Today’s blog comes from ROOM partner, Todd Boyle. Todd and his wife Wendy are Abba Padre International and have partnered with ROOM since 2014. Todd has been a source of strength and encouragement for our entire ROOM family throughout our partnership. Currently, Todd is the leader of ROOM’s largest transition home which currently houses three very special boys. He truly sees people as Christ sees them which is made evident in this most recent post.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians2:10
As we continue to work with orphans and vulnerable children throughout the country of Honduras, and with children who have come from traumatic backgrounds and situations, we are constantly learning and adjusting our thinking and approaches. We’ve quickly realized that the Lord has created each of us uniquely, and that those differences can bring new challenges at times.
We would love to take a moment to share a little bit about each of our boys, the amazing ways our God has made each one of them special, and a hint of how He has shown His grace and mercy in their lives. As they grow, we don’t just see change in the boys. We’ve come to realize that as we gain knowledge and understanding about each of them, as well as some of the issues they face, we too are changed in ways that we never would have imagined!
If you’ve been following us for a while, you may already know/remember, after testing positive on three different occasions, Greenie was miraculously healed of HIV! He’s now tested negative twice, and we await the final test results this upcoming summer, at which point the doctors will officially declare him HIV FREE! The Lord also healed him of whatever was tormenting him digestively, and he no longer gets sick to his stomach several times a day. In fact, he is rarely sick at all! Working with a child who have markers for having FASD(Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) can be tiring at times, and we definitely get looks from people who think he’s just a tantruming two year old. But thankfully the Lord has given us eyes to see that the aggressive behavior, the angry outbursts, and defiant choices are not of Greenie’s choosing. Just as his soon-to-be four year old brother experiences, the chemicals in Greenie’s brain due to his mother’s choice to drink alcohol while she was pregnant, make it difficult for him to remain calm at times, and to make wise choices on a day to day basis. We praise the Lord that He has given us insight and wisdom as to how to pray over Josue, and within the past six months, we have seen Greenie’s demeanor begin to change dramatically. We are declaring the Word of God over him, and over his older brother, and are believing for yet another miraculous healing in his life!
We’ve also seen the Lord’s healing hand on Asher over the past two and a half years! He went from having acid reflux as an infant to no longer needing the special formula once prescribed for him. He used to have a fairly pronounced in-turned right foot, that the Lord continues to straighten as he gets older. And recently, after visiting an endocrinologist and finding out that his weight gain was most likely due to hereditary metabolism issues, instead of a thyroid issue, we began to pray over Asher for this area specifically, and his weight has begun to balance out!! (He had gained 25 pounds in 9 months, even though he eats less than the other two boys, and is the most active of the three.) We are still waiting for answers regarding him potentially having ADHD and/or being on the Autistic spectrum, but as we pray and seek Him, the Lord is showing us ways to pray over Asher, as well as how to effectively meet him where he’s currently at, so he can thrive day in and day out.
Papa’s steps also have been divinely orchestrated, and we praise the Lord for the gift that he is! It was by the Lord’s grace the Murray family and our partner ministry R.O.O.M. (Reach Out Orphanage Ministries) entered his life when he was just one day old. That he went home to be with the Murrays, instead of going to the overcrowded public orphanage, where many times special needs children aren’t stimulated or encouraged to grow and be the best version of who God created them to be. The Murrays on the other hand, have an older son who has High Functioning Autism, also known as Asperger’s. As a result of knowing what to look for, they recognized markers in Papa at an early age, and just this month he received an actual diagnosis, grade 1 Autism… just as the Murrays and doctors had suspected for 2+ years now, he too has Asperger’s! Ever since Papa came to live with our family (two years ago in April), we have been working alongside the Murray family, doctors, neurologists, psychiatrists, and art therapists to help draw out who the Lord created him to be. He is truly one of the most special people we have ever met, and the way the Lord created him blows our minds away daily. He’s BEYOND intelligent, amazingly intuitive, and his joy, compassion, and gentle ways are so sincere.
It’s hard to summarize in one paragraph just how special these boys truly are, what the Lord has done in their lives thus far, and how we’ve grown (and become better people/parents) as a result of having them in our lives! We pray you can see our heart in sharing a hint of who they are with you, and that you too will be blessed by knowing these unique masterpieces, even from afar!
The first week of May, Wendy had the opportunity to gain more knowledge by attending the CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans) Summit in Nashville, TN. Each year this Christian conference inspires and equips believers to care for orphans and vulnerable children worldwide. Just like last year, Wendy returned from CAFO more equipped, and she was able to share with our family (and others) how to more effectively care for our boys, as well as how to better advocate for orphans and vulnerable children here in Honduras.
Over the years while caring for various children with special needs, the Lord has opened our eyes to the unique way He has made each one of us. We are ALL “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and we see how each of us have been masterfully crafted! With this uniqueness, we have realized in raising each of our children (biological as well as foster children), that what works for one child may not work for the other. And that’s a good thing! It makes us rely more on Him for strength and wisdom, and it also opens our eyes to His amazing creation!
We are not just blown away by the unique way He has made these children, but also by the uniqueness of the Body of Christ. Living abroad, we get to see firsthand how His Body moves and operates as you faithfully pray for and support us here in Honduras! We praise God that we are able to go on this unique journey with each of you, and we praise Him for the unique way the Creator has made you!
We would love to hear from you too… what unique masterpieces has the Lord opened your eyes to, and what has He shown you as a result? Has understanding someone else caused you to pause and become more compassionate, to become more like Christ?