Actually, I should call this writing, what I learned last night.
I came to know the Lord when I was a sophomore in highschool. I am now 52 years old. And last night was one of the most moving, soul stirring, eye opening experiences I have ever had.
Our fabulous missions leader at Crossroads, Darlene Rudrick, organized a skype appointment with the Crossroads orphanage in Cambodia. This was a chance for each supporter to talk directly to their child. As we entered we saw the banner that waited for our mission team last year - each orphan had signed it.
I will never forget the first face and the first group that took the microphone and described their love for their child and that they are praying for them and how beautiful or handsome they were and on, and on, and on it went.
Each orphanage in the Asia's Hope group, has a mom and dad that raises them, and our orphanage is fortunate enough to have a teenage daughter who speaks pretty good English. (One of the Crossroads supporters just paid her entire year to go to the University in Cambodia - $600) She acted as the translator.
Finally it was our turn to step to the camera. Our daughter Jocelyn was with us last night. She has been to Cambodia twice, the last time for a month with our son Eric. When she stepped up to talk the teenage girl burst into tears and asked her when she was coming back. While in Cambodia she and Jocelyn had exchanged rings and both girls from across the world held up their hands to show that they still had them. Jocelyn could not speak, and from somewhere deep within me sobs broke from my chest in a way I have NEVER experienced before. I was changed in that instant. I am not trying to be dramatic, but I tell you something I've held onto for a long time disappeared.
Just to clarify, this relationship with the BB3 orphanage is not just a 'feel good' opportunity. It is not about us at all. These kids would be presently used in the sex trafficking trade, be working in factories for a hand full of rice each day or dead if there wasn't a safe place for them to live and learn about Jesus. And they believe this. They live everyday as if it was a gift straight from heaven. Two years ago when they were rescued, they didn't smile and they didn't know God - now they do!
I know each of us are called to different kinds of giving, I am not talking about tithing, that goes to the church, I am talking about beyond that, GIVING. God puts needs of people in our lives that we get the privilege of meeting. But, especially you parents, you NEED to get your kids involved in supporting something WAY outside themselves. And, if you have the opportunity to help someone like we do that you can actually 'see' and communicate with - it makes it so much more real. This kind of unselfish involvement takes kids outside their own little American world and gives them God Eyes like nothing else ever will. Of all the sacrifices Ron and I made for our kids, allowing them to go overseas probably will have the greatest spiritual payoff for the rest of their lives, second only to a Godly - consistent (to the best of our ability) upbringing.
These orphans called us mommy and daddy, they asked us how Pastor Tim was - they consider him their pastor, and they thanked us for praying for them...not for money.
The entire orphanage fasts and prays for Crossroads on a regular basis. I have said it before, but I would imagine the prayer of orphans going up on behalf of Crossroads get the Lord's attention. This is an eternal connection.
I believe one day we will stand beside our adopted children and as united children of God worship Him together!