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He Uses US to Testify: A Missions Story

I woke early this morning before anyone else and started my normal routine. After brewing my first cup of coffee for the day I sat in the dark and began to pray.

Some of my first thoughts were drawn to a little boy I remembered from my first trip to Ethiopia over two years ago. The memory of him seemed to come out of nowhere. I recalled his fragile condition… he could only breath and make small eye movements. His very small body was covered with a sleeper and blankets but his arms, legs, and feet were drawn in. I don’t know if I can accurately describe his quality of life. After praying and wondering about him I opened my advent reading plan.

These were the scriptures:

Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; he will come and save you.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

Isaiah 35:4-6

I cried and thanked the Lord. I knew what He was showing and speaking to me over this dear child. In those times I can only offer tears of worship. He is so good. My Emmanuel.

I met this tiny boy on my first trip and when I returned the following year I was able to visit with him again. He’d been moved to another orphanage but I had not forgotten him. This time I came armed with a few words I learned in Amharic. Prior to my travel, I determined I would know how to say you are not forgotten.

A truth God taught me about every child I met previously. He knew their name, every hair on their head and every breath they took. Grasping that He knows them and having experienced first-hand the lengths that He goes to provide for them has marked me for life.

This morning, in my dark living room, God gave me a glimpse of that great day when I’m home with Jesus. In my mind, I could see the beautiful boy running over and leaping toward me. We rejoiced and I could hear him say “I remember when you came and you told me I wasn’t forgotten….. you were right!” HE CAME and I was not forgotten.

My heart is full this morning.

It is full of hope because I know my God is with me and He is faithful to the many children I have met along the way on my trips with One Orphan/America World. I am grateful that He reveals Himself and gives us what we need just when we need it. However… my heart breaks and sometimes and I’m unable to catch my breath when I enter into those moments where I held, heard and saw the suffering of His sweet creation in this broken world.

I think this is how caring for orphaned and vulnerable children looks at times. So very hard and excruciatingly painful but I’ve also seen and learned that God’s love is deeper, wider and higher than I can possibly tell. A love that gave His only Son and whose promises are true!

He uses us to testify of this. That is why it is so important to arise and go when He says to go. Give when He says to give. Speak when He says to speak and to do it all from a genuine and sincere love that only comes from the Father. I’m forever grateful.

By: Ashley Bruce

How do you respond to this story from Ashley?  Join us on a mission trip in 2019, donate to send someone, or simply pray daily for the children that need hope. Thank you!

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