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Be Imitators of God…

I hold on to this command. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1. I know I am His–so He is the strength that works through me. I know my children are His–and I will treat them with tenderness because they are His. Last night–my sweet one was up from 11pm to 3am…kicking and screaming. His strength and power in the night’s amaze me. As I hum Amazing Grace softly with joy and peace I feel His healing and presence in my own heart…and for moments the crying stops and I know He is the one calming and then when it picks up again I know this isn’t forever. He is the Great Physician of us all–and He will not leave us or just let us be.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”

There is nothing sweeter or dearer to my heart than having the eternal privilege of speaking truth into my children. You are loved by God. Mommy is here. Mommy loves you. There is no reason to be afraid… What a calling. What a command! What a PRIVILEGE!

I love this excert from the book Counsel from the Cross about the verse that procedes the verse above. It is Ephesians 4:32 “God in Christ has forgiven us“:

When Paul commands Christians to imitate God, he does so in light of a very specific divine action: “God in Christ forgave you.” What he is saying is this: because you have already been forgiven, you can and should imitate God. Because God has already declared that he will not hold your sins against you, you can adopt this attitude of grace with others…the therefore [in the first verse “Therefore, be imitators of God…”] is a gospel declaration, meant to comfort, encourage, and inform you before you get to teh gospel obligation, “be imitators of God.”

WE NEED TO HEAR THIS. We need to hear this and be reminded AGAIN what He did for us–or else our view of ourselves, others and the world will be off. He has forgiven me!!! He has given me new life!!! My heart is new! I want to live for His sake. While some who have yet to meet Him might say I’m crazy or maybe even brain-washed (just sayin’ I’m sure some might say it)–I have met the Redeemer…through the power of the Holy Spirit…and I now want to be an imitator of my Father in heaven.

Are you with me?

I want to share some children with you today that He deeply, deeply loves. I read their short little stories–and my heart breaks. Some are double orphans (having lost both parents). Some are single orphans (having lost one parent–but because one is gone all day with trying to find work…they make it to Wiphan’s school). Some have parents but are vulnerable children–very poor and living in the compound and unable to afford food or education. ALL of them are dearly loved by God. ALL of them deserve to have a meal a day. An education. To hear the gospel. To be loved…to be kept in a safety and off the streets. Now that I have a SON that looks so different than me on the “outside”–I see these faces very differently. I wish they all had someone to rock them and hum Amazing Grace to them…I wish they all had someone to speak truth to them.

These children need monthly sponsors. They need families here to write them letters to speak truth to their heart. And maybe one day their sponsors could actually go over on a trip to meet them…to hug them…to let them know how DEARLY they are loved by their Father in heaven. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

Meet Rhodah…Rhoda is an 8 year old little princess (I threw in the princess part;). But ISN’T she?! She is a shy little girl. Though she’s not sure what she wants to become when she grows up, she has an eager spirit. She enjoys the same things all little girls do, especially playing with dolls. She is the youngest of five children. She is in need of a monthly sponsor who will pray for her, help her continue in school, write her letters and love her from afar.

Meet Lameck…Lameck is a 10 year old little guy. Lameck is a bright and happy young boy who lives within Sinia compound. He has lost both his mom and his dad in his short little life. He is cared for by his aunt along with four of his siblings. When he grows up he wants to become a teacher. He wishes to nurture a love for learning in others. (Can I just say I love that he already wants to POUR into others?! Will you prayerfully consider pouring into this young man?)

Meet Kanyembo…Kanyembo is an outgoing girl, who loves to learn English and also likes the color green and playing netball. When she grows up she wants to become a teacher. She lost both of her parents when she was very little and has since lived with her grandmother. (Maybe Kanyembo will one day be one of Wiphan’s school teachers and pour back into the orphans at Wiphan!!!)

Meet Felix…Felix is an extraordinary 14 year old boy. He aspires to become a Pastor. He loves school and hopes it will enable him to take very good care of his grandmother one day. (Seriously…a pastor?! Oh what a JOY and privilege would it be to pour into this young man!!!)

Meet Elisha…Elisha is a 10 year old little guy in grade one…one of Wiphan’s new students. He is a very bright and helpful boy. Both of his parents died when he was little, leaving his two sisters Mozi and Miria, as well as himself in the care of his aunt who works as a maid. He simply loves to learn and enjoys playing football like most boys and aspires to become a teacher one day.

Meet David…David is a 10 year old little guy who lost both of his parents at a young age. David is a bright and happy young boy who lives within Sinia compound. He is a double orphan who lives with his aunt and two of his siblings. David loves the color red and dreams of becoming a trucker one day. He loves to come to school everyday as he loves to learn and see all the friends he makes at school. His favorite subjects are math, Bemba and sports.

Meet Alex…Alex is an 8 year old little guy who lost his father at a young age. Alex is a shy little boy. He now lives with three of his siblings; Joe, Tuti and Elen, under the care of their mother, Lizzie, who works as a stone crusher. His favorite subject is mathematics and he loves school because he loves to learn. When he grows up he wants to be a Taxi driver. (I can’t imagine the difficulty Alex’s mom has in working all day and caring for these 4 children as a stone crusher. What a privilege it would be to serve BOTH the widow and the orphan in sponsoring Alex!)

There are more…but I’ll stop there. What do you see when you look at these children? I see little ones that GOD LOVES!!! Therefore be imitators of God… Will you prayerfully consider sponsoring one of them? Will you consider writing to them and loving them? Will you even consider one day going to visit them? For just $39 a month–you can make a lastly impact into their lives. To find one of these children and sponsor them please visit: Wiphan Child Sponsorship by clicking here.

Let us not give up caring for His dearly beloved children. We are His. They are His. YET–He will use us to change their lives as we give and love them…and He will use them to even change us!!! AND SPEAKING of change–check out what my tired eyed self is wearing TODAY (I know you really care what I’m wearing, right?!)…You know you need one (the t-shirt I mean;). I *heart* the back…I met the Portilla family at T4A conference and you can buy their t-shirt and learn more about their ministry here:

kristi johnson - October 8, 2010 - 12:28 pm

oh, i want that it, kj

april - October 8, 2010 - 12:45 pm

Yes girl…thanks for that post about being imitators of God! btw, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the shirt you posted about. I am definitely telling my hubby I want this soon! :0)

Courtney - October 8, 2010 - 12:47 pm

love that shirt! did you get the slim fit one? or the other? it’s so hard to know what size to get of all the great adoption shirts out there!

Andrea Young - October 8, 2010 - 3:07 pm

Courtney—I got a medium in the slim fit. I couldn’t have done small…medium is pushing it:)

Alison - October 8, 2010 - 4:35 pm

Love the new shirt! And love “Into the Streets”! We bought our Dad’s Father’s Day cards with a donation to that ministry! Love it! πŸ™‚

Kristin - October 8, 2010 - 4:52 pm

Very sweet children. Their eyes are just captivating. Thank you for the reminder of being imitators of God. It’s easy to walk through our daily lives and live for ourselves.

Mary Ellen - October 8, 2010 - 10:38 pm

We already sponsor one Wiphan child, but OH how I wish I could sponsor them all! What a wonderful organization! I just wanted to say thank you for giving people an opportunity to really touch the lives of orphans. We wrote our child a letter, and the one that I recieved back from her is still on our refridgerator. I cry just thinking about how sweet that little letter is and how much it means to me. It’s amazing that I have a little penpal over in Zambia. Thanks again for the opportunity πŸ™‚

Jennifer - October 8, 2010 - 10:42 pm

Just ordered the VERY cool shirt!

natali - October 8, 2010 - 11:56 pm

praying for these sweet kids.
and p.s. love the shirt!

Dawn - October 9, 2010 - 9:23 pm

I want to be an imitator!!!!!

& I love that shirt πŸ™‚

Courtney - October 10, 2010 - 6:42 pm

andrea – thanks for letting me know about the size on the shirt! i really appreciate it! πŸ™‚