When I lease expect it God sends me confirmation… We were busily finishing a family dinner at a Chinese restaurant when the kids all threw the cookies around the table. They were eaten rather furiously and then a few readings. My cookie remained and when I opened the fortune and began to read I let out a bit of a gasp. I just love how God works sometimes… the subtle messages and the interesting details only He could place in my path. Some may live believing it is only simple circumstance but my faith tells me it is so much more. Here is what the fortune said… “A journey to a new land will lead to great transformation.” My eyes welled with tears and a shiver ran down my spine.
What is even more comforting and amazing is that the back of the little fortune had one word., “Daughter.” Yes it was just a simple fortune cookie but the message was deeply profound and the timing so critical. You see just hours before our dinner out as a family I had confirmed and booked my ticket for my return back to Africa. Even typing the words makes me smile and although my fears run deep I know that the precious daughter we met and adopted from Ethiopia nearly 18 months ago is the catalyst for me hearing God breathe truth and a sense of duty into my soul. That does not mean that our daughter makes me wish to return but rather that our journey to her and all she endured, reminds me daily that so many children are still waiting for those who have seen to return. It is true for our family… now that we have seen we are responsible to act. Our faith without action and love, for those living in the most challenging of circumstances is no longer enough. We have been given a vision and connected to many who have helped shape and guide our passion into what comes next. We must do what it takes to live for those bound by poverty, oppression, abuse and lack of faith. And so our story goes that I will return to Ethiopia not for another daughter but for all the daughters who I met and will meet while I am there.
What is even more captivating about the fortune is this… I will now not only be returning to Ethiopia but I have been presented with the opportunity to visit Uganda, another African nation that God has placed on my heart for some time now. I will in fact be journeying to a new land and with eyes wide open learning all I can about the various ministries we will meet. I will meet children who have been wrongfully imprisoned because that is what they do in many land with orphans or vulnerable children. Our team will be in Uganda to gather information, form relationships and to learn how we might best motivate others to help through missions or perhaps even adoption or sponsorship.
My prayer through it all is so in sync with my little fortune cookie. I will be praying for transformation. It is the perfect word when I really begin to wrap my brain around such a trip. Please join me in praying for transformation first and foremost in those with great needs both in Uganda and Ethiopia. I do not enter new lands with any answers but instead I will enter with open arms and a prayer filled heart. I will talk with children about a man named Jesus and how he loves them. I will pray that even brief words or arms wrapped tight around little bodies will bring some small change or moment of comfort. I will pray for transformation in the hearts of those on our team including me and the staff we will be working with through One Child Campaign and Children’s Hope Chest. May we all have renewed ideas and be shown the best ways to honor the joy and hope of a people, yet transform the sick or the broken while we are one the ground. And from there I will pray for the transformation that comes from sharing the stories of our travels. It is what happens after the learning and seeing firsthand that matters the most. It is in the going to see the tough stuff, the fatherless, the widows, the oppressed and the broken that a great transformation can bring new light, new ideas, new dialogue and new and important action on their behalf.
Such a little cookie with a great big bold and beautiful message!
Thanks for being a part of this amazing journey…