This week I received a new photo on Facebook of Lemuel's (our adopted 12 year old) brother, Ariel. Ariel has been the subject of some of my former posts as we tried as a family to find a way to bring him to the US. Ariel is cognitively delayed and is 20 years old. In the photo below, he is in the orange t-shirt.
I write this post for several reasons. First, I covet your prayers for Ariel's future. With limited literacy skills and the fact that he is not all that "employable", I'm concerned. Second, I hope some of my readers who are looking for a mission trip or a place to direct donations will consider "Children's Garden of The Philippines" where some truly precious young men have been sheltered from the streets. Finally, I share this slightly off-topic news because it weighs on my heart daily and the Bible tells us to "bear one another's burdens".
Life was so much easier before I knew about the needs. It was so much simpler when I had my two small biological children and we homeschooled, went on field trips, had play dates, went to church and tossed exactly 10% in the offering plate but I don't long for those days. I don't miss them. Orphans and street kids always existed, just not for our family. Now that they're here and we're here, God is using THEM to teach, refine, mold and sharpen us. He is showing us our calling and, as we respond, life just gets more fulfilled and abundant. Of course, it's not all roses and lollipops. We struggle with knowing exactly what we're to do, how much to give, who should come into the family and who we support from afar. We trust the Lord to direct our paths but so often our fervor and fear blot out His instructions. I have begged God countless times to send our family to The Philippines as missionaries. I have become cynical of our comfortable lives here in the states but even to this very day, God has not called us to go. He has called us to stay, to adopt, to donate, to pray and to wait on Him. Nothing is harder than that last request. NOTHING.