Monday, May 20, 2013

Why One Lost Sheep?

So, I did a bit of a blog makeover a few weeks ago, although I’m sure most of you didn’t even notice as I haven’t updated my blog in 6 weeks since I announced my upcoming adoption of Samuel! As it turns out, even an upcoming adoption has not turned me into a better blogger… Anyway, now that you’re seeing my newly revamped blog, I imagine some of you are asking what this whole “One Lost Sheep” thing is all about.

Those of you who have been reading here for the last little while will know that my clear call to adopt came while I was in Ukraine, praying about whether God would have me stay where I was and dedicate my life to ministering to those children and instead God told me to go home and prepare to adopt as He was going to give me children of my own. As excited as I was, there was a part of me that struggled with what God was calling me to. Here God had performed amazing miracles, allowing me to get into facilities to love on children where the doors had previously been closed. My time in Ukraine was so short, the need so great, why would I leave? The children I would leave behind had been abandoned by their parents and were being neglected and abused by those who were supposed to care for them. Why would I come home to adopt one, two, maybe three children when I could stay where I was and make a difference in the lives of dozens, hundreds or maybe even thousands of children who were truly forgotten, unwanted and alone?

One of the many things I love about God is how He cares about the individual. Surrounded by a large crowd that was pressing in on Him, Jesus stopped to heal and encourage one sick and desperate woman. Amidst a great number of disabled people lying beside a pool, Jesus called out and cured one man who had all but given up. In a procession full of curious people, Jesus saw and accepted one lost and seeking sinner. Right in the middle of a sermon which He was delivering to an assembly of prestigious leaders, Jesus had compassion on one insignificant paralyzed man and granted him both healing and forgiveness. Despite the fact that Jesus was often surrounded by crowds of people, there are countless stories of Jesus stopping to focus on just one individual and their own unique needs. Over the past seven years, God has given me a heart for the “one”. Whether spending a week with 400 school children in Uganda or 10 minutes with a dozen disabled, severely neglect orphans in Ukraine, God has taught me that it is ok to focus my love and attention on just one. It may defy all human logic about maximizing impact, etc. but that’s what Jesus did.

Which brings me back to this idea of “One Lost Sheep”…  Luke 15:3-6 says, “Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” God has called me to the individual. Right now, Samuel is the one lost sheep and sometimes, you have to leave behind the ninety-nine in order to find the one.

You know what else I love about God? He cares about the masses. This post was supposed to be about the “one” but I just had to share the rest of the story… If Samuel is my one, then the children I left behind in Ukraine are my ninety-nine. But just as God has not forgotten about Samuel, He has not forgotten about those I left behind. Do you remember Natalie? I shared here about how God was answering my prayers and sending Natalie to Ukraine to continue the work He had started with the kids I left behind. Well, Natalie is currently on what I believe is her third trip to Ukraine and God opening more doors and giving her even greater opportunities than He gave me! I just love how God works and how He uses us all in different ways to accomplish His master plan, which includes both the individual and the masses!!! So, while I will always be passionate about and support those ministering to multitudes of orphans, I have realized that God has called me to the individual which is what has led me to adoption. One lost sheep at a time.