Arm in Arm

"The Harvester isn't waiting. He's taking His pay, gathering this grain that's ripe for eternal life. Now the Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant." John 4:36

We left early Tuesday morning to make the long drive to Sovetsk. It is a small town (relatively speaking) but is the location of the orphanage of B's adopted son as well as a school for hearing impaired children. Over the years, we visited on three occasions. Since it has been 8 years since I was last in the town, I assumed most of the children would be long gone, or have been too young to remember our visit. How memorable amidst all that goes on in a childhood could it really be?

Yesterday I found out.

Although all of the children in the "Deski-dome" of Artyom (B's son) were unfamiliar to us, many of the teachers and the elderly man who taught wood-working smiled and greeted us warmly at our arrival. The afternoon took us over to the deaf school. After our program the older children (who had been standing in the doorway listening) ran in and hugged me. They were speaking quickly (with their hands) and laboring to get the sounds out to communicate (through their hearing loss) of how they remembered me.

They were hugging, hanging on, grabbing friends to take photos and talking (in their own special language) of how special it was I had returned to them. The teacher told us this was their last year to be in school.

Several in the group were teenage boys, very calm and collected with this "clown." I asked, "You remember me?" That was all it took. They started laughing. "Yes, we have your picture." Amazed that a simple Polaroid in a frame would last for 9 years, they all shook their heads to indicate they not only had 1 photo, they had 3, one from each visit I made to see them.

During the years of East West bringing teams for orphan ministry, part of the experience was taking a Polaroid photo and watching it develop. The "leader" of the craft station would then explain the "process" of the picture developing; a picture of what God's process is in their life. At first you can't see the imagine; but the longer you wait, the clearer the imagine - the plan for a future and a hope.

"But even if mothers forget, I'd never forget you - never. Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands." Isaiah 49:16

Mothers perhaps have not "forgotten" their children now living in the orphanages across the world, even so, God's promise is He never forgets!

Remembering well with a smile
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