This past week when I went to pick up Jude or “Judee” as he’s called among our crew, his teacher called me over for a little talk. Anytime this happens I get nervous. Number one: the language. Jude’s teacher speaks no English…zero. And we have to completely communicate in German. I am always afraid that she’ll say something that I can’t properly respond to or that I’ll completely answer the wrong question because I got a verb tense wrong or I misheard the pronoun (that happened with Ellison’s teacher). Number two: Jude’s transition to Germany has been the most difficult among all of us. Just a few days ago he was telling me that he really misses his old house and his old bunk beds(a HUGE step that he’s talking about that). As a result, school’s been harder for him. For the first couple of months Jude wandered friendless and had no clue what was being said to him. I would pick him up on the playground and watch him alone or trying to engage with kids that had no interest. And then one of you prayed for Jude to find just one friend. And you know what…God delivered one special buddy for him that week!
Over the past 10 months so many people have reached out and asked how he’s doing and have offered loving suggestions. So many people have heard our requests for prayer for him and for us as we figure out how to wisely help him in this transition. And I believe with all of my heart that what the teacher said to me is directly related to Jude’s Father in Heaven and the love that has been poured out on his behalf. She said to me “Wow Jude has really made a turn around. He is speaking in our morning group, he is speaking directly to me, he is playing better with kids. We have all noticed a change in him.” I wanted to jump up and down in that moment. I’ll never forget Jude looking up to me with that grin of a smile and those big eyes as the great report was communicated to me.
This winter, Jude has also joined a soccer team. Honestly he doesn’t love it but all things considered he’s doing really well. When I remember the child that we brought here 10 months ago who would not shake hands with people or greet people and who didn’t know one word of German and now I see him out there trying his hardest-my heart gets so full.
So I am really thankful today for the big strides that we’ve seen in our guy. When you take big risks and leave everything familiar you are afraid. You are scared. I’ve been afraid, I’ve been scared. I will be afraid again…and scared again. Not only for me, but for my kids.
They look to us with fear and expect us to be brave, but deep down inside sometimes we’re not. We’re just taking steps of faith and we don’t know how it’s all going to turn out. But thankfully we can trust in a God who does. He knows the plans for each and every one of them…of us and He cares. Last week I read a story in Luke and I was so moved by this verse “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry. (Luke 7:13)” I could write and write about the little intimate details of how God has cared for our family over these past 10 months. How his grace has so incredibly covered us. The past several months have by no means been easy and I’m sure there are more difficult days in store. This week, Jude faces yet another challenge with a German speaking screening. A new environment, new conditions and all in German…Instead of fretting, I will choose to take comfort in the fact that He knows, He sees and He cares. And I will ask you, once again to pray. Pray for God’s will to be done and for peace for him as he walks into an unknown environment.