Thursday, April 9, 2009

Daddy, Help Me Study the Bible

Karina has enjoyed making new friends and she has been thankful for those who have reached out to her in love (and her parents are thankful too!).
Thank you to the girls at Trinity that spent time with her while we were at the missions conference.  Karina really enjoyed going out with you.  
Wednesday night, after the service, a group of girls came up to me and asked if Karina could go with them for some ice cream.
This had never happened to Sheila and I before... our younger children do not have friends ask if they can go out...
I quickly looked over the group... yes, there was some older, responsible people here that I trust... and I handed over a cell phone and twenty dollars... and prayed.
After a while, Karina returned, handed me the phone and the twenty dollars.
Wow!  I was not expecting to get the money back... or at least not all of it.
The ice cream shop was closed so they went to a coffee shop.
"Karina, you did not want to get anything?"
"No, daddy.  It is too late to get coffee.  I want to go to sleep."
I thought to myself, "Now that is a great girl."

Friday evening we spent time with a wonderful family that has shown much love toward Karina.  Karina has enjoyed getting to know Parker and of course the boys love playing with Jeffrey.  

Sunday we spoke in Sunday School for Trinity's Missions Conference - it was so wonderful and a blessing to be with these people for a week.  This is the church Sheila and I were married in, where I served as an officer and as an intern while in seminary.  It was a joy to be back.

Sunday night, Karina was baptized at our church.  She was so nervous leading up to the service.  I must share a story with you about how our pastor's daughter showed love to Karina.  I am the son of a pastor (a PK) and now my children are missionary kids (MK's) and I understand how sometimes these children (and their parents) can be ruthlessly examined, criticized and "talked" about by the Christian community.  So here is a story of how a pastor's child took the lead in reaching out and showing selfless love toward a former orphan:
Before the service, all the new members (including Karina) met at the church for pictures and then went to a chapel to be examined by the elders and answer the five questions of church membership that our denomination asks.
Karina was told to sit in one of the chairs up front that was facing the pews (which were packed with parents and elders).  She was the first young person to sit in the stage area (all the adults were sitting in chairs on the floor).  Karina sat on the front row by herself.  

The other young girls began coming in and, one by one, walked past Karina to sit on another row of chairs.  As each one passed by Karina, her face became more and more red.  She felt embarrassed and felt like no one wanted to be near her.

And then in walked the pastor's daughter who is about Karina's age.  She walked up to the chairs and glanced at Karina, then to her friends in the back, then back to Karina.  She went to the back for a moment, and then walked back up and sat beside Karina.  Once the other girls saw her beside Karina, others joined her in sitting beside Karina.

The redness left Karina’s cheeks and a smile began to appear on her face as she talked with these girls.

It brought tears to my eyes to see how our pastor's daughter took the lead in ministry to my daughter by the simple action of sitting beside her in a room full of strangers.

I am sure it was a big deal for her to not sit beside her friends and sit beside a girl she does not know and who is still learning English but it meant so much to Karina and it meant a lot to me.  Karina and I are very thankful for her.

I thank my pastor for raising children that care for others and think about what others need and I thank him for being  a great example to us and to his congregation.

It was beautiful to see Karina make a public profession of faith in Jesus and then to be baptized by one of our pastor's that has made a point to talk with Karina and reach out to her when he sees her around the church.

After the service, Karina was excited and ready to talk.  We live at least 30 minutes from our church and she talked the entire way home.

She talked about how much God has done for her and how he orchestrated the events of her life to bring her to us.

She told about the day she signed papers saying that she wanted to be adopted.  It was just after her eleventh birthday when her biological mom and dad came to visit her in the orphanage.  Her dad came and told her that he did not want Karina to be his daughter.  Her mom told her that she wanted to start visiting her and that she would come back tomorrow.  Tomorrow came but her mom never did.  Karina waited and waited... but she never came back.  So, Karina finally lost hope of her biological parents bringing her back home.  She asked if she could fill out papers for another family to adopt her and then began her wait for us.

She told of the year she lived outside.

I asked, "Outside?  Like in the grass?"

"Yes, daddy.  Before I go to orphanage my mom disappear and I live outside with my grandmother."

"Wasn't it cold?"

"Yes... but sometimes we find building to sleep in."

"A building?  A house?"

"No.  An old building... you know... not fixed but..."


"Yes.  Broken.  We get in through broken window and sleep on floor."

"How did you eat?"

"We ate whatever we find.  Sometimes grandmother have money and we buy food."

"How long did you do this?"

"I think one year... and then my mom came back and I lived with her... for a little while... until I ran away to be safe at the orphanage."

See how far God brings his children...

From living and eating on the streets...

From abuse at the hands of those who are supposed to love...

From broken promises and rejection...

To a family that loves her...

To a church family that loves her...

To God's family...

The other night she said, "Daddy, help me study the Bible."

It would bring me such joy, Karina, to help you study God's Word.


  1. How wonderful our God truely is that he would make this special child for you.

    Karina, you don't know us (except by phone and through our adoption of Dasha but we pray for you each and every day. We pray that God will heal your heart and mind. We pray that you will grow to be the women God has designed you to be and that you will always remember that you are loved. We so look forward to the day where we can meet you.

    David, Donna, Amber and Dasha

  2. The Lord has done this thing and it is marvelous in our eyes. (can't find the ref. for this verse, but it came to mind)
    Ps.98:1 O sing to the Lord a new song for He has done wonderful things. I have created a link from my page to yours in an effort to raise money for orphans, I hope that is okay.

  3. Hey,
    I just wanted to say that I can't belive what God has done for you all, and there's much more that God has planed for you! I just know it.
    Karina doesn't know me but we should meet at camp, as a LIT.
    My family and I are praying for you and we can't wait to meet Karina.
    SaraCaroline Kimball.

  4. Happy Easter! I hope you will have a wonderful one.