Over the years we have faced so many trials in this ministry with children. We have also seen such accomplishment, laughed and celebrated with joy as they move forward with hope and expectation.
Each one has their own story....ones we have listened to....wept over and with.....
The child who was hung in a rice sack over an open fire for punishment,
The child who was raped when they were 5,
The child who was continually violated by those entrusted to protect,
The child who scavenged garbage bins for food to feed his brother,
The child afraid of their drunken father's violence,.....
Two days ago I had to explain to a frightened and confused young girl that she has cancer.......
Just a month ago she was running, playing badminton, laughing, singing.....and in such a short time she is now facing a much greater trial than any of us could anticipate. Silently and undetected the tumors have grown and multiplied and now as a family we are faced with so many questions and unknown territory ahead.
These times that challenge us most to our very core are the moments that determine who we really are.
They give us a choice....
Our response reveals the honest contents of our heart, its motives and who or what we are ultimately rooted to....the choices that really matter.
Although walking alongside our kids is often painful and raw, unexpected and unpredictable it is also an incredible responsibility entrusted to us....... and an honor....
We have been entrusted with the incomparable task of being part of a very wonderful and unique family....to love and shepherd each one...and learn from and with one another in weakness and in strength.
We are not assured of what lies ahead, but as we walk with these children..... perhaps to the end and beyond........even though the steps may wrench our hearts and flood our eyes, I will still consider it a joy and privilege to love them through it.
And I will give you the treasures of darkeness
And hidden wealth of secret places,
In order that you make know that it is I,
The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
Isaiah 45: 3
Our staff who give beyond their time and energy are investing themselves in the lives of others. The salary is limited and the persistent tests are sometimes a strain on even the strongest of heart (mind, and will)....yet love remains......sacrificial, messy and relentless...Their choice to love and to give and to not hold back when others can and have walked away measures who they really are......
It may not fill their wallet....but it certainly counts for eternity!