Last week I went back to one of my heart's homes. It's amazing how much of God you can see in one short week...through all-but-orphaned children, through the treasure of the Word, through God-centered preaching, through serving with others, through other people, through sunsets over New Mexico, through sovereignty worked out in continuous small miracles...
Two experiences stand out among all that happened in that crazy short week. Both happened on Wednesday. I was picking up kids at Apache, and only Qwue-Qwue was in my van as we circled the apartment complex. She noticed the writing on my left wrist. "What does that say?" It's a one word reminder to myself--"Love."
"Who do you love, Qwue-Qwue?" I twist around so I can look into her eyes.
"I love God." Tears come to my eyes...you'd have to know her story to understand completely. Miriam says later that we don't know what a 7-year-old born on Skid Row whose parents deal drugs would look like as a Christian...but it might look a lot like Qwue-Qwue. She goes on to tell me, "Yesterday I was trying to read my little Bible but my mommy came and told me to put it away." How does a 7-year-old follow Christ when her own mother is upset when she reads her Bible? When her mom's boyfriend hits her?
On the way back to Apache, I had three kids in my car--siblings, Jessica, Myella and Anthony. They were upset that they couldn't stay for Mission Memorization with some of their friends. But we couldn't get ahold of their mom, so we had to take them back. Most parents at the projects wouldn't even care and might not even notice, but we want to keep them informed any way. When we got to their home, their mom was there, so they asked her if they could go back with me. She agreed and they went inside to get coats. I have a brief phone conference and we're unsure if it's okay for them to come back as they'll miss dinner and most of homework help time. Finally we decide it's okay, and they're back in my van, much happier than they were on our ride to the apartments. I ask them what they like about Kid's Club, the VBS/tutoring program they've been coming to. "I like the songs and the games and learning about Jesus," Jessica answers.
"What do you know about Jesus?" I ask.
"Um...He died on the cross."
I pause to see if there's more and then ask, "Do you know why He died?" She doesn't, so I explain the entire gospel as best I can. The car ride flies past. Finally I try to sum it up for her: "Jesus died so we could go to heaven and be with God when we die, and so we can turn away from our sin and toward Him."
She gets it. "I want to turn away from sin and follow Him." I am amazed at God's sovereign plan for this drive that my flesh had been kicking against. He gave me that one-on-one time so that Jessica could understand the cross. His plans for my days are so much grander than anything I create.