This week has been a challenge for my family. My brother ran away in a heat warning with only a pair of shorts on and my Aunt died. While my Aunt isn’t going to come back I am relieved to say that my brother did come home. We had to call the police and thankfully he came home before search and rescue came.
It was stressful not just for us and our friends as we looked for him but also for my youngest siblings. They have a fear of the police due to being removed from their home by the police in their birth country. My youngest sister burst into tears just at the mention of them coming. However, when they did come, the kids were very brave and I am so proud of them.
Despite the struggles that this week has brought it has reminded me of the importance of family and the reality of running away. Don’t we all run from something? We run from our fears and from uncertainty. We run to escape and sometimes in hope of finding something new.
Running away is not just running in the sense of hitting the pavement, it might be, but more often we run in other ways. We might run by pushing ourselves into our work or losing ourselves in books, tv, or video games. Running is not just about running or losing ourselves in harmful substances.
I wonder what or who we are running towards. When we run do we have someone to run towards? I’m ever thankful that my brother came back. Though he left in anger and a whirlwind of emotions he knew he could come back. He knew where he was loved and would be safe. He knew where he could run to. Sometimes we run from the very places that we should be running to. I wonder how many times I’ve run from God only to realize that he is the very place I need to be running towards.
A greater concern for me at this moment is the thought of those kids who don’t have a place they can run towards. They don’t have the arms of someone who loves them that they know they can return to, who can hold them tight and safe. Someone they know that they can run towards.
It’s not just adoptive parents who can be this place of refuge for kids who used to have no one. We can all be a place that someone can run towards. That might just be a kind word or a helping hand or it might be something much bigger. Whatever the case might be, we can mirror the acceptance, hope, and love that we find in Christ. We now have a place of safety in the presence of our Father.
There is a little boy that I have talked about before – Zaki (https://reecesrainbow.org/76448/zaki). I’m writing about him again at the request of my youngest brother. It has been more than two years since I told him about Zaki and he still prays for him every night. The two boys were born in the same year (2009) and though being born in different countries (Eastern Europe and The People’s Republic of China) my brother feels a connection.
My brother periodically asks me if Zaki has been adopted yet, he’s worried that Zaki will not get adopted and will die. He remembers the time when he was still in the orphanage and was very sick, a far cry from today where he is healthy and flourishing. He fears that his future as it stood without a family will be Zaki’s future. A future that has changed and opened up to encompass many possibilities.
My brother has even promised to go to China and adopt Zaki himself if he doesn’t get a family. Though this is not a possibility it shows the dedication that he has to this other little boy. Would you pray with me that Zaki will get a family soon? That he will have a safe place to run to? That there would be good news to give to two boys who are on either side of the planet?
Thank you that you are a place of safety and refuge. Thank you that we can run to you even if we were first running from you. Please help us to model you and also be a place of safety and refuge for others.
Lord, I pray for Zaki. He has been listed for more than four years and has yet to have a family come forward to call him their own. Please bring a family forward for him. A family that can love and support him. A family that can provide a place of refuge for him.
You know that my own brother has loved him and petitioned you for the life and future of Zaki. May his prayers be answered and a joyous sound be heard around the planet.
In your name, I pray,