In 2014, my wife and I make the decision to host an orphaned boy from Latvia in our home. Stationed at JBLM, Washington, I lived with my wife, son, and daughter. A few months before, we went back home to visit family on leave. Visiting our old church, there was a Christian singer who told us about Project 143, an international orphan hosting program, and the number 143 signifying the 143 million orphaned children worldwide who don’t have a family.
We get back to Washington and begin to look at the website. On it there are pictures of children. Countless children, with their name, waiting to be hosted in the coming months. For them, this is their hope. The opportunity to get away from their orphanage and spend a few weeks in a family, and experience what it’s like to be away from there. Some have been there for years, but we noticed a little boy named Ingus, who had been placed there at seven years old. He was now 10, coming to the age where adoption would become difficult.
So we decide to host him. We drive to the airport to meet him, and he keeps kicking the back of my feet on our way to the car, with a serious look on his face. He doesn’t know how to act, and seems timid. He stays with us for a few weeks, we do it again for the winter hosting season, and he celebrates Christmas with us!
It was then we decide to adopt. Since we previously hosted him we were able to pursue him. In a sense, one could say it allowed us to “hand select” an orphan to adopt, and that’s basically what we did. The two-year process of international adoption begins.
Ingus is now almost 19 years old, at trade school learning how to be a carpenter. An orphan from Latvia, who is turning out to be an independent young man. I couldn’t be a more proud dad when we look at how far he has come; and thanks to God, of course, who gave us a work to be done and stayed faithful to it.
Let’s turn to the Bible. If you have one, look in the index for the book of Ephesians and turn there. This is a letter written by Paul, who is trying to help the church in Ephesus, or the “Ephesians” understand their true worth; how valued they were by God now that they’ve placed their faith in Jesus, but they didn’t understand that value.
In chapter 1 verses 3-5, Paul writes a greeting. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we might be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…”
You see Paul was a former hater and persecutor of Christians. He’s writing to the Christians in Ephesus, identifying himself with them as adopted sons and daughters into the family of God. He is telling them that they’ve been “adopted” into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ. They’ve been “hand selected” so to speak, into adoption as God’s sons, even before they were born God has claimed them as His, out of love.
My friend, if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, you are loved. Not just loved by the church, we are an imperfect people with an imperfect love. You are loved beyond measure by the One who chose you out of this darkness to come into His glorious light; the One who predestined you and has promised to keep you. He doesn’t want you to remain as you are, but realize you’ve been given a new purpose in life.
Even if you are not yet a believer; you have been made in God’s image, for God’s purpose, and He doesn’t want you to remain Fatherless. And if you want to know the great and powerful love of the Almighty God, to be able to call Him your Father, the Word of God tells us to repent, which means to turn away from living a life apart from God, and receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ and He will come and make His dwelling in you, and welcome to the family of God.