John and Angela Raske adopted Isaac from China in 2008 through America World when he was almost 3. Isaac has complex congenital eye issues resulting in blindness. He is now 7 1/2, learning braille and cane use, and everything else 7 year old boys love to do. The Raskes also have two biological children, Joelle (11) and Frederick (8). They are in a second adoption process with the China Waiting Child program. Below is a recent story shared by their family:
Once again, the Raske boys ran the local Cosley Zoo Fundraiser races this past June. John ran the 5K and the boys, Frederick & Isaac, ran the 1/2 mile while Joelle and I cheered them on. This year, however, Isaac (who is blind) ran “on his own” with only his dad’s voice behind him as he ran. He could not see the runners around him, or the neighborhood landmarks passing beside him, or the eventual finish line banner a half mile ahead. But he could hear his dad’s footsteps behind him and his voice guiding him ...
a little to the left
a little to the right keep going
don’t give up you’re doing great heel - toe
you’re almost there you can do it!!
When I finally see the boys nearing the finish line, Frederick first, eyes fixed on the banner, striding long and hard---and then farther back, Isaac followed closely by John, my heart is full. It seems ridiculous to fight tears at a 1/2 mile race. “I can’t cry now. Isaac needs tohear my voice cheering,” I tell myself. His face is tired and red. He can’t see the finish line, but his dad can. And I can. So I yell and cheer for him as all moms and dads do. When he hears my voice, his face brightens and his stride gets stronger. He knows he really is almost there. I can’t help myself, I jump in and run the rest of the way just behind him, careful to still let him do it on his own. After he crosses the finish line, we celebrate together and swing him around and tell him he did it! He’s so proud of his medal. I am proud of all my boys, bravely stretching into more than they could do yesterday, for pressing on and not giving up.
Maybe you are running a race where you can’t see the finish line. You are tired and it shows. It is impossible to see the path at times. You can’t see that others are running with you, running the same hard race. Listen closely and you’ll hear your Father beside you, cheering you on, telling you to not give up, guiding you on the right path, correcting you when you veer off, reminding you that He sees the finish line and will never leave you. He allows you to race because He knows it will strengthen you, and He runs it with you, watching over every step, every stride, every struggle. You will get to the finish line, sooner or maybe later than you expect, but you will get there and all of Heaven will celebrate with you.
Be encouraged, runner
of life. God runs with you.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1