Spurring on Toward Love and Good Deeds

Up! Our families hiked to this peak in the Boundary Waters last summer. Pictured are my two girls and our friends kids, two who were adopted from Ethiopia 13 months ago.


“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24 NIV  

A little over a year ago, very dear friends of ours adopted two beautiful little girls from Ethiopia. Over the past several months, we have had the honor of walking beside them as they have gone through the many ups and downs, joys and struggles of the adoption process.   

Can you imagine, for a minute, the language and behavior challenges in adopting a 6-year-old and a 1-year-old into a family that already has three children under the age of 8? Whew! And can you imagine the joys of hearing orphan cries turn to shrieks of laughter and limp arms turn to passionate embraces?  

The last 13 months have not been easy for our friends. Not easy for one minute. God called them to this great endeavor of caring for orphans, and He never promised it would be easy. But God did promise to bless their faithful obedience to Him and His word, and God always fulfills His promises.  

“…Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” -Luke 11:28   

Our friends’ faith in God and their love for these two precious daughters continues to amaze and inspire us. We’ve seen true compassion. We’ve seen faith in action. We’ve seen unquestionably sacrificial love. We’ve seen incredible obedience to the Lord. What a joy to see God so clearly at work in their lives! What a testimony! They have made such a profound difference in the lives of these girls, and God is writing this great love story on the hearts of their biological children as well.    

I don’t know if our friends will ever comprehend how much they have spurred our family on toward love and good deeds. Passion like theirs is uncommon and quite contagious. And it is their uncommon, contagious passion that has encouraged us to sponsor a little boy in Ethiopia through a program called Children’s HopeChest.  

First, let me say that our commitment to sponsor this little boy really seems quite miniscule in comparison to our friends’ loving commitment to adopt two orphans. Day after day, they are the hands and feet of Jesus to these girls as they feed, clothe, educate, and parent them. Our sponsorship is a much smaller, long distance commitment, but we are doing it in the same spirit, in the same love.  

Our sponsorship provides this precious little boy direct help for emotional, educational and medical needs. He will receive age-appropriate Bible training and discipleship classes that will offer opportunities for a national believer to share Christ through word and deed. He will receive birthday and Christmas gifts and parties. And we will offer him encouragement through prayer, letter writing and relationship. Our prayer is that we will make a profound difference in this young boy’s life. Our prayer is that this little boy will know how long and wide and high and deep is the love of Christ, a love that stretches across the globe from Minneapolis, USA, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and beyond.  

Likewise, we pray that this endeavor will further teach us how long and wide and high and deep the love of Christ is. We pray it will make a profound difference in our hearts and the hearts of our two daughters. We pray this will soften our hearts so we are more tender toward those in need. We pray that, in however small and remote a way, we will be the hands and feet of Jesus to this dear little boy.  

Of course, dear readers, I want to spur you on toward love and good deeds as well. So I’d like to encourage you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child through Children’s HopeChest.  

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” -James 1:27  

The boy we are sponsoring is at the Kind Hearts orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. While dozens of children at Kind Hearts already have sponsors, a few are still waiting for a sponsor. Maybe the sponsor they are waiting for is you. To find out more details, hop on over to Family From Afar or contact Karen Wistrom at kjwistrom@yahoo.com. It may not be easy, but God promises to bless your faithful obedience to Him and His word, and God always fulfills His promises.

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