Not having been brought up in church ( I didn't become a Christian until I was in college), I was unfamiliar with many Old Testament Bible stories. I knew some about the Patriarchs and about God giving the Promised Land to Israel but not much about the details. A few years ago, when Jerry challenged our family to read through the Bible in 90 days, I was amazed to discover a few things about the "gift" of the Promised Land. I had thought it was like, God said, "It's yours!" and Israel moved right in and opened up their lawn chairs. But it wasn't like that AT ALL. They had to fight for almost every inch of ground. They had to learn to listen to God to know when to fight and when to hold their ground. They had to believe that He was powerful enough to help them win their battles, when they obeyed him. And they had to obey even when they were afraid.
And what does this have to do with adoption ? Well. Over the last 20 some years since we first adopted, many people have said to us, 'Oh, I would Love to adopt......... if only God would just place them right on my doorstep. I see those pictures of orphans in magazines and I would love to have a dozen of them!' I want to say to those people, that I learned from the story about the Promised Land that it doesn't always work like that. Sometimes, in order to receive a very special gift, like the Promised Land, and like sons and daughters, there is work involved. And sacrifice. And struggle. So I want to say, if You are one of those people, who look at those pictures of orphans and your heart melts, please consider that this may be a true call that God has on your life and you Can do it ! It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, old or young, fearful or lazy (like me!), I can tell you stories about other people, just like you, who God has used in this way. And they have been richly blessed. As you will be, also, if you obey God's call to 'care for orphans'.
I want to note, that I am old enough now to know that God does not call everyone to the same thing. Some of you are not called to adopt. If the call on your life is in some other area, I want to support you in that, to the best of my ability. But to those who Are called, Do not be afraid! Rejoice ! I can't imagine anything else that is so hard, but so much fun and full of blessing!
Can you find us in these pictures?
Shopping in China is like Disney World - Very Crowded and occassionally Mickey shows up!
Here is the manger I told you about, guarded by a dwarf. Today, someone put a fish in beside the bell. Christmas carols are played everywhere - in English- and today we saw big signs in one of the stores proclaiming "Joy to the World- Merry Christmas!" So,opposite of places where, because they understand the meanings, they don't allow the words. Here, the words are everywhere, but no one understands.