Joanne is our friend. She lives next door, and she also works at Disney. She generously gave us four passes to the parks, and then came with us to get three more of us into the park for free. This was her homecoming present to us as we returned from Ethiopia with the girls. We made a ton of great memories there, and as you can see from Kamise's smile the girls loved it.
It is hard to get our minds around the fact that a year ago these girls were in a orphanage far away where their little bodies never moved faster than they could run perhaps, and how this day was filled with wonder, and rides that would rocket them upward, downward and into all sorts of turns and spins. Who would have imagined?
Today I had the privilege of leading our Sunday School class through Romans 8:28-30. You no doubt recall the amazing promise of Romans 8:28 "God causes all things to work out for good..." Ideally these girls would have remained in Ethiopia with their mom and dad, family and community. However, their situation did not follow the ideal with the loss of their mom, and a dad that simply could not provide for them. They, at such a young age, have experienced significant losses, and yet from our vantage point there are some good things being woven into their story. In fact, just today as we took communion; Kamise jumped on my lap and declared that she wanted to go up (receive communion). I asked her what she thought was going on, what the bread might mean or the wine (in our case grape juice). She did not know, but these open doors will give us the privilege of introducing them to Christ, and that would be the ultimate good that could come from their struggles and losses. God is faithful, and there is hope for each one us who love God and are called according to his purpose.
That is exactly the hope we want to bring the students and faculty around the world. Not to just bring hope, but with this hope that students and faculty everywhere will courageously and beautifully bear our God's image where ever they may go, and introduce even more to this great hope.