DAY 6 – LETTERS TO THE MISSIONARY
When I talked to Jennah yesterday, her voice sounded more tired than I had ever heard.
“Mom, these orphanages don’t hold many kids – there are 5 ( I think that is the number she said) MILLION orphans here!”
Millions – MILLIONS – how do you build enough orphanages to accommodate that many? You can’t — so they sleep in the street – literally – on. the. street. It broke her heart.
There is Day Center type of place they have been visiting – Onesimus. She called it a “drop-off” – and I thought maybe this is where people go to drop off supplies to help the children. I could not have been more wrong.
It is a human drop-off…let that sink into your soul for a minute.
It is a place where people bring children if their parents are gone, or their parents just can’t take care of them anymore. A drop-off…for children. That would sap the life and breath right out of you if you stood in the midst of it.
So I would ask for a special measure of strength for all the workers on this team. Jennah worked with the dentist yesterday and they had to pull an inordinate number of teeth from children’s mouths – because they were rotted down to the root. The dentist, who has been there before, sponsors a little boy and every time she goes – she lets him be her assistant. He is 14 — look at his pictures — I said, He is 14!! He is not sitting down. A body that has not had sufficient nutrition doesn’t grow at a normal rate.
“It is overwhelming when all around you are the faces of children that look just like the ones you see in those “Feed The Children” commercials. They are real.” She said.
They are real.
A FATHER’S SACRIFICE
LETTERS TO THE MISSIONARY
“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” (Matt. 10:29)
Dearest Precious, Much Loved and Missed, Daughter of My Heart!! (These are getting ridiculous, aren’t they? – I mean every word – EVERY WORD!)
I agree with Jantzen. He can’t fathom any child having to live without parents, and I can’t wrap my mind around it either. I remember when he didn’t understand why all of the foster kids in Oklahoma couldn’t come live with you guys. “Mom, we have the room and then they’d have parents!”
I know by now, you have seen things that have shattered your heart for these children. When we had lunch today (the day before you left) with Dad, we talked of the desolation of nine-year-olds on their own, caring for brothers and sisters younger than they. NINE! I don’t think I can grasp that.
We were a sight in the restaurant today, weren’t we? I tried not to cry when I first saw you – then you said you were weepy – then I couldn’t stop crying – then Dad ran for lots of napkins! All. Through. Lunch!
Think of the commotion we would have stirred if we had prayed over you then!!
But, it’s not easy for a parent to release a child – even if they are grown. You understand this – you are a mom. But we will – because we are confident of this one thing – God is about a work in your life that is bigger than any of our fear.
You mentioned how difficult it must be for military family when they have to say good-bye for months – years – not counting the fact they are sent into daily battle. Or for your friend, Carrie, whose whole life is dedicated to this. And, here we are, as if we are saying our last good-byes and you are only gone a week.
“I’m just leaving for a week! That’s all – just a week!” And you grabbed for another napkin. I should have taken a picture of all our wadded up, wet napkins. I’m sure the waiter wondered what in the world was going on!
I loved it when Dad told you not to sell yourself short. “It’s not for JUST A WEEK, Jennah.” He said. “It’s for Eternity.” And we all kind of sat there for a minute.
“Because this point in your life – this going to Ethiopia to minister to orphans – God ordained from the beginning of time, and the effects of this week will last throughout Eternity.”
And, he’s right – and I loved it. (Whew! You realize that was HUGE for this father who has paced holes in the carpet these past weeks?)
So He placed this desire in your heart to accompany your friends’ ministry – and He knew that because we live in a broken world, SOMEONE would need to be His heart to children who know no parents.
Because, “…not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from Him.” As horrible as any tragedy could be in life, as horrific as some experiences are – God will always make sure there is a chance for Hope in Him somewhere along the way. And this week – that chance comes through you – and Carrie, Kelly, and the rest of the team.
How could a child ever begin to understand His love, when they do not even remember the love of their parents? Children who have been abandoned, or whose parents have been killed, they couldn’t comprehend His loving touch if they can’t remember a parent’s touch.
So, you will show Christ to them. They will see His concern as you hold their hands. They will feel His touch when you grab them close. They will hear His voice when you whisper His name in their ear. And it will be exactly what God has had planned all along. Like Dad says, “We cannot put human limits on a limitless God.”
Because a Father will go to any lengths for His children – even if it requires great sacrifice.
For one father, that sacrifice took on the shape of releasing a daughter to unknown lands.
For another Father that Sacrifice took on the shape of a cross.
So we pray this blessing over you:
“Barukh atah Adonai Elohim… ” “Blessed are You, LORD, our God…” Abba, Father. Who, because of Your great love for us, gave Your Only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16) Your love, O God, endures throughout eternity and You have joined these children in Ethiopia, with these servants, hand-picked by You.
“We know that You alone hold our times and lives in Your hand and it is to You that we look for unwavering love. Fill Jennah, and the rest of the team, with Your love and compassion, so that they will conduits through which You make Yourself known. Allow children’s hearts to have a supernatural understanding of You. Let them see You, Lord, in ways that will astound them, remain in their minds and hearts forever. Protect them as only a Father can.
And from a mother in Oklahoma, who is wearing bandages on her knees – Bring my child home, Lord – to her parents that You gave her – please bring her home.”
With Much Love and Blessing, For His Greater Good,
From Your Mom who kept getting funny looks from shoppers at Sprouts yesterday as I sat in a corner of the store talking to you on the phone!! Loving every minute of it!!