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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Get some new lenses!!!

We spent yesterday with Daniel, the man of God who devoted years of his life to Esther's care just because Jesus gave him a heart to do it.  He is only 25 years old but he is my great-great-grandpa in the Spirit.  He has an entire journal of the miracles God worked in Esther's life.  When she was first found she was so traumatized she didn't move at all.  Everyone said she was "emotionally dead." If you put her in one position she would stay there all day long with not a single movement.  From there she progressed to curling up in fear in the fetal position whenever someone tried to touch her.  Daniel assembled any child old enough to string two syllables together at the orphanage to pray for Esther every night.  He came every day to care for her.  One day she surprised them all and when he walked away she crawled toward him!  He continued to pray for miracles and one day she actually stood up!  When she took her first steps (would have been around age 4) they cried tears of joy! 
His own story is a miracle.  Raised in the slums, abandoned by his father, but with a mother who loved Jesus and prayed for him and his sisters.....He is now an auditor (a job he said he was not even qualified for and a stadium full of people applied for this job.  He credits Esther's favor with granting him this job that allows him to care for many, many extended family members including his beloved mom and sisters) He is a passionate follower of Christ.  He is going to preach the Gospel in the mountains to people whose villages are currently inaccessible but he trusts God will make a way.  He wants to care for special needs orphans who are so outcast everywhere here.  He said he never felt released to go before because of Esther, but now that she has a family he is free to pursue the next call of God on his life.  He is the most humble person I have ever met.  He kept saying she taught him more about God than anything else.  He told us it was not okay for men to cry in his culture, but you could see just saying her name brought tears to his eyes.  The orphanage gave her the name Esther and they gave her a last name that means "Faith."  Everyone I meet who has met Daniel and seen how he poured his life into Esther gets tears in their eyes at the mention of his name too.

Daniel saw Esther through Jesus-lenses.  He talked about how his culture views those with disabilities so wrongly.  Many orphanages wouldn't even take Esther for fear they would "catch" what she had from her drool.  Our judge told us he saw a man have a seizure once and then no one would buy anything from his store.  He said he was concerned Esther's siblings would all laugh and make fun of her if they saw her having a seizure.  I told him exactly what would happen if someone has a seizure in our house.  Me or one of the older siblings would calmly walk to the medicine cabinet where we would draw up the intra-nasal versed and administer it and let the child take a 2 hour nap or so and then we might anticipate they would vomit for a bit.  Which is also not a big deal in our house, seeing as Blessing used to vomit frequently every single day for years.  And of course we would pray.  But fear......nope.  We don't live there.  We've seen too many "Christmas Miracles."  God's love and goodness eradicates fear.

Speaking of fear, the judge also went off about people who refuse to have biological children because they think it is better to adopt.  I think that is a false paradigm as well.  God isn't either/or, He is both/and.  He designed our biology and the world isn't a worse place because we embrace LIFE.  Ari, my 7th biological child, is a positive force in God's universe.  How do I know he won't change a neighborhood, a nation, adopt 20 kids, who knows?!  But again that scarcity mentality believes that there just isn't enough of anything. Jesus brings LIFE and LIFE abundantly!  The only negative thing the judge said to me is that I use the word "GREAT" a lot.  He asked if I expected people to feel sorry for my children.  "WHAT?!  They have a GREAT life!  They have a GREAT Dad!  We serve a GREAT GOD!  Are you kidding me?!  If someone is seriously going to feel pity for my kids because they are blessed to have a lot of siblings or have a few health issues....they need to get out more!"  I should have used better adjectives SUPER GREAT!

Brad left yesterday to fly home!  I am SO thrilled the children will have their Daddy back soon!  I get to keep man-child Sebastian who is pretty much an expert in dancing with little sisters.
Brad made a huge impact on many men here.  I had the following conversation with a young man who works here:
"So he doesn't have other women?"
"So he never hits you?"  
"He never pushes you?"
" fact, he has never raised his voice to me.  He never even criticizes me."  
"This is so......good," was the surprised response.
Brad has taught me through the years to see people through Jesus-colored glasses.  The lenses we use affect how we interpret the Word, how we view circumstances, how we see ourselves, others, everything!  The very morning we left for Uganda Blessing had a huge puke out.  Now I could have magnified that, and run a broken tape in my mind about "what if" when we were gone.  That would be called "worry."  OR.....I could think about WHO GOD IS over and over in my mind....which would be called "meditation."  So we quickly cleaned the puke, Blessing helped me cook breakfast, and we moved on.  And she hasn't puked since.  
She's a champ at seeing through JESUS GLASSES!  She once told me, "My scars remind me of all the times God has helped me!"

I didn't realize until recently that Princess needed glasses.  The look on her face the first time she put them on was priceless.  It was like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz going from black and white to technicolor OZ!  "Mom!  Everything is SO clear!"  I heard a pastor from Mozambique speak one time and he said the biggest breakthrough of his ministry was when he did the one simple thing God had been asking him to do for years:  "Stop criticizing your wife."  He started seeing her the way God did and it changed everything about his life and ministry.  I'm guessing not a lot of dudes read this blog, but for the women:  there is probably a child you could see through a different lens.  Or an extended family member.  Most definitely yourself.  Make sure you are agreeing with how God sees you.  He calls you a different name than the world does, and it is an upgrade.

Right before Brad left we had a young lady here come out of nowhere and sit down next to us and start crying about her disconnect from God.  That was really brave of her, seeing as she didn't know us.  When you know WHO God is and WHO He has called you to be....there is an atmosphere around your life that will let other people feel free to reveal their own heart's struggles and you will be used to help fit others for their "new lenses."

Bradcito is somewhere in the atmosphere right now flying home.  Knowing him, he is probably inspiring his entire section of the plane and encouraging them with TRUTH who is a PERSON, not a religion.


Debbie said...

Thank you. I'm getting new lenses!!!!!

Julee said...

Oh Jenny...just have LOVED readng your updates. Sorry I haven't written before but I get so behind with facebook and email...and I know you know how that is ;0)
Adore hearing about Esther and how God has worked and is still working in her life and her new family's lives! We too are adopting again from China. We are bringing home hopefully by end of year (bet it will be longer) another DS toddler girl we are naming Selah. ..and an 8yr old girl with CP. Her English name is Esther too. Her Chinese name is Jiaojiao witch we have no idea how to pronounce..I love the name Esther that agency advocates gave her. We will have to find a differant English name I thinl..."Esther Feser" is kind of a tongue twister.

sue said...

Jenny - you are an inspiration! We're praying for you all and thanking God for His work.

Boog said...

Jenny - this dude read it, will share it, and is absolutely convicted. It's obvious Brad cherishes you as commanded in Eph. (its a palpable presence when ya'll are in the room) Its a plain path - but there's a difference in knowing the path and walking it...I need to get my boots on. Thanks for the story.

Deb said...

Thank you for ministering to me this day!

Frances said...

Have been reading your updates for a long time though our prayer e-group. It's nice to be able to get the updates myself now that you are blogging. You and your family inspire me. God does all things well.

Bob said...

Jenny, here's another dude that reads it. It helps toremind me to keep you, Brad, your family and all HIS family in my prayers. Thank you.

sammmomtoliv said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I just felt God speak to me through your post -- something I have been praying about for a long time. So thankful for a "both/and" God!

I am praying for Esther and your big beautiful family!


Anonymous said...

Wow.... New lenses for me. How were you able to say in one paragraph answers to questions i have been searching months for? Maybe God knows what he is doing! I am newly learning about OUR God so every time something makes since I get really excited cause sometimes I have more questions than answers.

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

Thank you for the reminder about fear and negative tapes- your testimony of daily life is beautiful and it's about time to get started on that book isn't it?

Renee Davis Meyer said...

Just seeing Daniel made me teary, so thankful for him, and hopeful that you'll be able to stay in touch with him with pictures etc. so he can watch Esther THRIVE. And SUPER thankful to hear that he has a good job, he was still looking when I last saw him, and I prayed that the Lord would provide over and beyond for him... :)