31 July 2013

I don't even know his name


 



                          
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing, 
but encouraging one another
—and all the more 
as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25

I remember being quite excited about the turning of a month, and finding JULY to be on the sunrise is a moment that says 'Hi' but once a year. {profound}. July has a special place in my mind because it brings back the comfort of childhood summers. That smell of hotdogs barbecuing and wearing shorts and sweatshirts with a sun-kissed face and a beachy mess of hair. Running off with friends you just made, at picnics at the park and imagining together of the sea dragons you were slaying off the tip of your boat in the playground wonderland that was only yours and your momentary forever friends.
And those endless nights of play until the porch light came on, signaling the goodbyes until next morning. The curious investigation of grasshoppers and lingering June bugs along the street you grew up on. (Wait, was that just me?)The coziness of the warm summer air, is a feeling that stays the same as you age.  And as each July comes around the corner and passes, So does your teenage years to early adulthood, and soon, you are watching your own children experience this 'feeling'. So often I forget what it was like, and I just look around to see my children dropping crayons from their bags, creating animals on page, and slaying those timeless dragons in the fields of sunflowers and imagination.

July 1st seemed literally like yesterday! With those days blown over, and about 100 coffee-talks since then, I look back in delight over the change that has come over the 40 young people that have been entrusted in our care. From amazing coffee dates to Bible Studies,(AVFL) I wish I could share all that the Lord has done in this month! So many things unearthed, so many ropes of bondage cut without question, assured to know God's ongoing Freedom; you would have tears of thankfulness to a God who knows them, Sees them individually and loves them unending. As assuredly as He has done that for you and me!
We have taken 6 weeks to let God speak on an individual topic for each. Last week was Truth Week and WOW has God done a work! .Knowing God's Truth. So many of us, so many of them, really need a time to SET APART and just receive the Truth of what God has been saying all along to us in His Word. 
“Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out..."                                                                                      Ruth 3:18 
There's something special that can happen in our lives when we listen... Jesus really meant it when he said, 
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   John8:32
 One of the ongoing principles that God is speaking to me while discipling these young women in the Lord, is knowing the difference between God's voice and the Enemy's voice.  I have two things to add here:

 "Discernment is not knowing the difference between Right and Wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right." 

~Charles Spurgeon 


There is so much Spiritual Warfare that goes into a Discipleship Training program. I feel like God really was establishing me in my Christian Formative years in YWAM. As God began his work in my heart, I did not realize that he was placing a blueprint of how to disciple as I was being discipled. I began my new walk with a Love for Evangelism, because it was SO exciting to share what God had done in my life. From a slave to Sin, to Pure Freedom in Jesus. All of those years that I so weakly began to pick up the tools of how to walk in His love, their was much warfare in feeling such condemnation of my past. That's my personal experience.

But as we learn to disciple this A VISION FOR LIFE group, we are learning much about all capacities of Warfare. From Physical Knock downs, to Emotional baggage we try to keep a hold of because we don't think we can trust God with it all. Oh, brothers and sisters how we can!!! 
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~2 Corinthians 10:3-5

A Snapshot of July
Caleb has been doing an amazing job of giving 110% to these students with his whole heart. Along with all of the teachings and classes each week, He's gone ahead to, Serbia, Slovenia and Austria, while we picked up with him as a family on to Romania.
Caleb sharing in Serbia:
Breaking Bondage'
One of my favorite things in the world, is doing Ministry with my kids! They were right in there with the VBS's for Foster Families, and Gypsie Orphans, playing soccer, etc.! It was Simply Amazing!! 
Lord, raise them to Know Your WAY!
Caleb Baptizing many in Slovena
Hopie singing songs at the Orphanage with Monica
An AVFL'er, TONY, teaching God's Love through a skit
Ministering to the Foster Families in a Forest
Streets of Romania. Justice has lots of Friends. 
Charis Helping pull MANY weeds with Friends!
Our Living quarters in Oradea, Romania
A personal journey in & to Romania:
Romania has been a life-long dream of mine. I dreamt of it as a little girl, many times because I grew up watching the movie NADIA. She was the first gymnast to get a perfect 10 in 1976. She made Modern Olympic History in my heart, and I'm sure many others. So when we got the chance to go there, I knew that it would be something I never believed I could do, but am thankful, And for an entirely different reason. Nadia was never mentioned in my conversations there, but a little baby, whom I don't even know his name, did.
Many things happened in Oradea, Romania that are so encouraging -from Salvation, to service, to visiting and evangelizing gypsy villages, and orphanages, to picking above the waist-high weeds on a 'backyard lot' in the heat of the day. All the while, I can't contain the un-understandable moment I had with a little one in an abandoned baby hospital.
As a few of us walked in, we suited up, trying to be prepared to follow each rule, and not pity the little ones we would see, yet out of the outpour of Christ, be able to pick them up for a moment, and know that we would be the hands and feet of Jesus. We were given a 'heads-up' to prepare that they would cry as we set them down. Or so we were told. 
My experience was unexpected. Because of the detachment syndrome you hear about, where they are not picked up so they don't develop that natural attachment to a caregiver, they show many signs.
As we were able to pick the babies up, there was one in the back room whom I was told 'was very sick, and nobody picks him up because he always threw up.' I walked in and noticed first, that he was breathing with deep congestion. At first glance, he wasn't the baby anyone would choose, he was looking away, eyes un-focused, and as he turned slightly,still facing away, I noticed his amazing eye lashes! Unbelievable detail God painted on this treasure. 
I pressed into my own heart to find a love for this child that God Sees. We were told to purpose to touch their skin, and not their clothes alone, so as I did, I sang to him JESUS LOVES ME replaced with 'You'! 
I wanted to not make this time for nothing so I began to pray for this little one. I spoke verses into his life. And sang and sang. I prayed and hoped and dreamed for him to Know the One True Creator. To be a Man who knows Jesus, and to be strong in His might one day. 
His legs were pulled in like a diamond-shape, so I pulled them out and massaged them, skinny as they were. And as I did that I got closer. I put my face near his and began to talk in gibberish, the way I had been blessed so many times before with my own growing babies. I spoke in a sing-song voice, and suddenly, he began to turn his face. His unfocused eyes, searching for that foreign love he never knew. One of the Attachment disorder signs is eyes that "the child may not visually track adults who are responsible for care and may not respond to smiles." Google
 I could remember and parallel my own sons' developmental stages in his mannerisms, and loved this little baby all at once. 
He responded to my loving coos, and tried to focus. I saw the turning of his mouth begin to smile, and then could not.  But as I felt such closeness to him, a connection through Jesus, he let out a 'Goo'. Oh how my heart melted. He Responded! He responded to love. 
I thought I was going in to bless him, but oh how much I felt like the gift was given to me. We did not go in to receive but to give, and oh how much more that sweet Goo, did in my heart. He wanted to connect. And he has touched my heart forever. Where Pity protects it's captor, Grace is given so much more. They were not trying to win us over, We were trying to win them over.  But the gift of 'I am God's child' poured such a Grace over me, that I felt like I was walking on Holy Ground. All of this treasure poured out and I don't even know his name.
 How much More does God delight in our Responding to Him? How we can just bless his heart, frail and small as we are, with a small response of Love to Him. He is a great God and he Sees Us...And has Loved us since before we were born.
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands...                                                    Isaiah 49:16

I cannot explain the pangs of my heart right now, knowing that many babies are abandoned and cannot feel that love daily, but I have got to put that baby of my heart in God's hands. I think back to returning to our living quarters that night, and how my little Cruzie fell asleep there in my arms, as the last gal needed prayer. I walked him up to our room and laid him down on the bed. He had smudges of dirt on his face and his legs from the hard-earned play of the day. His heavy breathing showed he was comfortably dreaming. And as I gently wiped and washed his legs with some wipees, I remember the legs I had pulled down to caress but a couple of hours before that. 
This little boy of mine slept so secure and calm, and I recall to mind the looks he keeps when looking into my eyes because He knows love. God entrusted me with this little boy who Does get to receive Love everyday, and I will forever Know and hold a glimpse of God's Love for me. Thank You Jesus, for your un-ending Love. I am forever ruined by your Grace.
 In Jesus, 


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