A reminder of the challenge... Read and respond to The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns by Thanksgiving. Get your friends and family involved, because for each person that takes that challenge, Alex and I will donate $10 toward our 8 year-old's vision of building a well in Africa. We will also be doing a drawing on Thanksgiving, randomly choosing a participant in this challenge to receive a pound of Gobena coffee. Have you already read the book? We will enter you in the drawing if you share your response to its message. By God's grace, this book will change your life...
My story of His faithfulness and guidance continues...
I was sixteen when I read Bertha Holt's story (be inspired by the video here) about the war orphans of Korea, the softened hearts of an entire family, and the bravery of a farmer's wife that helped create the legislation allowing eight vulnerable children (and eventually thousands more) find homes in America. I don't know how, at sixteen, I came to have that book in my hands. Most likely, my mom, being the wise woman that she is, had loaded it into the bushel basket that ferried tattered Louis L'Amours, the occasional best-seller, and stacks of classics like The Yearling and Litte Britches to and from the library. I do remember being gripped by this woman's story though. I was stirred for the first time to think outside of my safe, tidy corner of the world, and I ached, knowing I wanted to be used, like that.
Fourteen years later, Alex and I held a sheaf of paperwork from Holt International Children's Services, the beginning of a two year journey to our daughter. It was 2006, we had roughly two paychecks in our savings account, and we knew that we had ahead of us nearly $25,000 worth of expenses. There was a whisper though, reminding us of how God had provided again and again. And there was this Scripture that kept coming to mind, Matthew 25:33-46, this reminder that loving the least of these was loving Him. If we were loving Him, would He not provide as He promised? Eighteen months after we met our daughter in an orphanage in Vietnam, we had too many miracles too count, including the entirety of our adoption expenses paid in full.
Bertha Holt's story moves me today in a different way than when I was sixteen. Now I marvel at the age that she started on this crazy-love journey. I am challenged by her courage and grace and faith, that she would, at 51 years old, start her mothering years all over again, adding 8 toddlers to her already busy farming household. At 51, she began a journey that eventually changed the lives of thousands of children the world over. She had every reasonable excuse to not walk that road, but she chose to love like Jesus, and, because she did, many of you have held MyLinh (and now our Moses) in your arms and had your lives altered.
2 Corinthians 4:7, reads, "But we have this treasue in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." Our journey to MyLinh was not just our love story for her, but His love story for us. We were fear-filled and empty-handed, but He used us, clay that we are, in order that our experience and this sparkling girl in our home would remind others that He calls Himself the Father to the fatherless.
Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ' compassion for the world is to look out;
yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.
Saint Teresa of Avila