Almost 18 years ago I found myself leaning against Emma and Liberty’s bedroom wall listening to Emma’s most sincere and innocent night time prayer. Her little voice prayed totally out of the blue, “Please let me be the one you pick to go to Africa to take care of the orphans…..”
In fact I opened my eyes wide to see Emma’s sweet face as she sincerely and softly spoke to the Lord. And it was at that moment that the Lord peacefully affirmed in my heart, that this was a most extraordinary and holy moment in Emma’s life and in our personal family history. Our faithful God was at that very moment calling our very innocent, gentle-hearted and meek little six-and-a-half-year-old to work with the orphans of Africa and life would never be the same.
For the next years, every single night she prayed the same prayer. It was as though she pictured thousands of people jumping up and down, hand lifted and shouting, “Pick me!! Me! Me!!” and God was scanning the crowd trying to decide who He would choose. She never wavered. Not even for a second. Her calling was steadfast. And she was sure.
Imagine my joy this past week, when the day after I landed Emma and Josh drove me to walk the land that The Gem Foundation is purchasing. It was yet another holy moment. I was in complete awe. This is the fulfillment of almost 18 years of praying!
The land itself is completely breathtaking! Stunning! So peaceful! “Gorgeous” is a wimpy word to describe just how beautiful it is!
There are pine trees, palm trees and eucalyptus trees growing on it!! It has mountains in the distance. A rice patty nearby. And beautiful flat ground for wheelchairs to easily move about! It is amazing!!
And plenty of bananas, yummy guava (and yes, it truly was delicious!) and avocado trees!! I am in awe of all God is doing for The Gem Foundation. It was the thrill of a lifetime to see just what we had prayed for for all these years.
Did I mention that there are spectacular flowers too? I was in my personal flowery-paradise!!
Of course we realize that it is an extremely rare and unique privilege to have God call a little one when they are so very young. We know that it was a unique and unbelievable joy to watch her grow into her very specific calling. So why did He do it this way? I have zero clue. But we do not take the privilege of cheering her (and now Josh) on lightly.
Over the last 18 years, as her momma, I would pray for her serving in Africa one day. As the years passed, I prayed for different aspects of it all – whatever the Lord brought to mind. So it was very humbling to walk the land and to have the opportunity to see where Emma, Josh and their family will live with the precious Gems.
What a thrill of a lifetime!!
Of course it is never easy to ‘give our kids’ to a foreign land. Yet, God in His great mercy did beautiful things for my very broken life once-upon-a-time. How could I not give back to Him all that He gave to me? He does extraordinary things through yielded hearts. He began preparing us all almost 18 years ago. What a joy to see what He had planned way back then!!
He is so very faithful. I cannot thank Him enough that He is a personal God who loves to be personal with us!
PS: It’s not too late to join the first team to GO and work on the land!! For an application and details of that first International Voice of the Orphan GO Team serving on the land: office@InternationalVoiceOfTheOrphan.com