I usually end the year by making pizza for my students at the orphanage. Some of the teens knew something was up when I came in this week with all the contents for a pizza party. I explained that I needed to go to the States so my son could have a surgery. Most of the kids simply accepted my need to go and asked if I would come back – everyone except one teen.
He is wheelchair bound and unable to use his hands well. His speech is unclear, but his mind is sharp. This amazing teen is caught in a body that just can’t respond. He inspires me often. He uses his mouth to hold a paintbrush, will encourage the other students to do their best during projects when he is unable to participate, and has used his spare time learning all of the colors (and many other art words) in English during my class. Amazing.
After he processed that I would be gone for several months, he asked if I had an app on my phone that would allow me to call some of the local teachers. “Then you could keep in touch.” He claimed satisfied with his plan. I shrugged and said that my Chinese is bad and I really can’t use those apps.
He looked me straight in the eye and said, “I speak bad. There are many things I can’t do. Teacher, YOU can do this. Don’t say that.” He finished his verbal reprimand saying that he would help me!
There have been several times facing this upcoming season that I simply want to sit down, cry, and tell God that I can not do this. I can’t say the goodbyes. I can’t travel with three kids. I can’t face my baby’s surgery without Hubby. I can’t be separated from half my family for this long. Oh, my list (and self pity) could go on.
I have decided that all I need to know I have learned from disabled children and Sunday school.
Really. Who am I to say that I can’t do these things? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We are going to do this – one step at a time, remembering that it could be harder and that Christ will strengthen us as we go.
Not unlike my sweet student who was so willing to help his technology challenged teacher – so many of you have offered to help us through this season. Thank you. Every encouraging note, prayer, and gift have been deeply appreciated. They help me to know that Father is providing for us….holding my hand every step of the way.
I have help for every leg of the journey. A friend is driving hundreds of miles to pick us up from the airport and loan us their car. Family is taking time off work to sit with us at the hospital. A local church near Shriners has offered to be my community and help. We have a furnished apartment to live in as Little Man recovers.
That is a pretty amazing list.
With each of those things in mind, I am going to say goodbyes with confidence. I will trust that Moe will be filled with peace as we travel. I won’t worry in the waiting room and I believe our family will thrive during this season of separation.