Monday, April 13, 2009

Praying and Remembering

Two years ago, a little girl entered our family and we were forever changed.  Learning that she had Down syndrome was a shock and hearing that she had heart defects was difficult.  The early days were hard, but we were surrounded by family and friends that reached out to love and support us in so many ways and medical and professional staff that showed us how to care for her.  Those dark days were ones in which we saw God's hands at work in so many lives - all touched by a tiny, sick little girl. 

We watched her struggle - heart failure, feeding difficulties, sickness and feeding tubes.  We have also watched her succeed - crawling, walking and learning to eat.  We have had numerous people help in these successes from doctors to therapists, from family to friends, from encouragers to prayer warriors.  All have made a huge impact.

I have learned so much about God in watching Eliana.  I've been blessed in ways I never could have imagined when I sat scared and alone in a hospital room while my baby girl was in the NICU.  This was not a journey I wanted to take because I was afraid.  I'm so glad that God knew better.  We would have missed out on so much!  Eliana is a gift, a blessing, and a delight.

Children like Eliana in other parts of the world don't have the same opportunities that she does.  The conditions are grim and heartbreaking.  These children need someone to love them, to pray for them and to help them. 

I wanted to share again about Reece's Rainbowm a wonderful organization which helps facilitate the adoption of children with Down syndrome from other countries.  We have been sponsoring children there and praying for them too. 

One of the little girls there has drawn my heart.  I pray for all of the children in general and very specifically for this beautiful little girl named Tonya.   

Her time is running out.  She is due to be transferred to a mental institution when she turns 4 - this summer.  Will you please join me in praying for her?  Will you also pray about what God would have you to do?  There are lots of ways to help an orphan.   You can pray, sponsor a child, sponsor a family that has made a commitment to a child or you can go yourself and bring a child into your family. 

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." (James 1:27)

Another mom, Meredith, has written about her children and the conditions into which they were born and lived their early lives.  Please go read what she has to say - it is very moving.  I know I was in tears after reading it.

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act"  Proverbs 24:12 

I know that God loves each of these children just as He does you and I.  I know that He is there with them.  I pray that these children and those that care for them would also know how much He loves them.  I pray that God would move our hearts to follow His will.  It is hard sometimes to know what His will is for our lives.  I know that He wants to guide us and that we will be blessed in following His path for our lives. 

Praying as we celebrate Easter that we would know the joy of His resurrection, the amazing gift of His sacrifice and the blessing of His abundant love.