Day Nine: Five Life-Changing Minutes

It’s Day Nine of our 21 Day Watch.   Many today wrestle with anxiety, a sign of the troubling times in which we live.  A good way to calm anxiety is to watch for signs of God at work.  We grow in our faith as we enlarge our view of God.  Sometimes it helps to look at God’s “big picture.” My friend Rebecca was pouring out God’s love to the hurting and broken in a small village in Haiti, when God surprised her with a glimpse into His larger purpose. As she was serving others, He brought healing to her own heart and renewed her hope.  As you read Rebecca’s words, I pray your hope is restored, too.

GUEST BLOG: By Rebecca Bradley

Over Thanksgiving 2014, my eight-year-old daughter and I traveled with a team from our church to serve the amazing people of Haiti. I experienced a life-changing five minutes on that trip. On day three, we ventured into the heart of a village to pray over the people and simply give away God’s love. We wandered through the dirt-clad streets filled with beautiful brown people with the biggest smiles you have ever seen. We happened to come upon one particularly special corner of the village.

A strikingly beautiful woman came out of her home. We sensed that she wanted to talk. She told us that she could not go to church because she did not have the right clothes to wear. Uninformed about the local customs, we were quick to reassure her that God was not concerned with clothing. But our translator began explaining that in the Haitian culture, it does matter that you have the appropriate garments to wear to church. So, the prayer then became that God would provide the necessary clothing. After more conversation, she told us that she wanted to know Jesus completely. This lady then got down on her knees and prayed the prayer to ask forgiveness of sins and for God to fully reign in her heart and life. Our hearts leapt with joy!

Haitian+woman

As if that mountaintop were not enough, I began to stand up, wiping the tears away just as three Haitian children started pulling on my skirt and leading me over to another woman.  We walked up to this dilapidated fence and she begins to hand her infant son to me. Of course I am utterly confused by this gesture, so I ask the translator, “What are these children trying to say to me?” He says, “She wants you to have her baby.”

Haitian+baby

She wants you to have her baby.” My husband and I have longed to adopt since first meeting in college. We have always believed that we would one day have an African-American son through adoption.  But our journey has been very confusing for us, filled with much loss and trauma. After three easy, healthy pregnancies with our daughters, we delivered our first stillborn son, Owen Charles, on February 21, 2012. Medical personnel had no explanations. Then, several months later I became pregnant with another child. It seemed that it could only be God when we learned that it was another boy and he was due one year later to the day of Owen’s due date.

We prayed fervently and had a community surrounding us who believed that this second pregnancy was part of God’s redemptive story. God had different plans that we still don’t necessarily understand or like, but that is what faith is all about. We delivered our second stillborn son, Levi Bradley, on February 7, 2013.

We now step back and continue to process what God may have desired for us to understand through those very powerful five minutes in Haiti. We believe He was pulling back the curtain to reveal that somewhere He does have a baby for us to adopt. Knowing that our dream/calling was to adopt a dark-skinned son, the gesture of this woman holding her son up for me symbolized God’s promise that He would provide a child one day who would be handed to us in love. And, if we are incredibly blessed, it will be a dark-skinned boy just as our hearts desire. We believe in faith that there will eventually be a son who shares our name and we are able to live out the gospel in our living room, all because of a life-changing five minutes in Haiti.

Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see {Hebrews 11:1}.

*To read more about Rebecca’s journey, click here.  Follow her on twitter @becwoodman


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