Tonight was a major milestone in the accomplishments of a boy who was left for years in a slum in Ethiopia to fight to survive. Tonight was also a testament to God’s great work in and through me and our entire family.
As I sat in the church listening to Pastor Jeff Manion give the 2014 commencement address for Tadesse’s graduation it was as if he were speaking directly to me or us as a family. He quoted Galatians 6:9 “Do not grow weary of doing good ; for if we do not give up we will reap the harvest in time. “ I was not stunned but instead sat smiling to myself aware of the message God needed me to hear.
This verse so fits the journey of the last four years since meeting Tadessse in Ethiopia and certainly fits the last two years of an uphill battle to love him through the demons of his past and the daily life skills it has taken to weave him into our American family and the rigors of doing life and education in English. We literally had to stuff several years of parenting and training into a very short window of time in order to help him stay on track.
Tonight was a harvest moment for all who have been a part of his journey to not only survive but to thrive. It was a peaceful evening of pomp and circumstance, worship and showcasing a job well done. Thank you to all who have stood behind us and next to us on this road. This was not a walk we took alone and while most days we felt called there were many moments of doubt and fear that perhaps we were not going to make it. What I love most is how this journey has rearranged my thinking about success and what making it even means. My faith has been deepened and I now see success as obedience when called into action. Our obedience was out of the box, time-consuming and to many down right radical but we know even in the hard moments that it was what was being asked of our family. It’s been so incredibly cool to be asked to shepard and mentor a child who needed someone to love him. It’s been an honor and privilege to know and love children who God brought into our fold through outrageous circumstances of pain.
Thank you God for choosing us, for choosing my children to be stretched for your good works. Thank you for showing us the harvest moments even when the action of doing good feels monotonous and difficult. Thank you for being our place of rekenewed comfort and peace when we are weary and lost. Please help us to continue to stay the course, fighting for those in vulnerable situations throughout the world. Who knows where and to whom you will connect us next but we look forward to being equipped along the way.
Peace and Grace,