Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Value of Life

Yesterday, we sat down in front of a Richmond television camera and shared our story about Aaron.  I have no idea what the final result of that interview will look like, but it was a good opportunity for us to express our thanks to both Shriners Hospitals and Reece's Rainbow for all that they have done for us. Reece's Rainbow led us to Aaron, and then stood beside us while we fought the powers of this world for the right to bring him home. Shriners gives us the means to provide the best possible care for him. Without Reece's Rainbow, Aaron would have remained condemned to mental institutions for life. Without Shriners, we would have been unable to provide him with the care he needs so desperately.

I don't mean to say that both of these ministries are perfect. In my 49 young years, I have never encountered a perfect ministry, organization, group, church, business or anything else for that matter.  Every single one is flawed in some way. Because all of them are operated by human beings, all of them have flaws.  I have watched churches split apart, listened to myself and my co-workers grumble and grouse, and seen missions and ministries destroy themselves. I have seen enough to know that wherever human beings are involved, there is bound to be trouble. 

If I were God, I would have abandoned the idea of using flawed human beings to advance my kingdom a long time ago.

That's not God's way. God continues to move and work through His people, the church, to bring his message of grace and forgiveness to the world-- despite their many flaws.

Unbelievable.

I have never seen a perfect ministry.  I don't think I ever will. 

But God doesn't need a perfect ministry to work and move.   For thousands of years now, He has used flawed, sinful people to be His hands and feet.  He doesn't need perfect ministries and perfect people.  He just needs people who hear His call and have the faith to answer.

Ten years ago, a family in Maryland discovered that their newly born child had an extra chromosome.  They were at first devastated.    But in time they discovered that he was one of the greatest blessings of their lives, just as he was. The Mom decided to found a ministry to help other families discover the blessing her family had found.  She realized that almost every family in our amazing but extremely flawed country is advised, that abortion is the best choice for both baby and family.  She began to encourage families to CHOSE LIFE. 

And that was how Reece's Rainbow began: with one Christian family who spoke out for Life over death and reaped God's blessings. With one Mom who chose to speak out for the children with Down Syndrome who this world had abandoned and left for dead, children who needed a voice in a very fallen world. 

And God moved.  He saw her heart.  He took one imperfect mom and began to open her eyes, not only to the tragedy of abortion here in our country, but also to the tragedy of the Lost Boys and Girls across the ocean in baby house orphanages and mental institutions. To thousands of unwanted babies who were abandoned at birth because they were 'flawed'.  To thousands and thousands of children who had to spend their lives in exile because they were different.

Five years later, over 500 of those babes across the ocean have found homes through the ministry of Reece's Rainbow. What an amazing accomplishment! Has every adoption gone smoothly and perfectly? Of course not. Doesn't the Lord tell us that we must expect trouble when we follow Him? Despite these troubles, God has used Reece's Rainbow to answer the cries of those tiny, innocent little lost ones who the world rejected, but He never rejected.  He has used flawed human vessels to accomplish His work.  He hears the cries of the fatherless and sets them in families.  Imperfect, flawed families like ours.

Unbelievable.

Rob and I support Reece's Rainbow.  We found our son through Reece's Rainbow. Reece's Rainbow helped open our eyes to the plight of the voiceless.  We recognize that no ministry is perfect, but Reece's Rainbow is doing a work that is good and right, and it deserves our support.  It is a ministry that gives voice to the Least of These-- to children like Reece and Aaron, whose disabilities almost led the world to toss them aside forever.  I know of very few other ministries that actively seek out those that the world has rejected--  very few indeed.  Reece's Rainbow is unique in that it works to find abandoned children, then works to remove one of the biggest obstacles to bringing them home: money.  Every child five years old and under has his or her own grant account. Through word of mouth, blogs, facebook, e-mails and more, Reece's Rainbow has received hundreds of thousands of dollars into those accounts.  Hundreds of families have benefited from those donations, and hundreds of children have come home as a result.  We were one of those families.  Aaron was one of those children.

Recently, RR was nominated for a Classy Award that recognizes how well they have used the internet to spread their message.  It is a well-deserved nomination, because they honestly do a rather brilliant job at on-line messaging. They are a voice for the voiceless here in our abortion-friendly country, and a voice for the voiceless across the ocean. Awards like this spread the word about their ministry and help raise money for the kids-- both extremely worthy goals. So, if you are feeling so inclined today, you can help Reece's Rainbow win the award.  It's easy, it's free, and it doesn't take long.  Today is the LAST day you can vote.  You just follow the instructions below.  If RR wins, they will be awarded $15,000 for their Voice of Hope fund, plus a whole lot of awareness.

1) Click this link
2) Scroll down to "Most Innovative Use of Social Media"
3) Open that section
4) Vote for Reece's Rainbow
5) Scroll back and hit "submit my vote"

Yesterday we were able to sing the praises of both Reece's Rainbow and Shriners-- two organizations who actively seek out children whom the world has rejected.    They value Life.  They value Children.  In a world that rejects the less-than-perfect, we rejoice that there are organizations out there that stand up for them.  We have been blessed beyond measure by Shriners.  It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to say thank you to the men who so willingly work 20-hour days hauling us up to Philadelphia and back.  Without complaining.  Every single time we need to go.  We were privileged to share about the hospital and the doctors and nurses who have so lovingly cared for Aaron. What a golden opportunity to express our gratefulness.  It was worth the drive.  It was worth the agony of facing the camera.  It was well worth our time.

11 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. Although we never adopted through RR (our 3 were within Canada), we support them in anyway we can. I agree, there are no perfect ministries, churches, schools, etc. I'm always amazed at how God uses imperfect people to make something beautiful and that's definitely what He has done when it comes through RR. So glad the day went well. Hugs

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  2. absolutley amazing post!!! amen!
    nancy

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  3. Amen. Well said, well written.

    Brooke
    www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

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  4. Beautiful and well written. Thank you for becoming a voice to the voiceless and a voice of reason and compassion during turbulent times. It is difficult to speak out against a vocal minority but these children have to have a voice. The mission must continue and we must be willing to stand up for what we know in our hearts is right and weather this storm alongside the ministry we believe in. I am thankful HE died to bear my imperfections.

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  5. I can tell you took a lot of time to write this and it shows! Beautifully written, well worded and compassionate with TRUTH! I appreciate your writings always and will be sharing this.....again. God honors the humble and i love that He has chosen You for the purposes that He has because you are fulfilling your God given purpose very well. lovingly, Connie

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  6. Voted for RR and have been voting for them as often as I can remember!
    Thanks for the great post!

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  7. Just to clarify, you can only vote once, you need to submit the vote by scrolling to the top and then connecting via facebook OR entering an email address. This is because you are only allowed to vote once. BUT if you haven't submit the vote, it hasn't been cast! So, please be sure to scroll up to submit then connect via fb!

    Thank you, Julia, for this post.

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  8. Julia, I am sure you did a wonderful job on the commercial! I agree with you 100%! thank you for advocating and being a voice for the orphan!

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Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!

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