Agnes had just returned from the morning prayer meeting when she got my email saying help was on the way. Agnes is Pastor Roy’s administrator.
Hello Pastor Chris, praise God of the help. We’re encouraged to do our mission as we see many people giving donations. Thank God. It’s morning watch prayer meeting. God answers prayer, He’s so good to us.
Please donate if you’d like to.
Here’s an excerpt from chapter one in Made To Pray. It seems appropriate in this Philippine typhoon and also because it’s National Adoption Awareness month.
You don’t know when you’ll return to this part of the world, so you walk the streets near your hotel. You watch the people, take in the smells. It’s so different from home. Water has finally receded from the rain. The wet ground is starting to dry. You missed the storm by just days. You wonder how they’ll recover. It seems unfair that so many storms have come.
Different colored trash litters the ground; your eyes are drawn to it. There’s green glass and brown glass and blue glass. There are sheets of tin and wet cardboard, loose paper strewn about. Shoeless and dirty children waddle around. They pick out trash as toys. They find a tire, roll it to each other and laugh. You can’t decide to smile or cry.
What’s that on the ground? A piece of paper with writing on it. You notice it among the garbage. You pick up the fragment, mud-stamped and still damp. You can make out the words written in pencil, trampled by little feet:
God, I praise you in the sun and storm. I praise you in the good times and bad. I praise you in the typhoon. Homes are gone. Much is lost. I don’t know what’s next. We had little, and now we have less. But I praise you, God. You’re the Good Shepherd. We have Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We have all we need! The mud will become dust, but my praise will remain.
Later on, the phone in your hotel room rings. They’re ready for you. He’s ready for you. He is why you’ve come this far.
Normally, he would be playing in the trash, roping the tire, dodging the glass. Napping in the street, peeing in the puddle, running from robbers. He’d be scavenging for leftovers behind the stores and restaurants. And he’d be wanting to be rocked to sleep in soft, firm arms and fall asleep with his head leaning on a beating heart and a lullaby in his sweet ears.
He’s why you’ve come to the Philippines.
And when you meet him, big bright eyes like fantastic stars, you praise the God who puts the lonely into families. He cares enough to shut the wombs of certain mothers. God saw that this boy needed a family, and your family would, in time, understand what you were to do. You’d stretch and scramble a bit, but as unthinkable as it was, you would come to praise the God who shuts wombs. Praise the Father of the fatherless.
And from your soul bellows a most sincere praise:
Praise the Father of the fatherless, who shuts wombs but opens families. Praise the God of wonders, who wonders with his love and marvels with his purposes. Who can fathom your plans, O Lord? Your eyes are on the orphan, your heart is on the least of them, and your hands are on my family. I praise you for increasing my family in a most unexpected way.
And that night, your boy is rocked to sleep with a song, head to beating heart. He sleeps soundly with no fear of danger, like a child should. And the next day, you bury your prayer in the dirt.
You will leave this land, but your praise will remain.