Rick Warren's foreword for Should We Fire God?
In mid-July my family and I went to Ukraine. I had been there before, but that was 18 years ago. At the time, I had just graduated from Va. Tech and was fully expecting that my career path of getting my PhD in Child Clinical Psychology was the right one. While I was walking down a street in front of some of the non-descript apartments in Kiev, God starting showing me a different path.
So Kiev has always been close to my heart.
But this time, I was nervous about the trip. How would we as a family respond? Noah is 15, Seth is 13 and Emma is 12. There are truly great kids, but I was worried that they might not respond well. The lack of hot water, A/C, internet and normalcy. Honestly I was pretty worried that we would take this very expensive trip and nothing would happen in their souls.
As I have been reflecting on our two weeks in Vorzel, working with some wonderful Ukrainian orphans, I am once again reminded how weak pockets of my faith in God can be.
While we were there, we had the chance to do some very hard physical work. One of our jobs was to dig out a bike path for the kids. This isn’t just so they can have something fun to do, although that would be enough. In Ukraine, a healthy kid has a better shot at being adopted. And if they aren’t adopted by age 16, they are released from the system. If they don’t have anywhere to go, the mortality rate for these kids runs at about 80%. Alcohol, drugs, street violence, starvation and trafficking take a horrific toll on them.
So a bike track can actually turn around their life.
We took shovels and dug out a square that was about 30 yards on each leg and was four feet wide. Then we took gravel (more on that later) and filled in part of our track, built forms and then poured who knows how many tons of cememt.
There were clusters of days that I never stopped sweating. There were times when I didn’t think that we would get everything done. It has honestly been a long time since I worked that physically hard.
What I learned, or perhaps more accurately, a small part of what I learned, was that our kids are even more amazing than I gave them credit for, and that God is much more prepared to work in their souls than I gave him credit for.
They worked so hard, they played with the orphans when they were allowed to, they fully participated. They saw how much harder life in Ukraine is than what we face. God started doing something just like he said he would.
And I realized that he did all that in the face of my nervousness. He is so much more willing to honor his word than I am to sometimes believe it.
I won’t forget that soon.