Saturday, May 28, 2011

A world away

I will never forget the day the first email came from Paypal. A notice of a donation from someone "down under." A huge gesture from a girl a world away from our little life in Canton, Ohio. I saw the name and address and thought for sure it had to be a scam of some kind. No one, especially a stranger, would donate this much money to Team Danica. I emailed Dan. I called people I thought might be able to shed some light on who this person was and why she would make such a gift to us in our desperate need. It was over a year ago now, in the early days when we were stepping out in simple faith that somehow God would provide for us on the long journey ahead. This was before any fundraisers, any newspaper articles, any real attention to what we would need from all of you to really find help for our sweet girl. It was before we knew ourselves how much love and support would have to happen to get us through. But God knew, and He was making a way.

I don't remember my exact response. I know I emailed her with these verses from Matthew 25 in my thank you email, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’" I asked her, "Who are you?" She humbly responded she did not need a relationship with me. She did not need praise or thanks. God had moved her to do this big thing, snd she listened. Simple. Beautiful. Life changing.

Over the past year this dear sister has commited support to our family monthly and paid Danica's deductible twice with her substantial donations. She has been a sure thing in our world where nothing could be predicted. This young woman's generosity and love became the foundation where all the other love from hundreds of you would rest. It was God's first clear message to pay attention and see what impossible things He was going to accomplish.

Around Christmas our benefactor was able to come to the United States for a few weeks. Because of her travel schedule and the fact we were still homebound and Danica was still in her wheelchair we were not able to meet her then, but she sent a package with a few books for the girls. "Swim Little Wombat, Swim!" and "Koala Lou" became instant bedtime favorites in our house, and everytime we read them we say a special prayer for our dear Australian sister. Her gift to me was a gorgeous vintage hard cover edition of Amy Carmichael's "Toward Jerusalem." It took my breath away. How could she know this beautiful book would be the best gift of all?

I have tried to write about her ongoing generosity for months. I cannot seem to articulate it or how it has changed our hearts and our lives in a way that does it any justice. Still, the omission of this amazing love leaves a gaping hole in our story. The crux of it all comes to our faithful God. If you are in need today and thinking or feeling there are limits to what He can provide or accomplish in and through you please get on your knees and look at Calvary. As my dear Amy Carmichael wrote in another book of hers, "Rose from Brier", "Love that loves like that can be trusted with all this."

My mom used to sing a song to us when we were little. I think this is how it goes,

"He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in every mine;
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell -
He is my Father so they're mine as well;
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills -
I know that He will care for me."

Stirring the heart of a sister a world away God used part of His beautiful body to care for us. Thank you, dear one on the other side of the globe for your sacrifice and being God's hands to us. Thank you, God, for doing everything You say you will do and so much more. Soli Deo Gloria!

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