SMALL DECISIONS & BIG OUTCOMES

A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FROM OUR STAFF

 

Sometimes we make a small decision and later realize that God was orchestrating something far bigger for His glory. Do you hear the Spirit prompting you to take a step of faith today?

 

A small decision to take the time to talk to your neighbor could turn into a realization that they’re dealing with something significant and need extra help or a listening ear. Perhaps that small step could open up an opportunity to share your faith as you provide a helping hand.

 

A commitment to attend an event that seems out of your comfort zone could lead to God showing you an exciting new project that He wants you to get involved with that you never knew about.

A choice to take time out of your day to pray for someone may create a bond that is stronger than you could have imagined. It could open your eyes to issues and people who need resources and practical support that you were never aware of.

 

An act of love to mentor a troubled teen can end up stretching you further than you could have dreamed. But what if your compassionate choice led that young person to Christ? And what if that new believer went on to impact their family and community for future generations to come?

 

A life changing decision to become a foster parent might feel like a giant leap of faith into the scary unknown. The commitment to love with sacrifice opens your heart to pain and hurt. It also opens your heart for a vulnerable child that you would have totally missed out on!

 

 

This week, in staff devotions, we talked about fear. Fear can hold you back from the exact thing that God may be asking you to step into. Sometimes the next step is a small one, like taking a moment to stop in your driveway as the Spirit prompts you to talk to your neighbor. Other times, the next step feels like a giant leap of faith, like dedicating the rest of your life to a child who needs a home, security and love. Whatever that next move is, we hope this reminder encourages you today to listen to the Spirit and take your next leap of faith.

 


GET INVOLVED:

 

  1. Pray for Loving Shepherd Ministries and ask God if He might be asking you to take a step with us. You can learn about some opportunities here.
  2. Join us for the Tim Goeglein event on Orphan Sunday weekend this year and hear about God’s redemptive work both in one man’s testimony and in the lives of vulnerable children around the world.
  3. Consider giving a financial gift that connects you to a specific project you care about.

 

REDEMPTION

excerpt from page 35, Glimpses of Hope, a collection of devotionals

Doug Isch, LSM President


 

Rose’s day started out like any other on January 10, 2010. But unlike the rest of the routine days of her eight-year-old life, this day would change the course of her life forever. At 4:53 pm the walls began to shake as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Port au Prince, Haiti and the surrounding regions until an estimated 300,000 people were killed and over a million people were forced from their homes. Tragically, Rose’s parents were both killed in the earthquake. As her world turned upside down she was moved nearly five hours away to live with an aunt.

 

 

Rose doesn’t talk much about the events of that day or how she dealt with the grief that had to grip her. How does an eight-year-old process this kind of devastation and loss? For many living in extreme poverty this would have been one more chapter in a life of disappointment and loss, but Rose’s story takes an unexpected twist. Unbeknownst to her, thousands of miles away a young man named Zach Bertsch was diagnosed with terminal cancer at almost the same time she moved in with her aunt.

 

Zach’s heart and passion was to redeem his cancer for God’s glory. Rose is one part of that redemption story. Rose was selected to become a part of the Moriah Home of Hope family on the Redemption Campus. Rose is now going to school, attending church, growing up with a new mom and dad and has 11 sisters to live life with.

 

 

To redeem something means to free it from what distresses or harms it.

 

Major steps have been taken in Rose’s life to free her from the pain and distresses she has experienced. But her past is still her past and she will always have tragedy as part of her story. As we have seen many times, God uses the pain of the past to help us become more like Jesus. Rose’s story won’t fully be redeemed until Jesus returns and God finally wipes all the tears from our eyes. What we see now are some of the first fruits of that redemption story. I am so excited for Rose to see her parents again and introduce them to the couple who raised her in their place and to meet Zach and share with him the beauty that was brought from the tragedies of both of their lives.

 

Revelation 7:17 – “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes.”

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Order your copy of Glimpses of Hope here.
  2. Learn more about the ongoing work of the Redemption Campus and our Homes of Hope here.

 

LEARNING TO LISTEN

excerpt from page 159, Glimpses of Hope, a collection of devotionals

by Gabriel Walder


 

When my wife Lindsay and I decided to become foster parents, I was excited, nervous, skeptical, and afraid. She came to me with the idea out of nowhere one day. I knew very little about foster care and even less about what it was like to become a foster parent. I mainly had negative images in mind when it came to the “system.” Kids in and out of care, parents who don’t care, or do care but cannot overcome their problems, under-resourced agencies, a faceless governmental structure that at the end of the day just wanted to do what was easiest, not what was best. So needless to say, when she approached me about whether we should become foster parents by initial gut reaction was “no.”

 

 

At the time, I worked for Loving Shepherd Ministries and I care about vulnerable kids, but to invite them into my home to live with me, eat my food, mess up my living room and sleep schedule was a next level calling.

 

Nevertheless, I agreed to go to the training sessions just to see what it was like. After hearing about the intensity of the need in my own backyard and the lack of good homes, the weight of the problem began to lay on my shoulders. I knew I was being called to stand up. I knew we had a God who cared about the afflicted and fatherless and He was calling me to care alongside Him.

 

Psalm 10:14 – “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”

 

 

After a whirlwind of training sessions, physicals, home studies, and background checks we received a call for our first placement before we had even received our license in the mail. On the other end of the line they said there was a little boy named Isaiah who was four months old at the hospital that needed a home. We had 30 minutes to decide. Lindsay drove to pick him up. When she arrived, she was surprised to find a little boy named Martell who was only two months old. It brings tears to my eyes to say that this little boy is almost three years old now and has been my officially adopted son for the last six months. He is one of the biggest joys of my life and I don’t want to imagine my life without him in it.

 

The moral of the story is that if God (and your wife) are calling you to something, you would be wise to listen.

 


 

GET INVOLVED:

  1. Learn more about foster care and adoption here.
  2. Pray for the families considering adoption and foster care in your church and community.
  3. Order your copy of Glimpses of Hope here.

 


 

IN BROKENNESS AND BEAUTY, IT IS WELL

Reflection from CAFO Summit 2019

 

 

Last week, we gathered with over 2,000 believers around the world to encourage and grow our passion for the orphan at CAFO Summit 2019. Jedd Medefind, President of CAFO, introduced the theme, IN BEAUTY & BROKENESS, IT IS WELL. He said, “If you open yourself up to the orphan, you are opening yourself up to this brokenness. You will be required to carry some of it with them.”

 

It is precisely in our weakness that God’s strength and power are displayed. The Apostle Paul talks about this in Philippians 3:8-14:

 

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

 

 

In light of this, Medefind and others at CAFO encourage us to consider this thought, “What if we have our vision of success wrong?” In Hebrews 11, great heroes of our faith are highlighted for their mighty victories – and also for those who were faithful despite unrealized expectations, desires and dreams.

 

God REDEFINES our success. Our success as orphan advocates, adoptive families – or whatever ministry role you find yourself in – is not successful based on amazing outcomes or accomplishments. God is far more pleased with our willingness to be FAITHFUL to Him and the ministry He has called us to than He is concerned with our ability to achieve a certain set of outcomes through it.

 

This thought from an article at the conference resonated with me: “Faithfulness is our success. Everything after that is the mercy of God doing what only He can do.”

 

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

 

May you be encouraged and challenged as you reflect on where God is calling YOU to be faithful in His kingdom work.

 


GET INVOVLED:

  1. Subscribe to our blog (see above!) to keep in touch with our weekly stories and updates.
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