709 Days. 709 days of learning to love. 709 days of finding hope in the hopeless. 709 days of seeing God work in strong and powerful ways. 709 days sweet little Brison and Harlem were in foster care.
Since the year 2017, Ashton has fallen in love with serving with Hands of Hope through care communities and watching kids during foster parent training and support group meetings. She began, and continues, to serve as a volunteer in the two-to-three year old room, where she clicked with Brison and Harlem almost immediately. After giving a celebration gift for their official adoption, she received a special letter from each one of them. Inside one of the letters was not only powerful words, but a powerful gift. Two dollars gently placed in the card as a “thank you for what you have done for me.”
The truth is this… I see myself in those little eyes— begging Jesus for something that this world cannot, nor ever will, be able to provide. Searching for love in the most deserted places and crying out to the one who knows my heart for a sense of belonging in this foreign world we call our “home”. We open our hands to the gifts of the Creator, but when will we ever give them to each other? When will we realize that our hands were made for more than receiving? Our hands were made to give. Even if it’s two simple dollars shoved between a folded piece of paper.
The truth is, our lives look more similar to theirs than we could imagine. We look at these little ones and feel this love that is so far fetched from what we have ever known. It is a harsh, yet hopeful, realization when we finally understand that this is how God sees us… broken, but of immense value and treasure.
Because of your “yes” to Jesus’ call to care for orphans and vulnerable children, your time has given hope to many. After all, the one thing we know for certain is that God is still, and always will, remain faithful even in seasons of wilderness. The same God who paints the sky with colors that roar the anthem and victory of Heaven selflessly looks at your child and sees in them a king or a queen even in the midst of their chaos and pain.
I see myself in them.
One thing that I know for sure is that the Jesus who sees our wrecked life, pulls our pieces together so very beautifully into the woven web of grace that we all know so well. Even these little ones, who have lost so much, were created with such passion and intention for a very specific and special purpose. God has chosen YOU to take part in this extravagant journey!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
Written by: Mallory Philips, Founder of The Esther Project Ministries