7 April 2024


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Joelle Zoey Pope was born on April 3, 2024, at 3:52 PM.  7 lbs 9oz.  19 ¾ inches long.  During this pregnancy, we got to travel to Mexico and Guatemala.  Many family members, friends, and missionaries were so excited that we were going to have another baby.  We are very thankful to finally meet Joelle. 


Some people ask us why we chose the name Joelle.  We chose the name Joelle largely because of its meaning:  “Jehovah is God.”  It is the female version of the name Joel, a prophet in the Bible.  Jehovah or Yahweh or often written as LORD (in all caps) in English translations of the Bible means “I AM.”  It is the personal name for God that He gave to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus.  Recently, we have been reading through the Book of Exodus as a family.  We are reminded that the LORD is the only true God.  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3 [ESV]).  In a time where there are many gods, spiritual beliefs, and even ideas that there is no God, we need to be connected to the One True God of the Bible.


So where did the name Zoey come from?  Zoey comes from the Greek word “ζωή,” which is the word for “life” in the original language of the New Testament.  It is used 135 times.  Here are a few of the “life verses” that are meaningful to us:


“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  --John 10:10 [ESV]


We live in a culture of death and destruction.  The thief (the devil) tries to steal Jesus’ Words of Life from people in order to set them on a path that only leads to death and eventually destruction.  However, Jesus came to bring abundant life and life “to the full” as other translations put it.


Perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible emphasizes the fact that the life Jesus gives us is forever or eternal:


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” --John 3:16 [ESV]


Another writing of John clarifies the necessity of having Jesus in order to have a true life:


“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  --1 John 5:12 [ESV]


There are many more “life verses” we could share, but it is our desire that Joelle Zoey Pope will experience the true, abundant, and eternal life that only the True God can give her through His Son Jesus Christ.  And that she would joyfully share this life with many others.


Another reason why we chose the name Zoey is that when Sherwood called our friend Duane, a missionary serving in Guatemala, to tell him about the pregnancy, he just started praying life over this newly conceived child.  Later, while we were in Guatemala, he continued to pray for life when we thought that something had gone very wrong with the pregnancy.  We are thankful that by God’s will, all was well and we now have Joelle in our arms.




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We know that ultimately each life is in God’s hands.  Almost exactly 14 years ago, with our first daughter, things did not go as we had hoped.  You can read Esther’s story here.  But for many years, we have continued to acknowledge that Jehovah is God.


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