It is easy to identify a great story when you see one or hear one. But, we've found it is much harder to identify a great story when you are in one. Perhaps one reason for this is the natural rhythms of life make it hard to recognize when a great story is beginning.
Krista, Camp and I (Jake) find ourselves in the midst of a great story about God using a family to reflect His love to an orphaned boy in Uganda. However, we didn't realize this story was being told until we were six months into it.
Looking back now, we can see how God began telling this story the day I accepted a new job as the Community Pastor at HCBC Pflugerville. A part of that job was to oversee ministry to the fatherless in our community. Through that God began to open me and Krista's eyes to the orphan crisis both in Pflugerville and around the world (There are 147 million orphans in our world today). As a result, in the spring of '09 we began to pray about how God would have us respond to the great need He was revealing to us. However, it was not until the fall that we really began to recognize the story we were being swept up into.
In the fall I read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. God used that book and many conversations with Krista to compel us to tell great stories with our lives for God's glory. Shortly after that I had the opportunity to give a message at our church about God's heart for the fatherless. (click here to listen, click here to see the videos and read the transcript) Through the preparation of that message we became convinced that we had to do something to reflect His heart for the orphan. We didn't know exactly what that meant yet, but we were committed to do whatever God would have us do.
Finally, in November Krista and got away to further investigate how we could love God by loving the orphan. After much prayer our question changed from, "should we adopt" to "why shouldn't we adopt?" For us the answer to that question became simple, with 147 million orphans in the world how could we not? And so we decided with great joy and yet still with many questions to adopt.
It was at the point that we finally realized we were in the midst of a great story.