by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
It could have been so much worse! He could have turned to a life of crime – he could have perished long before reaching adulthood. As it is (and this is a true story) Jean is in his early twenties, now, studying to be an auto mechanic. His desire is to serve God by working with disadvantaged children. ”…when I become a man,” is the way he puts it.
When Jean was eight years old his father was in prison serving a sentence for a crime he did not commit. His mother was working as a farm hand eking out a living that included providing for her imprisoned husband’s basic needs along with her own and her son’s. Through a child sponsorship program supervised by a local church, a Christian in Australia adopted that son, Jean, and became God’s instrument for enduring change not only in Jean’s life but in his family’s.
This might have happened in any number of places. In this case, Jean is Rwandan and his story is told in the February issue of the Compassion Magazine. Just the photos alone are a blessing.
Compassion International is one of the truly ‘big’ enterprises of its kind. We can praise God, in this case, for a large rescue agency, an Australian businessman, and a family whose life story turned from tragic circumstances to purposeful, Christian presence primarily through a willing lad of eight.
We so often think it’s our own kids who will make a difference in this world – which is perfectly legitimate. Often we forget that the receivers (in this case in East Africa) can also become the givers. Children plucked out of the worst of circumstances can be channels of God’s supernatural, super-abundant grace.
As spiritual darkness is pushed back, God’s Kingdom advances. God chooses, often, to use a little child to impact a whole community. Hallelujah!
P.S. If you access this issue of Compassion Magazine, don’t forget to share it with your kids. They’ll get the point just by inspecting the photos and catch the impact of Jean’s story on their own lives.
Recommended reading: When Helping Hurts by Corbett and Fikkert, and Too Small to Ignore by Wess Stafford. Isaiah 58:6-12.