Thursday, December 09, 1999

Treasures in Heaven

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven Matthew 6:19-21

Each time I make a visit to the Jemima House Orphanage in Bet Jaila, Israel I come away with new insight and conviction. On my latest trip to visit the children I went as a “real girl” much to their amazement and surprise. (Of course they asked me to bring CARE EE back next time)

Ed Vohlbehr the director shared stories of his latest additions to the household. I listened intently with my two friends Patti Scalf (principal of Jerusalem School) and Mary MacPherson (a teacher at the school).

We heard about a severely retarded blind boy left at their doorstep they’ve nicknamed “Moses”, and a tiny girl no bigger than an infant that is eight years old. Seriously malnourished, and brain damaged Ed brought her to Jemima House fearing that she would not survive the winter.

We descended the stairway into the basement for Ed wanted to introduce us to “Mouse”. The catatonic boy has lived at the orphanage for the past eight years. Ed told how his wife Helen had been asked to write something about each of the children they cared for. She wrote of their boy “Mouse” and his basement home explaining when he first arrived, he suffered from seizures, yet he played happily with the other children earning the nickname Mouse.

As the years passed the seizures took their toll on his body and has now left him bed ridden, all laughter and playfulness stolen. Her last comment was “he would surely be seeing Jesus soon.”
Ed smiled “but Helen saw Jesus before our little Mouse did”.

The tenderness in his eyes did not express grief at the loss of his wife last year. They were illuminated by his faith as he explained his sustaining philosophy. “You know” he shared “the Lord tells us not to store up our treasures here on earth. When Helen died I knew that we had nine children stored as our treasures there. They were waiting for her and so they will wait for our little Mouse and me until we arrive”

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21