Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mama Mia

“Mama, I think you could really be a good mom to her!” That is what came out of my seven year old Susana’s mouth last week when I brought home an 18-month-old child whose aunt had dropped her off at Jericho. The aunt explained that the child’s mother was trapped in drugs and prostitution and that she had been dragging this little pumpkin around with her on the streets. Her birth had never been registered. It only took one look at this little beauty for me to fall in love with her and Susana’s declaration quickly became my prayer. “Oh Lord, if it’s Your will, please let me be a really good mom to this little angel.” Every member of our patched-together family (I think of us as a “divinely-inspired” quilt) was in total agreement that this little one needed to be a part of us. Even Juan Carlos, who at 13 years of age is extremely unemotional about these things, could not keep from trying to hold her and bounce her around on his knees. It was unanimous. And I sensed God’s peace. So at an age when most women are becoming empty nesters, I am learning to be Mom to a very needy toddler! Noe and I found two names online that when put together mean “God’s whole promise”. We christened her Emma Isabella. We were all so enthralled with her that we did not notice the tiny head lice traveling through her cropped locks or the aggressive hitting that are obvious after-effects of living on the streets. However, it doesn’t matter…..we all share the belief that Emma Isabella has a wonderful future in God and we are excited to be a part of it!

It is hard to believe that last year at this time, unbeknownst to all of us, there was a terrible disease lurking beneath the surface, just waiting to rear its ugly death-threatening head. Praise God that His healing hand struck down that disease! I cannot thank Him enough for letting me live. Like Isabella, I have some after-effects but they are lessoning as the days go by. My hair eventually fell out at different stages leaving me with a very interesting “do.” Those of you who remember Phyllis Diller will get the picture. The only thing I can use to keep it from sticking straight up is a thing we call a “do-rag.” I am wearing it in the picture with Isabella. Jesus knew that Helen, Isabella, and many more were waiting in the wings. Many of you wrote and said that God had much more for me to do here on earth. And so it is.

Which brings me to Ruth. Last week a couple who work with a ministry called “The Micah Project” (they minister to street boys) called to let us know that they had met a fifteen year old who was a candidate for our ministry. We interviewed Ruth and had the sweetest time watching her become reconciled with The Holy One of Israel. She had known Him as a child and had wandered far from Him due to abuse and subsequent poor choices. This week Dwight is busily getting the women’s apartments ready so that we can better accommodate our rapidly growing Jericho family. Please pray for Ruth as she prepares to enter the ministry and as we prepare to receive her.

And the other news I have is that we are coming north this summer for 5 weeks! I had been praying about traveling with the kids to share the details of how God answered all of our prayers for healing. I also was wondering if God wanted me to go to my 30th University reunion in June. I had saved a little towards the trip but last week someone came to my office with a need, that was greater than the travel, and so I gave away most of what I had saved. The very next day I got an e-mail from a sorority sister saying that she and some of the other sisters had pooled some money together to buy me a ticket to fly to our reunion at DePauw. I was amazed! What they raised is about what I gave away! I love the way God works, don’t you?

Keep praying…there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t need your prayers!

In His forever love,