...for such is the kingdom of heaven.
There are days when it seems that God cracks the door of heaven and allows you to peek inside... Today was one of those days. I'm sitting here trying to figure out a way to put words to such a beautiful story, but I am speechless! This is a story that must be told though, so I'll do my best with His help...
Since "meeting" Rachel online and committing ourselves to be her parents, Doug and I have had ONE desire... to introduce her to Jesus! I, of course, want that more than anything else for all of my children. But because of Rachel's very uncertain prognosis, there is a real pressing urgency that she be introduced to Him NOW! She needs a Savior... she needs a healer... she needs a friend. We will be all that we can be for her... but we will ultimately fall short of all that she really needs. There is only ONE that can truly meet her needs! Jesus can save her... Jesus can heal her (and will, in His perfect way!)... and Jesus can be her best friend, walking beside her places I may not be able to go.
It is one thing to introduce your children to the Lord as little bitties... You start with the absolute basics and you build on that foundation as they grow. I feel confident in that. I've had 5 practice runs so far and it was a natural expression of my heart on a day by day basis as they grew. But to start at scratch with a 7 year old... Add to that, a 7 year old who is considered "terminal", or at best, "critical". OK. I admit it. My confidence is out the window. I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed! Do we really have to wait until she has some command of the English language before explaining how much Jesus loves her? By the time she half way figures out the language, she'll likely have gone through more than a few very critical procedures and surgeries or be diagnosed as "inoperable" and living on borrowed time with her forever family...
Let's just be clear on this one... We are in over our heads! But God knows that and He is oh, so good to have everything taken care of in His miraculous way before we've even thought to ask! While shopping in Guangzhou, where the shop owners cater to the many families here adopting little ones, we met a wonderful Christian woman who sells Bible's in her shop and donates the proceeds to her local church. We were thrilled!... not only to own an English-Chinese copy of the Scriptures, but to have the opportunity to support the work of the Lord in this country we love so much! Jenny had such a sweet spirit about her and we so enjoyed getting to know her and talking about our shared faith in Christ. We told her about Rachel's heart condition and asked that she and her friends lift her up in prayer.
Suddenly an idea flooded over me that was obviously straight from the Lord... Maybe Jenny would be willing to share the Gospel with Rachel NOW... in the language she already understands! Jenny was touched by Rachel's story and said that she would count it a privilege to have the opportunity to tell our precious daughter about Jesus Christ! We would return with our video camera on Sunday following the church service, so that we could document this special time for Rachel to listen to again and again...
We met in her shop a few minutes after the service ended. A hush fell over the place as she put her hand on Rachel's shoulder and told her about Jesus. Rachel listened quietly and shook her head several times to say that she understood. Jenny told her that many people already loved her and were praying for her... asking that the Lord would heal her heart. She told her of our love for Jesus and of our love for her. She told her that we would never leave her and that we wanted more than anything for her to know and love Jesus...
There are some moments in life that are so beautiful, you wish you could freeze time just to take them in. Those moments in that little shop alone with Jenny will forever be remembered as one of my life's most precious memories... I honestly don't know how much of it Rachel understood. I know that I understood Christ' message of hope when I was her age, and I believe that God has a special way of revealing Himself to little children like Rachel... so I am resting there and rejoicing that God's hand is so evidently covering our little girl even now!
Long after we'd left Jenny's shop, a young friend of hers suddenly found us and beckoned us back to her shop to speak with her husband. "He can do this so much better than I", she said. "Please let him share Jesus with Rachel too!" So, there in her shop, for the second time, Rachel heard about Jesus love. Her husband showed Rachel some tracts and explained how to know Jesus as Lord. He gave the tracts to her for her to take home. Then he prayed over her and we left... stunned, silent... God's grace so fully sufficient! I am humbled to be His!
Rachel didn't let those tracts out of her sight for the rest of the day! She insisted on holding them while riding in the stroller and then even taking them to bed with her that night... I even "caught her" looking through the tracts by herself when she thought no one was looking... Oh Lord, you are GOOD!
Today we returned to the area to check Rachel's TB test and to finish up some shopping before heading home to Florida. Again, Jenny's friend found us in the streets near her shop! She handed me a little red box with a cross necklace inside along with a hand written note from Jenny to Rachel, encouraging her to trust Jesus... What a precious gift! The Lord's kindness overflowing through a precious sister in Christ... I will be forever grateful for her obedient heart to share with "one of the least of these".
This afternoon, Rachel came to me and started asking me for something. She knew that I couldn't understand, as anything beyond "hello" in Chinese would be beyond my limits! She tried hand motions and repeating the words again and again, as if doing so might finally make me understand what she wanted. She walked away, and I figured she'd finally given up. It is so beyond difficult to try to love and parent a child that you can not communicate with! It breaks my heart for her... she is trying so hard! Then suddenly she returned for another try! She had the tract in her hand... turned to the picture of the cross! She pointed to the cross and repeated her request several more times! OK... I'm obviously dense, but I finally GOT IT! She wanted to wear the cross necklace that Jenny had sent to her! She wanted it so much that she simply would not give up! I don't think I can express how much my heart wanted to explode every time I looked at that precious child today... wearing the cross of Jesus around her little neck!
My incredible God... still busy doing immeasurably more than I could ask or even imagine on behalf of a little 7 year old girl and the Mommy that loves her so much! I covet your prayers, along with my own, that God would do a miracle in Rachel's heart... helping her to understand His love and that she would come to know Him as Savior, Healer, and Friend!
I'll be praying for Rachel. I will wrap her in my prayers as I pray for our daughter's salvation also. We will not meet her until sometime next year. What an amazing story of God's grace.ReplyDelete
Beautiful story and what a wonderful family and family friend at that little shop...amazing! Can't wait until the day Rachel knows enough English to ask the Lord into her life.ReplyDelete
Oh Lori, as I sit here with tears streeming down my face, I am in such awe of our glorious Father!! What a beautiful testament to His greatness and love for this precious child!ReplyDelete
What a precious story- it gave me goosebumps. We were in Guangzhou exactly one year ago adopting our son from Shanghai. We went to the church on the island and bought a Bible in Jenny's shop also. God bless you and your beautiful family- I will keep you in my prayers. It is such a blessing to read your blog and hear the testimony of someone who is boldly following God's plan for their lives.ReplyDelete
Only God. What a beautiful story.ReplyDelete
So grateful to find your blog via Sonia. I have been touched deeply by your family's story.
Will be praying for wisdom for the doctors and healing for your precious Rachel.
Love & Blessings,
Glad to hear the recent good news about Rachel! I'm a fellow adoptive mom fresh home from China with our own two new 7 y.o. boys and I wanted to share a link to the children's version of the Jesus film that is available in 140 languages. My boys just watched it this morning and made some connections with the pictures in a children's Bible they've been looking at and the things they're learning in AWANA: http://www.jesusfilm.org/film-and-media/watch-the-childrens-film.ReplyDelete