I rarely am able to process all of the things that course through me these days as I watch my oldest daughter learn about her Savior. I would say that of all the things adoption has given me, watching this girl start to understand truth…watching it transform her life…this is definitely the best.
In China, children are taught from a young age to rely on themselves. They are their own god and the only one that they really need to look out for. The philosophy that Confucious left behind…that as long as a person is a good citizen and contributor to the state then all should be well inside of them… is alive and well. Chinese Christians that I have talked to have said that they were taught that needing God was a weakness. “What? You need a god? You can’t do it yourself?” This is the kind of worldview that is inherited by the young people of China. “You are not a sinner. You are a good contributor.” Calling them a sinner is likely as insulting to them as spitting on them.
Tonight I asked Jessica, “Had you ever heard of Jesus before Katie told you about Him?” She said, “no.” In almost 14 years, she had never even heard the NAME. As a matter of fact, when Katie started telling her the Gospel story she thought she was a little loose in the head. This blows my mind. Tonight Jessica told me of stories that Tim Hedden with Bring Me Hope camp told to illustrate the point of God’s love. The story about the Ugly Duckling and about the dollar bill that had been crumpled and dirty and stepped on…the intrinsic value that we have to God. Tears came to my eyes as I realized what these stories meant to a girl who had been crumpled up, dirty, and stepped on. Yes, my dear sweet one…because of Jesus you have just as much value as every other human being on this planet. Nothing could make you more valuable or less valuable to Him.
Jessica is amazingly smart…and she is processing all of this. What I love the most is that she is not just accepting Jesus because she is a part of our family… she is asking questions, she is reading, she is listening, she is being honest about where she is at and what she is thinking. And in between there is this language barrier. I want to tell her so much…explain so much… listen to her questions and answer them and I feel like I fall so short. When we are discussing spiritual matters, I pray desperately that I don’t screw her up in the translation of my hand motions. I was never great at charades. But the Lord has been gracious to send even more help. Our sweet friend, Viviene is starting a Chinese Bible Study in her home on Friday nights with some other Chinese people in the area and Jessica attended it tonight. It will, at the least, give her some more understanding of the Scriptures and a place to ask questions in her own language and understand the answers.
The Name of Jesus is changing my girl. And tonight I told her and I believe this with all my heart, “Jessica, Jesus picked you out of China and brought you here so that you could know Him.” “Why?” she asks. Why does Jesus do anything that He does? That’s why He’s God, right? All I know is that you would be hard pressed to find a story like ours anywhere else. There is something special about this girl… and something incredible about that Name.
We get used to it…hearing His Name. In the South, we can even use it in a sentence with coffee. But there are places, ya’ll…whole countries full of people who have never heard it. Millions and millions who are separated from Christ, excluded from His covenant, without hope, and without God in the world. Bringing hope to hopelessness is our JOB as believers. We are God’s ambassadors. WE are. WE ARE. The harvest is GREAT, the laborers are few. Where are WE? Somebody is reading this who needs to say “YES.” to the Lord. He is calling. You know that He is calling. You have been thinking of every excuse in the book as to why it is probably just your imagination or why you would totally and epic-ly fail Him in what He is calling you to, but you know deep down that He is calling. There are thousands upon thousands of Jessicas out there. What could you spend your life on that is any greater than bringing them hope? The only true safety in this world comes from being totally obedient to Christ. Jesus is calling… He is asking you “Will you go for Me?” On behalf of my daughter and the uncountable number like her, I beg you…”Please say ‘Yes!'”