of us were in college together, neither one of us had any idea that God would one day grow our future families through adoption.  I have always enjoyed hearing Greg and Teresa’s adoption story. It is not difficult to see God at work within it.

Greg is pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Westlake, Ohio.

(1) Tell us a little about your family.

Teresa and I will have been married for 14 years in June of 2008. We have 5 awesome children: Isabella, age 12, her twin brother Alex; Breanna, age 8; Caleb, age 7, and his twin sister, Gabrielle. Although I am a pastor, we try not to put any extra expectations on our children, and teach them that we are greatly blessed by God to serve Him in ministry. There is a lot of laughter in our home, and crying, and arguing and complaining. We tried to order the perfect kid package from God, but I guess the other pastors got lucky. We have enjoyed seeing how God put our family together and watching each of them go through these beginning growing stages of life. We are truly blessed.

(2) What initially motivated you to adopt?

I would like to say that we have always had a heart for adoption, and just couldn’t wait to see whom God had for us. But, that is not how this came about. Before we were married, Teresa and I made our plan. We wanted to have several children, but wait about a year before getting pregnant. Since Teresa’s sisters and family heritage made it seem like pregnancies came easily, we thought that when we were ready (in our estimation), she would get pregnant and our plan would be under way. However, once we started “trying”, we were not able to get pregnant. As we neared 3 years of marriage, we took some tests and were told by doctors that we might not be able to get pregnant. At that time, we decided not to pursue other tests or procedures in trying to get pregnant. Continue reading

The Louks: an interview about caring for Romanian orphans (part 2)

This is the second and concluding portion of my interview with Joshua Louk. The first part can be read here. Joshua and Laurel’s personal ministry blog is

You have a particular interest in ministry to orphans. What motivates that?

The Lord used a CNN documentary called “Easy Prey” to plant a burden in my heart for Romania’s abandoned children. Seeing the hopelessness in the eyes of the street children, I longed for them to know the hope and love of Christ. As I and my wife searched the Scriptures, God used His Word, prayer, and a survey trip to Romania to confirm and to amplify our desire to take the gospel to these children. Some specific passages the Lord used include Proverbs 31:8-9, which says,”Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy”; James 1:27 which says,”Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and keep oneself unstained from the world”; and James 2:16 which says, “and [if] one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” God also used a study of Matthew in our hearts. The value that Jesus places on children and their nurture and training is astounding. Continue reading

The Louks: an interview about caring for Romanian orphans (part 1)

When adoptions from Romania came to a halt a few years ago, there was a bit of noise from the U.S. adoption community and probably a probably a flurry of articles in the press. But by now, the plight of Romanian orphans has dropped off nearly everyone’s radar. I’ve wanted to blog about Romanian adoption and Romanian orphan care in the past, but I haven’t had time to do the research, and I don’t have any first-hand experience. So I was thrilled to receive a prayer letter from some old friends, Joshua and Laurel Louk, who have recently visited orphan facilities in Romania and plan to go back to work with orphans after raising support from churches in the U.S. (Joshua and Laurel’s personal ministry blog is After reading the Louks’ letter, I contacted Joshua and asked whether he would give me an interview. He graciously consented.

I’m breaking my interview with the Joshua Louk into two parts. Here’s the first.

Tell us a little about yourselves.

I received a B.A. in Bible and an M.A. in church history. My wife, Laurel received a B.S. in public relations journalism, an M.S. in counseling, and an M.A. in church history.

We met during our undergraduate years Continue reading