Sunday, September 28, 2008

Martin's dream come true!

So much has happened since our last post.  My parents and grandparents came to see us for the first time and it was so awesome watching them interacting with the children we've come to love so much.  They came at an extraordinarily busy time, but we are always so happy when someone can spend time and really get to see what our lives are like out on the road.  

We also jumped two hurdles over the two weeks: we stayed in hotels on two different occasions, and we performed at our first Extraordinary Women conference.  Staying in a hotel may not seem like a major feat, but it takes a lot of coordination to work out all the details with thirteen children.  Of course, they only care about one thing- the pool.  "Auntie, swim?  Swim?" has been the most repeated question over the last fourteen days.  They have learned to swim very quickly and that is by far their favorite activity.  

This past Friday and Saturday, we had an E-Women conference in Kansas City, Missouri.  This is a national women's conference that takes place many times each year all over the country, and can have anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 women attending.  It's a completely different ballpark than at a church.  People like Avalon, Mandeesa (from "American Idol"), Charles Billingsley from NewSong, and Richie McDonald from Lonestar perform.  Pretty much everything is taken care of for us- sound equipment, product tables, child sponsorship is all set up before we arrive.  

Martin, our 10-year-old prodigy, usually shares his testimony during each concert.  When we were still in training camp, I sat down with him and asked him to share his story with me.  This is what he now tells all the churches:

"When I was very young, I lost my father.  My mother was not able to take care of me, but she wanted me to have a bright future.  My brothers and sisters tried to provide for our family, but it was never enough.  My mother took me to Destiny Children's Home.  When I was there, I heard a song. 'There are no strangers; there are no outcasts; there are no orphans with God.'  I sang it again and again, and I began to realize God is my Father.  I have a hope now!  When I grow up, I want to become a doctor to help the people in Uganda who are suffering the way my father did. Romans 15:13 says,  'May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him!"

When we arrived at the conference, I remembered that the music group, Avalon, was there.  Their song, "Orphan of God" is the song that turned Martin's life around.  It's the song that allowed him to realize that he does have a Father and he always will.  He had told me before, "When I sang that song, I realized I didn't have to be sad anymore.  I prayed to God and thanked Him for loving me."

I told someone at the conference about Martin's testimony, and asked if there would be any way for Martin to meet them and tell them his story.  An hour later, they appeared and Martin got to tell them how their song changed his life.  I hear his testimony every day, but it was impossible not to get emotional watching this once-in-a-lifetime connection take place.  I was so proud of him.  I have no doubt his Heavenly Father was, too. 

1 comment:

Donna said...

What a wonderful story! I know that the memory of meeting Avalon will always hold a special place in Martin's heart. He is going to make a big difference in the world someday. Gosh, with his testimony, he already is! I wish I was traveling with you- I know, I know. Jay does, too- because after meeting your children, I want to spend so much time with them! You have a beautiful family, Taylor, and I don't mean US! We love you and miss you. Mom