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!).
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.