Today Glenn and I saw Jesus. We saw Him in the eyes, smile, and laughter of our precious daughter Zoey. Her name means "life". May I tell you about her life?
She lives outside of this village...
Previous to today, all we had for details about Zoey were a few photos and videos taken last December, almost a year ago, and some medical information on our referrals. We knew she was going to be 7 years old this month, and we knew she weighed about 10 pounds. In our minds we knew this, but we found out today that we were NOT prepared for the truth of what this meant.
We followed the social worker and our translator up stairs and into a hall way. We had to put blue slippers over our shoes so we wouldn't track in dirt. Apparently this is something that is very important where Zoey lives.
We saw a nurse coming down the very long hall carrying what looked at a distance to be like a very stiff doll. She was laying straight across the nurse's arms. As they got closer, I let out a gasp and said in a whisper, "oh my Zoey, this is my sweet, sweet, Zoey!". They led us into a VERY small room with a little bench couch and one chair. I held out my arms and they gave her to me. I sat down on the little couch, and immediately started talking to her, and kissing her.
Please pray for us. Neither Glenn nor I were at all prepared for Zoey's fragile condition. She's very small. Maybe in size 9-12 month clothes (sleeper).
Both Glenn and I started crying. Just weeping. Knowing that God has called us to this and chosen Zoey for us, but shocked that she is even still alive. Folks...it's a miracle! A miracle from the Lord! She's truly just skin and bones under her sleeper. She's stiff, but alive. I don't even think she can move her head. I'm sitting here in our hotel room in a bit of shock still, but trying to put my thoughts together. So in our intellect we knew her condition, but in our spirit we were pierced like a knife. But let me tell you something...her eyes. Oh her eyes are huge, and they move all around! She can not really move her body, but she can move her eyes. She is alive and alert with her eyes! They are beautiful! We saw her life in her eyes! When you see her eyes, you know she is alive!! And...a HUGE blessing is that she can smile, and she can laugh! We almost couldn't believe it. How did she learn to smile and laugh? What has she had in her life that she would be able to do that about? But God used her precious eyes, and her precious smile, and laugh as a healing balm to our hearts. We were able to visit her for one hour this afternoon. Then we'll go twice tomorrow, Wednesday, and then once on Thursday.
So I held her, and I sang to her, and talked to her and rubbed her face, and kissed her nose, and she laughed at that. She laughed when Glenn kissed her with his mustache as it tickled her face. It was sweet! We learned from some friends how to say I love you in Bulgarian, and we just kept saying it and singing it over and over to her, and praying over her.
Glenn couldn't hold her today. He wasn't ready. Pray that he'll be able to hold her tomorrow. Please pray for her to stay alive until we can come for her. Please pray our process will be quick and our pick up trip will come quickly and our funding would come in, too! Once we can take pictures, you'll see that she's gone down hill from the photo that we have of her.
Please pray that we can show the love of Christ to our translator, Yavor, and also to the people at the orphanage, too. In spite of how we feel about the care there, we must be ambassadors for the Lord! We need prayer for that!
When I emailed an adoption friend of mine today, this is what she wrote back to me! Truly it says it all!
As cold water to a tired soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25. This email was truly like water to our drained souls this day!
I'm sitting here thinking about how when you were holding Zoey, singing to Zoey, touching Zoey... you were holding Jesus. You saw hope in her eyes... that's Him! Her soul is STRONG because He is there and I will not for one moment allow Satan to steal this hope that he has given you and Glenn. You saw that light in her because it is significant and it is a symbol of God's blessing over Her and His presence in her. What an incredible honor to be the ones to go to Zoey and to literally show her Jesus, and for you to experience Jesus in her. If you become overwhelmed, focus on that light, that beacon of hope you saw in her eyes. And her laugh -- I was speechless when I read that and I nodded my head vigorously at your question "How did she learn to smile and laugh?" OH Jesus, Jesus, Jesus... all I can say is Jesus! And I exclaim that not as an answer to your question... that's just all I can say right now...
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~Matthew 25:37-40
When you go to that orphanage today dear Mary and Glenn, you are treading on holy ground. (Job 4:9). Every step you and Glenn take toward that orphanage, know that it is holy because God has gone before you and I believe that God's perfect peace and strength will OVERCOME you so that you can go into there with boldness, and grace, and beautiful humility to bless daughter again and be symbols and vessels of HOPE. How appropriate that you get to be there during the Christmas season for the workers in the orphanage to SEE what true LOVE and COMPASSION looks like through you and Glenn.
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
In our youth group lesson yesterday, one of the volunteer leaders gave the message since it was his last Sunday before graduating and heading off to New Mexico. This leader has been a great friend to the teens and all the leaders love him like a brother, and we will miss him more than he knows. He spoke on Philippians 2, and reiterated again and again and again these two points:
1. God has a plan
2. God is a FINISHER
I'll copy and paste Philippians 2 below which speaks to the "Finisher" part below.
Sending SOOOOO much love, and SOOOOO many prayers your way. I will send another note tomorrow, there is more I want to say, but I don't want to write you a book.
It is an honor to know you both -- you are among some of the most inspiring servants of Jesus Christ that Gary and I have ever known. THANK YOU for ministering to us the way that you have. And thank you Mary for writing the message that you did -- I cannot even imagine how hard it must have been to simply form complete sentences after experiencing what you did. Lifting you up in prayer CONSTANTLY as you prepare to go and see your daughter again.
Go boldly and go with HOPE and PEACE and GRACE. Go and proclaim that God is a FINISHER, and He is EMMANUEL, God with us.
Give that sweet girl a hug and kiss, and please share an "Obicham te" (I love you in Bulgarian according to Google), from us.
"Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord..."
Let the Lord be your banner (Yahweh Nissi) as you go today, and my fervent prayer is that you and Glenn would sense Him every step of the way as you go.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Praising God along with you and choosing to trust and believe in His promise to never leave nor forsake you, Glenn, Mary, or Zoey!
Oh dear friends, dear, dear, friends, will you please pray for us! There are many other details about Zoey we need prayer for that we can not share in this public forum, but God knows. Will you all please, please share this. Share it with all of your facebook friends, share our blog address with anyone you know that will pray! Get the word out!
Clinging to these promises from God's word:
"God is Zoey's refuge and her strength, her very present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." Psalms 46: 1-3
"Though Zoey walks in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive Zoey, thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of Zoey's enemies, and they right hand shall save Zoey. "
We love you all, and are praying for you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We'll keep you posted!