ADOPT- Where The Heart Matters
The Global Youth Day (GYD) has always been special to me. In 2013, it was on this day that I met my wife for the very first time. I had no clue that the person I met would soon be the one I would spend the rest of my life with. God works in wonderful ways.
This year, for the Global Youth Day, which was to take place on March 16th, we looked for a place where the youth of our church could serve and share God’s love. Through prayer, and with the help of Mrs. Nalini Narasappa, we zeroed in on The Refuge.
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The Refuge is home to 26 orphaned girls between the ages of 4 to 15. These girls come from troubled homes or broken families. The Refuge is managed independently by Mrs. Beulah John. When I met her for the first time, she was thrilled to see us and eager to learn about how they could be involved in our GYD program.
Our plans, as a church youth group, included spending time with them, sharing God’s love and the gospel. We also hoped to invite them to spend the Sabbath with us at our church. Our theme for this year’s Global Youth Day was “Adopt”. In Christian theology, adopt or adoption is the admission of a believer into the family of God.
In our subsequent visits before Global Youth Day, our team learned more about her story and the inspiration behind The Refuge. During our conversations, she mentioned that people wouldn’t invite her to their church but would instead visit or help with needs. At this point, we asked her to join us for Church the following Sabbath.
Like all good things that God does, The Refuge’s visit to our church was perfect. It was encouraging to hear Mrs. Beulah John give her testimony: as a little girl, she was a victim of kidnapping, and thankfully was found and restored to her family. Throughout her life, she acknowledged God, leaning on the promise in 1 John 4:4-
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.1 John 4:4
She reminisced about the time her twin boys, once brought home a young, homeless rag picker and bathed him. She knew God’s calling for her was to help his children who had been turned away by the world.
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We spent the entire Saturday with the children, sharing lunch and spending time at the park participating in fun activities. As we approached the close of the day my thoughts turned toward our GYD theme ‘adopt’ and what it meant to me. It meant holding them in my heart more than just in my hands. It meant to seek, serve, and share God’s abundant love continually with His people – and we are all His people.
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-Earnest Samuel (Sanjay)