Michael came to Rainbow Village with his younger brother when he was three years old. His story, like many others, has it's own sadness, which is why he was brought to us in 1992. This past week we had the blessing of seeing Michael and catching up on what's been going on in his life. Seeing him after so many years is an amazing encouragement to everyone at Rainbow.
Michael arrived at Rainbow this past week as Susan and I were leaving the US. He was smothered with love and acceptance by the ya-yas (the local dialect term for childcare attendants), his family at Rainbow. A few of the women remembered when he and his brother first came, and they accepted and loved them both into our Rainbow family. This week he got to experience a family reunion. We are always blessed when we have families return to Rainbow and we get to see those we've loved and cared for. Michael's family in Australia have cared for him since he was five, and they've done a great job! So, when his birth mother couldn't care for him, God gave him two families.
Michael's story is an encouraging one. But for many children who are abandoned, orphaned, or given up because of poverty, war, sickness, or other hardships, life doesn't always turn out so well. So, we are blessed to be a part of his and many other children's lives. It is a blessing to be a part of the conduit for God's love poured out on the little ones He brings into Rainbow's family.
We are blessed with a great staff and some great volunteers. They see their work as an opportunity to care for the children, not just a job to do. So, Susan and I are blessed to have them as family also.
As Michael said his goodbyes, it was a bittersweet time. When a strong caring relationship is built, it's always hard to say goodbye. But as our staff (and we) know, saying goodbye is something you have to get used to doing, too often.
Although we miss seeing our family in the US, we are blessed that they have been a part of the family at Rainbow. It is an extended family across the world, but it is a family nonetheless. We've seen this need for family in every child and every young woman who are part of Rainbow's extended family. It is the heart cry of every person on earth.
It is why we need to know God as our Father, to be part of His extended family. His heart cry, as seen in Jesus, is that we would know Him and be included in His family.
Reading through the Bible, especially in Genesis, it is easy to see how important and significant families are in life. How about you? How connected are you to your own family? How connected are you to other families? How connected are you to God and His family?