Friday, May 18, 2012

Tales of the NOT Forgotten

God is a great storyweaver.  One weave or strand is weak but He brings so many weaves into our lives to make us stronger and better.  One weave that I have been blessed over the years to have been able to meet and hear her heart is Beth Guckenberger. 


Beth's heart for the orphan is overflowing.  You may have read it from Reckless Faith or Relentless Hope two fantastic books she has written.  You might have been privilege to experience it by working along with her and Back2Back Ministries (www.back2backministries.org) on one of the multiple sites spanning the globe.

Beth has always had a way of bringing the stories of the children come alive.  She can bring you up, tear you down, give you a glimpse of hope, or a glimpse of pain.  But in it all she shows how God's story has never stopped.  His plan, His will, and His provision will win!

Beth just had a new book come out in press from Standard Publishing.  Tales of the NOT forgotten is a book written for young adults to capture them in how the master Story Weaver has each of us in His plan.  I bought this book for my 9 year old who is traveling with me this year to visit the Monterrey Campus of Back2Back.  Dakotah, my daughter, has heard the stories.  She has seen the pictures and even communicates with one girl around her age who lives in Casa Hogar Douglas.  I want her to fully be captured by the James 1:27 call.  But mainly I don't want my child to ever think that she is Forgotten.

So anyways, I got this book for my daughter.  But of course I had to read it first.  I picked it up and could absolutely not be pulled away from it.  In a matter of about 2 hours I had digested the entire book.  What an AMAZING title.  These stories are fresh, amazing and well written about children who Back2Back serves.

In it all I was challenged about what the StoryWeaver has for me.  Through all my life things and people have been woven into my life to help me, to challenge me and make me who I am and mold the passions I have for the orphans. 

Beth starts this book with the story that started this journey for her and her husband Todd. 

While reading I was drawn back to 2004 and a trip I was on with a non-profit to China.
One of the first homes that we visited, it was a stone building.  There was a room with one window near the roof.  I was walking down the path in the tale of the group, really just asking God to help me be prepared for what I might see.  Prepare me to love these kids even if I am overwhelmed.  As I was walking I clearly heard singing coming over the breeze to me.  "I am a promise.  I am a Possibility. I am a Promise.  With a capital P...."  To this day I am unsure where it came from.  I didn't find a single child there who spoke English. No radios to play a tape.  Nothing that could have emanated those words that calmed my spirit and set my heart on the roller coaster that it has been on for the last 12 years.   It was definitely God.
Zhihong and me

Zhihong and the glasses

Later that same trip I met a young girl named Zhihong.  I have mentioned this story in previous blogs but the short version was this:  She was the age or my niece, around 12 or 13 I thought.  We had journeyed to a home for Mentally handicapped adults, and met her.  At first I thought she was the workers child, but shortly found out she lived there.  I spent the afternoon jumping rope, playing hide and seek and other games with her.  At one point she saw my sunglasses and stole them from me to wear.  When I didn't chase she gave them back to me.  I in turn motioned for her to keep them. 
So all day she had them and ran.  When it came time to leave she tried to give them back, so I grabbed Sherry our interpreter who told her they were a gift.  At this the tears came and the story broke.  She had been forgotten.  She and a friend had lived at 2 other homes where they had been sexually abused so they were sent here.  Her friend had been adopted leaving her by herself and her 13th birthday was fastly approaching which meant she would be made to leave the home.  This gift was the first gift she had ever received.
I have prayed for this young girl who now would be about 20 years of age.  I pray that she knows that she is NOT FORGOTTEN. 

We never know the weaves that God puts in our lives and how they will effect us later on in life.

It has been 8 years since I was in China on that trip.  Almost 8 years to the day.  And in hopefully 2 months I will be making a trip again to that same area to bring home 2 little children whom God has NOT FORGOTTEN.  Why?  Because each one of the 148 million orphans of this world are a Promise.  A Posibility.  A great big bundle of Potentiality just waiting to be given the chance.

Buy the book, buy many.  Read them, give them away, share them...  Start a revival. 
God is wanting to bring hope to these children, and that hope begins with YOU.

ARE YOU LISTENING?

1 comment:

The Petersons said...

Hello! I just came across your blog today and I really enjoy it! My wife and I live in China and are raising three foster children (all HIV+). It's cool to see your heart for adoption! Have a great day. Matt