pure joy // the rescue and ransom of a child’s life
A few months ago I was reading David Platt’s book called “Radical Together”. He tells a story in there of their church walking through the book of James. During preparation for his upcoming text, James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the father, is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction…” David decided to contact the department of Human Resources in their County. He met with a woman to see if they had any needs in orphan or foster care. When he asked her she laughed and said, ‘Yes, we have tons.’ David asked how many families the County would need to care for all the kids that needed to be fostered or adopted. She laughed some more, David asked again, ‘No really, if a miracle were to happen, how many families would be sufficient to cover all the kids? She collected herself and said, “It would be a miracle if we had a 150 families.”
The day came when David preached from James 1:27 and at the end he asked the church, “If Christ is in you compelling you to be a part of serving children in our County in this way, then please come to a meeting in two weeks. Two weeks later people poured in the auditorium. Before the meeting began the HR director pulled David aside with tears in her eyes and said, “What made you decide to do this and how did you get all these people to participate?” David smiled and said, “I didn’t decide to do this, God decided this was important for his people.” After the meeting that night more than 160 families signed up to help with foster care and adoption in the County. He closes by saying, “The immense joy of foster and adoptive care has invaded our church, and our families will never be the same again.”
At about the same time I was reading this book, we announced to our church that there was a boy needing to be fostered from the school that our kids attend. This was the first tug from the Lord on my heart that maybe the Sczebel’s weren’t done with adoption. Then a month later I “stumbled on” this heart wrenching, soul convicting, video on Justin Taylors blog, and it was the final tug.
I was ruined by a few things that were said as I watched the video, Like, “There’s no physical thing that you can buy that’s actually going to give you true peace and happiness and the pure joy that will come from a rescue and a ransom of a child’s life… it’s probably the most satisfying thing that you can imagine.”
He goes on to say, that they talk with their kids they tell them, “Being born into a family you don’t even decide that, it kind of happens biologically but when your adopted, your parents looked out at the whole world and picked you.”
This is what my heavenly Father did for me. This is what your heavenly Father did for you.
Speeding up the story… God spoke very clearly to my heart through both David Platt’s book and this video and I sensed him saying to me that although I had said, “No more kids… my wife has MS and I have two adopted special needs kids already.” I felt him saying…”Pat, If you love your life in this world you’ll lose it, but if you lose your life for my names sake, you’ll find it.”
A few days after watching the video (check out their website here) I spoke with Cherry and she had been praying quietly the whole time that the Lord would turn my heart and he did. We met with the social worker and then with 3 others and it seemed good to them and to us that we should move forward with fostering JJ and Lord willing adopt him one day. It all started with a few sleepovers and then on Valentines Day he officially moved in with us. It’s been almost 2 and a half months and it’s hard to remember life without him. Already there have been so many opportunities to share the gospel with him and tell him that Jesus is JJ’s only hope just like he’s Dad’s only hope. What a privilege to be able to bring this little boy into my home and love him with Christ’s love and tell him of Christ’s love.
Why tell you this story? Because I agree with David Platt “The immense joy of fostering and adoptive care has invaded our lives as a family, and we will never be the same again.”