December 3, 2016

Adopted by God - What a Difference Emmanuel Can Make in a Life!

Joy Kauffman, MPH

Adopted by God

What does it really mean to be adopted by God... to be His children and to be able to cry out to Him as Abba Father? The image of dear Phionah, FARM STEW Uganda trainer, with her Auntie comes to mind now as I think of adoption.  She was orphaned as a young girl and moved from house to house of her older siblings until the day that her Auntie took her and her brother Roger in to stay.  I had the privilege of being in their home last week, being fed like a queen and catching a glimpse of true love like I've rarely witnessed in my life. 

Phionah Bogere & Joy Kauffman

Phionah sat together with her Auntie, explaining to us visitors how "she is everything to me, my mother, my father, my friend."  Phionah explained how her Auntie had even gone without food such that they could attend school.  How as a single woman in a culture that does not have much room for employment of women, she sacrificed to put food on the table.  She and Roger have committed their lives to assuring that their Auntie is cared for with the tender love with which she bestowed upon them as children.


‍Phionah, Auntie and Roger in the village home

‍Phionah and Auntie sharing their story


Then the next day, I meet this young, pathetic boy and I saw a life with such a different path ahead.   We were walking to a slum in Jinja to do some home visits and found him and his brother near the railroad tracks under a small plastic tarp, crying.  We asked a woman working in the field nearby and learned that his mother and father divorced and the mother left.  So now his father leaves them there all day while he tries to find some work.  The small piece of sugar cane in his hand is his only sustenance. This wretched, poor and suffering boy, broke my heart.  


Our team returned to this community yesterday to lead the local mothers in health and nutrition classes and taught them the skill of making soya milk.  My hope and valid belief is that they can use that skill to both nourish their children and sell to provide some income.   I pray someone has pity on this young boy.  I couldn't take him home with me.


Jesus is Self-Sacrificing

As I read a beautiful devotional book last night, now 4,000 miles away from any of these dear souls, I thought of Jesus and how His life of self-sacrificing love made it possible for all of us to be adopted as the children of His Father.   The fact that He will never leave us nor forsake us made me think of the dear abandoned boy.  How wretched would we be without Him.


In the first chapter of Desire of Ages, we are given a glimpse of this love.  Although Jesus had forever enjoyed the worship of throngs of angels daily as He shared the heavenly throne with His Father, from the foundation of the world He had agreed to become wretchedly poor, a refugee, a hunted, hungry babe fleeing for His life as His parents took Him to Africa.  


"In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. But He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation. 'And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.' Phil 2:8"   Ellen White continues, "By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than the recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united with God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Savior has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us...  God has adopted human nature into the person of His Son and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the "Son of man" who shared throne of the universe... In Christ, the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother, Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love."


I am so thankful for my adoption in the the family of God, for my place in the bosom of Infinite Love. I join with Phionah and her tender love saying, "Jesus is everything to me, my Mother, my Father, my Friend."   


I learned last week that Phionah, who bathed in the love of her Auntie, is sharing it by sending two orphan boys to school with her FARM STEW wages.  She has sacrificed so much that she did not even own a Bible that she so dearly wished for, so she remains with mine. :)


I could go on and on about Emmanuel... but you can read the chapter or even the whole book here. Praise God our Father, who is the giver of every good gift to His children.  May we all share generously the blessings that we find in the bosom of His Infinite Love.

Posted by 
Joy Kauffman, MPH
Joy is the passionate founder of FARM STEW.