In 1990, on the first Christmas with our firstborn, Hannah, I gave my mom a daily scripture calendar by Dr. James Dobson called The Heart of the Family. The next Christmas, she gave a copy to each of her grown children so we could read the same passages day-by-day. Over the years I continue to use it to record special events. On a very meaningful Thanksgiving with our house church family in Thailand, I jotted down a blessing I did not want to forget. It was 2006 and our thankful hearts were quite aware that soon the oldest children in our group would be leaving for college. With the smells of special food filling the room it was great to hear different voices reflecting on holidays from the past. Looking over at the kids’ table it was obvious that our kiddos had grown up and life was about to change as they each would head out on their own.
My calendar for that day held a blessing from Genesis 28. “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you until you become a group of peoples.” This original blessing was given by Isaac to his son Jacob, but I couldn’t help but feel blessed by the Lord who had formed our group of families into a blessed church called Sojos. As Jacob was about to head out on his own, his father, talking about God, said, “May He give the blessing [He gave to] Abraham to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the land He gave to Abraham, in which you are a sojourner.” In time we will see that the blessing from Isaac was passed down again from father to son. Present times will become memories but the future holds hope because of God’s faithful promises. Even as sojourners, God provides the blessing of communion with Him and with others.
P.S. Nearly a decade after that special Thanksgiving, Russell and I reconnected again with Sojos. It was a joy to visit with a once troubled teen who Russ baptized in his senior year. Joey is now leading a thriving ministry to those with disabilities and has a beautiful young family of his own. He and his wife have just adopted a daughter with special needs from Serbia. God’s blessings continue to multiply as His love is lived out.