Thursday, July 01, 1999

He's Keeping Track

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.. John 14:18

Working around the globe with a variety of children definitely presents a fair share of challenges. Working through translators, struggling to bring relevant messages as well as keeping up the smiles and entertainment value is a daunting task.

The last day of a mission, the last story told, the last children seen, always takes on significant meaning. In Kirov, the last group turned out to be the 14-16 year olds that would soon be facing “graduation” (what amounts to release onto the streets without resources or shelter.)

What could be said to make these teenagers remember the funny Americans had come to tell them about an awesome God who loves them and will not forgot them? The lesson for the day was the story of the three trees and their special dreams. But as the children walked in the room, stories of big dreams seemed inappropriate.

I prayed and began asking them questions on why they thought the Americans were there. They had many answers, most of them related to God and love. Thankfully, the message had not been lost among the jokes and game playing. Then I asked what their definition of faith was. As to be expected from any group of teenagers - no one gave a quick answer.

I used the analogy of how much faith it takes to get on an airplane that weighs thousands of pounds and to let a total stranger fly you halfway around the world. They laughed. Then we talked about God’s love, if they believed that God loved them. Most answered “yes”. I asked why? They responded “because He was the creator that made them”.

We talked about if they believed the Bible was true. Most replied “yes”. When I told them the Bible says the Lord has counted all the hairs on their head they laughed again.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid… Luke 12:7

One young man, proud to give a good answer - said God knew how many hairs he had on his head because He created him. The class laughed when I asked if he had the same number of hairs on his head today as the day he was born!

Now there’s a thought…

I pointed out if God knew how many hairs were on their head at any given time - then He was keeping a very close watch on them. They had to agree.

And I found myself learning and believing all over again. The God who loved these children, who counted all the hairs on their head, knew their situation, and was keeping up with them from the day they were born.

In my comfort zone of faith - I find it no large leap to think and recite, “He has known all of my days before one of them came to be” Psalm 139:16. But in the world of orphanages with no money and no resources, children with no future and no hope, how far does my faith carry me?

I found out that day that it carried me far enough to believe and speak with conviction. The Lord of twenty-seven Americans on a foreign mission field, far out of their comfort zone, knows each day of these children as well – and He is watching.

For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father… Matthew 18:10