Friday, August 1, 2008

You Are Not Very Smart, Are You?

On one occasion, I had arrived at the Manila airport after 30 hours of travel. Needless to say, I was exhausted. I was taken directly to a conference center, where I was to speak to a gathering of 300 workers with children in crisis throughout the Philippines. It was a special banquet and celebration that night, and I was trying to stay awake.

After eating and during the preliminaries of the program, I was reviewing the notes of my message. A choir from the CGM home of Joy, a local orphanage had sung and was standing immediately behind me, waiting to sing again. One of the little boys, named Raffy, about six years old, was an orphan living at the Home of Joy and was standing quite close to me. We began to talk. He reminded me of our son, Robby.

Raffy noticed I was reviewing some notes and said, “What are you doing?” I said, “Well, I am going over my notes for my message tonight.” He said, “You need notes when you speak?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “You’re not very smart, are you?” I laughed and said, “No, I’m not.” In his youthful innocence he said, “I don’t need to look at words when I sing. I just memorize them and sing.”

That night during my restless sleep, I thought of Raffy quite a bit. I telephoned my wife, Margaret, the next day and said, “God has given us two adopted children and perhaps we should think about one or two more.”

So, the next day I went to the Home of Joy and the director, who is a friend of ours, saw me coming, stepped outside and said, “No, Mr. Nichols. You cannot adopt Raffy.” I said, “How did you know I was coming to you to talk about adopting Raffy?” She said, “I saw how you and he were drawn to each other at the banquet last night.” 

I said, “Why can’t Margaret and I adopt him?” She replied, “Well, for one thing, you are too old! But seriously, we can’t release Raffy because the new law in the Philippines is that you have to keep families together and he has one brother and two sisters.”

We kept in contact with info of Raffy through the Home of Joy over the years. His brother became a student at the Philippine Missionary Institute and after graduation from high school Raffy studied automobile mechanics. Raffy and his brother and sisters continued on in the Lord and the Lord has used them for His glory. Raffy is now serving full time with Christian Growth Ministries (CGM) with the Home of Joy and is in charge of several projects for the ministry.

James 1:27 says, Pure and lasting religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to [care for] orphans . . . in their distress . . . .

No, I am not very smart, but I praise the Lord for allowing me to meet this little boy, whom God has continued to care for and work through to the blessing of others for His glory!

1 comment:

TRCOSBY said...

The work that you do for others is not going unnoticed, I can assure you. This is the first time I have seen your blog, but I am inspired and thankful for your sharing of your missionary work. God bless.