AN ORPHAN SUNDAY STORY. . .
Sometimes the seemingly "little things" mean more than we know.
Yesterday, we celebrated Orphan Sunday at our church and honored and prayed over the families who either are just entering the foster-care/adoption journey or have been a part of this story for years.
The stories were similar in that they all pertained to orphan care, but so unique due to each circumstance. Stories ranged from the joy and fear shared by young couples who have completed their required classes and home study and now are waiting for a placement, to those who adopted decades prior and honestly shared how the journey has been difficult and, at times, heart-wrenching. . .but ended with "I'd do it all over again." One couple revealed that they had fostered 120 children in their lifetime and had adopted seven. Another shared their adoption of a young man diagnosed with a mental disability. One couple shared how they had adopted two boys years ago and then the father stated "I was adopted as well." Wow!
Some of the families who shared have been part of our church family for years. Others, for days.
I received this email from one of the moms who stood before the church to share and to receive the church's prayers. She and her husband are new to our church. They have brought a little boy into their family who faces some difficulties. Her note to me was another reminder of how great our God is and how being adopted into His family is vital. I asked permission to share this and it was granted:
Hi Pastor :)I just wanted to write and let you know that we really enjoyed and were encouraged by your sermon today. Also, I wanted to share with you about something that happened while we were leaving. I walked out of the gym (FYI - our 9:15am worship service is held in our Family Ministry Center/Gymnasium) and paused to let a lady pass. She came to me and said, "I just want to hug you" and she did. I was caught off guard and was trying to figure out if I knew the woman... "Why was she wanting to hug me?" It was not until I saw her walk away and fighting off tears that I realized she was touched by the sermon we heard this morning. I have no idea who this lady is or if I will recognize her the next time I see her (I'm horrible with remembering faces) but as I was sitting in my car thinking about what had just occurred, I realized that she was expressing God's love and I was instantly overwhelmed in that moment.I know we will be going through some tough times this week and I believe fully that I will look back at this simple hug from a woman that I do not know and I will feel comfort. Another thought is that this woman probably has no idea just how much that hug and seeing her love through tears means to me. This is exactly what you have been talking about, she has, without even knowing it, supported my family by simply sharing raw emotion and an embrace of love.I know you do not know our story, but like many others', it is a tough one. We love our little guy and have faith that God will continue to heal him. We definitely have some challenging times ahead of us and I am thankful that we have found a church family to help us not only get through these tough times, but that will be fighting with us and encouraging us along the way.