Piece of the Puzzle

Piece of the Puzzle

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday. It's a day to share, pray and advocate on behalf of orphans around the world. This morning at church I had the awesome privilege of sharing in our Children's Ministry about my trip to City of Refuge Orphanage and how God used that trip to open my eyes and heart to adoption.

This was the first time that I've shared our adoption story with a group of children (kinder through 5th grade). I was very curious about how they would respond and if they would fully grasp the life-changing power of adoption. As I was telling the children about my time in Jamaica, I was so impressed with how engaged they were with the story and the pictures which highlighted our team's work on the property and in the school. I could tell that they were really processing the difference between how we live here compared to the conditions in Jamaica. I could see some of their little hearts grieving for children who did not have mommies and daddies to love and care for them. And when I shared with them how God spoke to me about becoming a mommy to one of the children, their faces lit up like little rays of sunshine! Even at their young age, they understood that adoption is something special.

As I talked to the group of children sitting there, it suddenly struck me that my little boy would be sitting there in the midst of them in just a few short months! As I said this aloud to the group, my heart began to swell. Even though our family been talking about his arrival for months and all the new experiences that he will have, there was something about picturing him at our church, sitting in KidsZone that made my knees weak.  It was suddenly so very REAL!!

God is so amazing and living for Him just keeps getting better and better!!  In this month of thanksgiving and on this Orphan Sunday, I am so thankful that I am no longer an "orphan" for I have received the Spirit of adoption whereby I cry "Abba, Father" (Rom. 8:15), because God predestined me to be His own adopted child by Jesus Christ (Ephes 1:5).  And as believers, who have been adopted into the family of God and who are no longer spiritually "orphaned", we have a responsibility to rescue and care for those children who have been physically orphaned in this world. And while God may not have called all of us to "adopt", He has called all of us to care for those who are orphaned, be it through giving, praying, supporting &/or advocating on their behalf. During this month where we bring awareness to Adoption and Orphan issues, please consider how you may be a part of the change.

Orphan Sunday 2011 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

God's plans are always BIGGER - How GREAT He is

It was November of last year when I headed to Jamaica for my first mission trip. I had no idea that November was National Adoption Month, nor did I have any idea that this November we would be close to finalizing our adoption of a little boy that I met on that trip. But God knew! I am continually amazed at how God works and how He orchestrates everything to His glory and for His purpose.

When I went to Jamaica last year, I planned to spend the week helping in the school and working on a building project. I felt like that was enough fulfill God's call for us to "care for orphans." I wasn't planning on any longterm commitments or really doing anything that was too far out of my comfort zone, if I'm completely honest about the whole thing. My husband's family is Jamaican and I'm very comfortable with the people, language and culture, so even going to this particular foreign country, wasn't going to be that foreign to me. I work in education, so spending time in the orphanage school wasn't going to be particularly difficult work. Nonetheless, I thought that what I was doing was a BIG deal, that I was really stepping out for God. Oh silly me!! Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing or minimizing the importance of mission trips or the impact that they have on the lives of those involved. I'm not saying that it's not a big deal to take a mission trip and serve those who are less fortunate. I'm just saying that the trip was just a small step on the bigger journey that God had for me.

Isn't it amazing how small (& often selfish) our thinking can be? We say that we are God's servants, and we know that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, yet we rely on our own "thinking" to guide us. God has GREAT plans for us, but we can miss living the amazing life that He desires for us because we have limited ourselves to what we believe we are capable of doing and what we are comfortable doing. But God has not called us to be "comfortable" and He has already said that apart from Him, we are incapable. God has called us to faithfully trust in Him so that we may be world changers and do even greater things than our Lord Jesus Christ did!! He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask, think or imagine!! What a life He has in store for us!

I did not know last November where the following 12 months would take me. I certainly had not expected the year that I have had. But I'm glad that I have been willing to let God lead, even when it has been uncomfortable. Because the place where I am now, is so much better than where I was a year ago. And while I did not know that last November's mission trip was really the beginning of an adoption journey, I'm so glad that it is the BIGGER plan that God had for me.