I recently returned from a mission trip to Cochabamba, Bolivia where I got to serve with an orphanage called Casa de Amor. Before going, I would laugh at my friends and other women in my life who would joke that I should bring them back a baby. How silly, I thought. Well, I didn't bring back a baby. I DID, however, let a precious little 10 month old girl wrap me around her sweet, dimpled, baby fingers while I was there--it was an accident...I was certain that I had prepared myself to NOT get attached.
I spent a whole day and a half with her and just laughed with her and at her and held her and rocked her and played with her and fed her and sung to her and watched her sleep. During those moments I KNEW it was temporary and that she was just a sweet baby that I got to spend time with. But for some reason, when I started preparing for heading home a few days later, I couldn't get her off my mind. I kept kidding with my teammates and with the orphanage director that I just wished I could take her home. [I was at least half-serious] In just a day and a half, I had grown to care SO MUCH about this little girl.
I sat down one afternoon a couple of days after I had last seen her and started journaling and talking with God. I knew in my heart that she wasn't going home with me. I asked God why on earth he would let me feel love for a little girl I was going to have to leave. I didn't understand...so I began to pray for her and for who she might go home with ONE day. I prayed that God would please bring her parents who would just flood her with love....and then I was overwhelmed by a thought that God had given me back at Easter...only this time it seemed more personal. The greatest thing we can do for our children is tell them about Jesus. THAT is the greatest show of love we can ever, ever offer. I began praying that she would have parents who would tell her about Jesus. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, Lord...give her parents who love YOU and love her so much to tell her how much YOU love her. I started praying for every child in that orphanage...God, please just let them learn about your Son! Give them homes, give them families that LOVE YOU.
God used this little girl to remind me that the greatest thing we can do for our children is tell them about Jesus. If you don't know me, you may not know that have zero kids. But I know that I am surrounded by people who were not told about Jesus when they were children. Like you, I have family...I have teens in my youth ministry...I have neighbors and acquaintances at places I visit frequently, and I have opportunities to go on mission trips and talk to complete strangers...all of which may NEVER have heard or realized that Christ loves them. We are all surrounded by "kids" that we encounter on a regular basis and the GREATEST thing we can ever talk to them about is JESUS and his love for them. In the same way I wanted this little girl to be part of my family, God wants EVERY person, every child, to part of HIS family.
Thank you, God, for using a precious baby girl to remind me of the opportunity that is all around me, all of the time.
PS-I still want her. :)