How I have longed to gather you under my wings... Evergreen SGV/ZOE Update 9/8

Wow, these kids. Each one at one point abandoned by society, cast aside, and stripped of worth. Each one pursued, rescued, and then ushered within these walls to be surrounded by the love of Christ. Each one on their own path to restoration. In the interest of preserving these precious ones' anonymity and privacy, I will refrain from sharing any details, but know that whatever you might imagine was taken from them isn't even close to what was lost. But thank God that He is a God of redemption. He can take the darkest tragedy and turn it into the most miraculous love story. These are the kids who through the love of Christ are in a place where they lay their hands on complete strangers in prayer. These are the kids who of their own accord put together a fundraiser to support the children of a nearby orphanage. Whatever the enemy tried to take away from them, God has redeemed. I do not mean in any way to minimize or trivialize the great loss and sadness each has been through, but by some miracle, God is bringing about beauty in their lives, and they are able to give from that overflow.

So it was these amazing kids whom your team was called to assist medically on this trip. These precious little ones who hold such a deep and sacred place in God's heart.

Over 50 kids, four hours, one pediatric nurse practitioner, and one cardiac anesthesiologist, with the help of your Evergreen ZOE team, the ZOE staff, and an army of prayer warriors. An hour went by, and we had seen...8 kids. With two practitioners, that comes out to 15 minutes per kid, pretty amazing by office standards (ask a medical friend). But with three hours, and still over 45 kids to see, that math just didn't pencil out (about 7 minutes per). I would be lying through my teeth to say I was champing at the bit to see what God was going to do through this impossible task. To be totally honest, I was downright moping. "God, why did you send me here to fail? Why did you make me fall in love with this place, and then display my inadequacy for all to see?"

But God seems to be shining a spotlight on my inadequacy (and pride) this week. Thankfully the Holy Spirit was able to wrestle quiet into my heart and speak into the chaos:

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
~Psalm 43:5

There's a reason half of our team serves on prayer ministry. God crafted this team in a certain way for a certain reason. Our prayer warriors got to work. Denna and I reconvened, prayed, and put our hands to the plough.

I got to ask each child about their appetite, sleep, school, and hobbies. I got to listen to each priceless little heart. I got to laugh as they laughed at their knee reflexes ("Oooh, magic!"). And I got to let each one know what a joy it was the meet them face to face. At the end of the final three hours, we had only 4 kiddos left to see (we will see them tomorrow)! Yes, we addressed some medical anomalies, but this was about Jesus doing His thing with two fishes and 5 loaves. And with the leftover baskets, Fred and I were able to assess and pray over one of the children's home moms (I had a little leftover time because there were fewer boys to be seen)!

Sometimes, when we sit at the foot of an enormous wall, we think to ourselves, "There's no way I can scale that." Then God says, "you're right, you can't." And with a twinkle in His eye He says, "but watch!"

Then the trumpets blast, and the wall comes tumbling down.

Sometimes, we sit in the darkness thinking God has left us. And suddenly we realize that we are the chick gathered under the mother hen's wing, held close to her heart.

What I had forgotten was that these are God's kids. The kids He found in the darkness and chose for His own. And He will provide for them according to His might, not mine.

My encouragement to you is this: you are God's child. He found you in the darkness and chose you for His own. And He will provide for you according to His might, not your own. So whatever wall you're facing, stand there with confidence and see how He will provide a way. Let Him gather you under His wing.

By His grace,

Jason (on behalf of your Evergreen ZOE team).

PS, one more full day at ZOE! Tomorrow we attend worship service with the ZOE family, finish out our medical exams, and teach the kids about dental hygiene. Please be praying for divine appointments and as many opportunities as possible to support the amazing people doing God's work here long term!