From the time he was about four, our youngest son began taking about China. I never really understood why. We were living in South Africa and China was a world away. We know nothing about the country that holds the world’s largest population, but over the years, Jayden’s interest has never waned. About six months ago, I was convicted that his interest in China—a subject that seemed to come up everyday—was more than a passing childhood interest in another culture.
I sat down with Jayden and asked him if he remembered the story of God calling Samuel, and how Eli finally told him to go back to bed and to listen because it was the Lord. We decided that we would start praying that God would open his heart to God’s calling on his life. We also started reading the biography of Hudson Taylor, a missionary to China in the 1800’s, and were challenged by this man’s incredible faith.
A few weeks later, Scott was at church in South Africa and felt God communicate that He wanted us to take Jayden to China for a visit and that it needed to be soon. When Scott told me this, I could see the importance, but had no idea how we could do this financially, or when we could fit it into our schedule. So we continued praying, and in the meantime, every school report Jayden did was focused on China as he continued to learn everything he could about the country and its people.
The next few months were increasingly challenging beginning with the death of Reiner, our teammates’ son. With that and a number of other challenges we were facing, thoughts of a trip were pushed onto the back burner. Then early this year, I was thinking about China and, inspired by Hudson Taylor’s faith, I decided to pray specifically about the funding of a trip. I knew we couldn’t take him unless God provided, so I asked Jayden to pray with me. If God wanted Jayden to go, then He was going to have to provide a way.
Two days later, I received an email from my agent. With Gabriel in boarding school in Kenya, and Mariah and Jayden hoping to join him in the fall, my writing has helped to supplement the cost and allow us to visit the school a couple times a year which has become very important to me. I was hoping to sell one book, but to my surprise, the contract was for three books.
At first I was simply excited about the three-book sale. Then it hit me. The Lord was providing not only for me to visit our kids in boarding school, but the trip to China as well. I was completely humbled as I hurried to tell Scott and Jayden what had happened. God had not only opened Jayden’s heart to the Chinese people, but He had just opened up a way for him to go.
I have no idea what God has in store for Jayden’s future, but we now spend time praying for God to show Jayden His plan his life.
In all of our lives, may we each have the same answer as Samuel. “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
P.S.I'll be going through the photos and will post more in a few days.