Monday, November 9, 2009

Orphan Sunday

Last night was Orphan Sunday....I was so tired when I got home, I couldn't even spell the word "exhausted" correctly - ha!

Our family hung out at church all day yesterday, seeing no point in driving all the way back to Watertown just to turn around and drive all the way back to church. During our wait at church, we had some pretty amazing meetings!

First, a young man we have come to bump into regularly, walked through the doors. On a side note here, isn't it cool the way God brings certain people into your path over and over again? It's like he is saying, "I want you to get to know this person!" Well, the young man walked in desperately looking for a box of items from Nigeria that his wife grew up with and his Bible. He had looked everywhere and was starting to panic a bit. Thankfully, I had just seen a woman I have been working with a lot lately, who was in charge of the set-up and tear-down for Harvest Fest. She hadn't see me, I simply saw her moving a cart into the elevator. I suggested that I go to her office and see if she knew where his box might be.

While I was doing that, Joe and this young man sat next to the fireplace and chatted. Then this man asked Joe what he could pray for and then immediately got into pray over Joe's request. I love that! I am humbled by a young man who can instantly get into prayer with someone, not knowing them at all, but knowing they are brothers in Christ.

And...I found his box!

Then, another young man walked in and asked me if I knew where the lost and found was. He has lost his iPhone sometime between church and picking up his kids in the nursery. We walked together through the entire church looking for his phone. During our conversation, we discovered that we had a mutual friend - pretty cool. We did not find the phone, but we walked back to where Joe was sitting by the fireplace to get some paper to leave a note. That is when Joe noticed this man's Michigan key chain and he joking asked, "Babe..did you realize you were helping a Wolverine?"

I gasped, (for those of you who don't know...Buckeyes usually don't talk to Wolverines :))but then that started an hour long conversation with this fascinating man. He is a SWAT policeman for the city of Milwaukee. Fascinating stories and our kids' were pretty excited to have a real, live policeman there talking about storming drug houses and talking out hostages. But best of all, this young man is a follower of Christ...and to know that he is out there on the streets of Milwaukee every day is pretty cool!

When the Orphan Sunday event was finally ready to go, we had some technical glitches. The enemy was at work. Some of us ducked into a small room and prayed - for that was all we could really do. The prayer wasn't answered immediately, but it was answered and eventually we were able to get the live feed with the event in Tennessee!

George was so excited to see the children's choir that included kids from Ghana. He loved the music and was doing his "Georgie dance" in his seat. Then he curled up against me and started dozing off, a boy completely at peace and comfortable with his momma. As I looked around the room, I saw kids from every tribe, tongue and nation in that room. Kids from Africa, kids from Europe, kids from Asia and kids from North America. All these kids were with a mom and a dad, cuddling, smiling, holding hands...and all smiling. Wow! These beautiful children were so loved by God that He made a way for them to be put where they are now - in homes where they get enough to eat and clean clothes and an education. Some kids ran around the church, having fun. Some of them fell asleep in their momma's arms. It was simply beautiful to be in a room that had so much diversity (although I really wish there was even MORE!)

And then I was struck once more with a lesson God has been continuing to teach me. These children ARE Jesus. They were hungry, thirst, homeless...needing someone to care for them. Jesus is clear in his word that when we feed the hungry and shelter the homeless, we are doing those things to HIM. Not that we are Jesus doing Christ-like things..uh-uh...it's the other way around. When we feed the hungry we are given an opportunity to meet Jesus and love Him! Matthew 25:40 says this, "Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to me."

How can I ever be the same when I know that those hurting around me ARE Jesus? I cried in my heart last night at all the times I have been unloving or uncaring, especially toward George. I have Christ in my home, longing for love, structure and my commitment. It is not just a little boy...it is Jesus himself. I know that God has forgiven my hard heart and I am amazed at how much I love George now. I look back at those hard days and they are starting to fade away, like a blip in time.

I don't know what lies ahead for Joe and I and our family...I do know that He is not done with us yet. There is more we can do, there are more ways to love Christ, and we plan on doing that!

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