God is good. Kumari is still in our Home, and she is staying in our Home. Praise Jesus.
The last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster. May 1st was the original date that her uncle was supposed to come get her and take her back to the slum she was rescued from. The entire month of April we fasted and prayed constantly. There was also an army of God’s people all over the world praying and interceding on her behalf. We had so many words from the Lord and such peace that she would stay in our Home, that God would be so faithful to keep her here that when our two eldest staff members went to speak to the Uncle and social worker on April 28th we were sure that that would be it. Instead the situation intensified as the family decided they were also taking her 7 year old brother as well. We turned all our discouragement into prayer and stood without doubt that God would change the Uncle’s mind. April 31st we gathered for an intense time of interceding together, trusting that God would keep His promise to save the orphaned.
May 1st came. All of the whities left to keep tension low hoping everything would be over around noon. We weren’t given the all clear to come back until five. It had not gone like we thought it would at all. The Uncle didn’t even come – he sent his father and two sisters. They conceded that they didn’t need to take Vetry but would not budge about taking Kumari. However, they agreed that it would be better if she was to live with her aunt and that she could remain in the Home’s family support program (insuring that she would still go to school). While this was better than the initial situation, the aunt still lives in the slum in a house that is about 10’ x 10’ with her three daughters. This is a slum where 10 year old girls are on drugs and the conditions are awful and she would be sure to be neglected. They were convinced to give her a day to adjust and prepare for leaving (we were so sure that she would be able to stay that nothing was packed and we had prepared her in no way). So they said they would be back on the morning of May 3rd to pick her up. I can’t begin to explain all of the emotions and doubts and thoughts that all of us were experiencing at that moment. For the first time since we had begun to pray we were faced with the possibility that she might actually not live with us anymore.
The night before they came to get her we had a special time of prayer. The founder of the Home (the adoptive mother of all of the kids) talked to the kids and said that while this was hard news to hear that we should follow the example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who said, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from you power. But EVEN IF HE DOESN’T, we want to make it clear to you, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18, emphasis added) They said with 100% confidence that God was going to save them from the fiery furnace but if He didn’t then they still would trust in Him. We would not hold any offense of God in our hearts and that we would stand on the truths that God is good and He is for us. Remember from my last post, there was absolutely nothing we could do in our strength, no bribe or judicial action – nothing. It had to be from Jesus. This was a lesson in contending and trusting even when we didn’t see the desired outcome. One of the older boys said that afternoon that he was really surprised that our prayers hadn’t been answered because the Home’s prayers are always answered. It’s true this home lives under supernatural grace and providence, but we cannot cross the threshold from shallow to mature Christians if we can’t trust God in the hard times. If our faith was found in this miracle and then it didn’t happen what would happen to our faith? It would be crushed. We would be questioning the goodness and maybe even the existence of God, but when our faith is in Jesus alone then we can be sure to always be secure in His love and truth no matter what happens. It’s a hard lesson but one that we all have to learn. I have been drawn to James 1 lately which says it much better than I ever could, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when you endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (vv. 2-4) So we thanked God for teaching us this endurance and perseverance, especially for the younger generation, and continued to completely believe in a miracle. The founder of the Home even prayed that they wouldn’t even step on the grounds of the home that they would just call and say they had changed their minds.
Thursday morning came and went and no one came. Every time someone came to the gate or drove around the corner my stomach dropped a little, but Kumari was still here at lunch time. And then she was still here at dinner. We had no idea what was going on and all of our calls to the social worker went unanswered. We knew something was happening – they had been so adamant on taking her then not to show up at all was so strange. So we kept praying. Then Friday morning came and went and still nothing. Finally we got hold of the social worker who went to find out what was going on. Apparently, two of the Aunt’s children had come on Tuesday as well and played with the kids and hung around the Home all day. They’re no older than 15, but they could tell that Kumari was well taken care of here. They talked to their Uncle and shamed him for taking her out of a clearly better place, taking away the chance at a better life that they had never had. So, he changed his mind. Just like that. He’s coming tomorrow to sign all legal rights over to the Home, and we were left agape at the Lord’s mercy and faithfulness. They didn’t even come to the Home; they just called. We prayed in complete faith, and now we will always have a testimony to cling to in our darkest hours of how God provides.
All throughout their history, the Israelites quoted that the Lord was the One who brought them out of Egypt. When all other religions in that time were founded on gods connected with things they could see (the sun god or god of thunder), YHWH was always a God of history. His character was proved in what He did for His people. He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob meaning that He brought broken men into a covenant promise. Jesus is the One who saved us by bearing all our sins and completed that Covenant. Now we can stand and say He is the God who heard our prayers and rescued Kumari. It’s a powerful testimony for all of us, because everyone who prayed and fought is a part of this miracle. Because when there was no hope we trusted in Hope itself, and He kept His promise.