Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My First Little Girl

Imagine two scenarios with me:

A young mother with three children, ages 4, 2 and 6 months. Alone, homeless, scared, and embarrassed to seek out help from family. Needing help but nowhere to turn.

A young missionary family living in Indonesia. Monthly support provides a decent home with plenty of food & necessary provisions. Their aim: to serve the local people and to live a life of love among them, doing what they can to reach out and point to Jesus.

If we were that Indonesian family and Jesus brought that young mother to our door and she needed us to watch the 2-year-old for a few weeks while she could start a new job and get back up on her feet and we had the resources to help her, we would say "Yes! That's what we're here for!"

In truth, I expect the Indonesian missionaries to open their home in such a way and in that situation. And then I ask myself: why is it any different here in Indiana? Do I have the resources, space, time, love, concern, and mission in life? Why do I expect such "sacrifice" and action from the Indonesian missionaries?

This comparison has been burning in my mind and heart over the past few weeks.

And then Jesus said, "You're not off the hook, Jana. I'm bringing 'mission' right to your door right here in Indiana."

Enter C*, a real-life mother here in our city, homeless and with three children. Enter G*, her super cute 2-year-old daughter. Enter us, a typical midwest family with busy lives. Enter Safe Families, a ministry that connects the local Church with local hurting families with nowhere to turn.

G came to live with us for a week. My first little girl.

Justus and G playing together on the kitchen floor.

I was quite suddenly thrown into the very-busy life of a mother with two children needing constant care and attention. She was so precious--lots of little conversations, potty-training, fish crackers, trying to figure out what she liked to eat, needing comfort when she missed her mommy. Suddenly she was with us (found out Sunday, picked her up on Monday) and suddenly she was taken away (expected her to be with us for at least a month, but she was unexpectedly able to return to her mother after only a week). Such a small "inconvenience" and such an immense blessing to our family.

Justus loved having G. They would snuggle and play together.
Such a priviledge to be her surrogate mother and to love on her for a week.
Such a pleasure to serve her mother in this way.
Such a time of strengthing for our marriage to serve together (an unexpected & wonderful side-effect).
Such a small and simple way to express Jesus' love to a hurting family.

Click HERE to read more about Safe Families. It's not for the "super families" among us. We're just trying to live the Jesus-life in our city, loving the poor, the fatherless, the needy. Perhaps a ministry like this is your door to service, or maybe Jesus is starting to nudge your heart toward another aspect of the sacrifical/inconvenient/serving "missionary" life.

If you ask me about it, I might be living vicariously as an Indonesian missionary these days. My second little boy arrives in just a few hours.

*Full-names withheld to protect their identity.


  1. Wish I could have met her. Maybe the next one? :)

  2. Jana you and your family are such an inspiration! G is an amazing little girl and as much as she was a blessing to you, I know you were a blessing to her. As she grows up, she may or may not remember her time with your family, but I believe she will always carry with her the love your family extended to her and how that love was/is a tangible expression of God's love for her. Hope we get to meet the little boy that is coming to stay with you.

  3. A lovely post, Jana. It's awesome to hear how God is using you guys to love on those kids. Beautiful.