Often times at CGM we only write and talk about the kids in our program, or what affects them, like the community they live in, the circumstances we see them in, etc. But it would be utter folly to think Jesus limits our ability to see His hands and heart solely in this community outside of interacting and connecting with the body, His bride, at large. So here's a story about our connectedness.
BY AVA CONLEY
At Common Ground Montgomery we welcome volunteer groups from all over the country to visit our ministry. Many groups come with churches or organizations and serve our ministry. We get an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world with amazing stories, gifts, and hearts for Jesus!
A few weeks ago we had a family group from a church in College Station, Texas, come in. As the week went on, I was able to meet many of those serving with the group. One day at lunch I started to connect with a woman who had many family members in Oklahoma. Being from Oklahoma, we threw around some names to try to connect on a deeper level but none of my people knew any of her people; still, we were both excited that we had a little connection to Oklahoma! I started to talk with her more about her family and come to find out, she has an adopted son! Those of you that know me know my heart for adoption so this was very fun to connect with her about her adoption!
As we talked more I discovered that her son was adopted from Albania; and not just any place in Albania, but the city of Tirana. At this point I was freaking out a little bit! In 2007 I went on my first short term mission trip to Albania and in 2009 I spent a summer in Albania. Albania is a small and, perhaps, not well-known country in Europe - so to hear this lady speak about her son being adopted from there was so exciting to me, and more so because I had even spent time in Tirana! Well, after many more connections and lots of happy tears we found out that I spent time at the VERY SAME orphanage that her son was adopted from! AND, not only that, I was there during the period that he was living in the orphanage! (Don’t worry; if you are crying by now, I am as I and writing this!) I could have possibly held her son in my arms!
We spent the afternoon looking through old photos from my trip to see if he was in any of the photos. I also had a sweet friend who spent a long period of time working in the orphanage who got to love on her son while she was there as well. I can’t tell you how many times I think about those children and wonder where they are now… if they are still there… have they found a forever home? To meet Mrs. Marian and to know that Noah had a forever family brought so much JOY to my heart!
This moment made me realize how amazing God is and how he has uniquely ordained every moment of our lives. He guides every step we make and every interaction we have. So often I seem to forget this simple truth about the Lord. God knows us deeply and he is concerned about EVERYTHING we do and go through as we walk this side of heaven. So as we live this life, I am encouraged to LOVE deeply and to make every word, action, and interaction count. God knows the plans that he has for us and they are good, they are to give us a future filled with hope!
Through Jesus, Noah’s family and I have an even deeper connection than I could have imagined! I am so grateful to meet Marian and to know that Noah is blessed by an amazing family who truly loves Jesus. There is so much more to this story that won’t fit in this small blog post, but I want to encourage you to remember that God has an incredible path for you! Every moment matters in the Kingdom of God! And as cheesy as it sounds, we have more common ground than we all realize!