"Never! Can a mother forget the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:15-16 (NLT).
When gazing out at such incredible beauty around us—whether it's the majestic Rocky Mountains, the lush, green valleys of Oregon or the two-thousand-year-old California redwoods—I marvel at His intricate handiwork. I also marvel at His intentional handiwork in the way He reveals Himself through people and situations. Our God is a God of intentionality.
It's so encouraging to read the countless testimonies of volunteers and staffers who have been blessed by their friendships with international students. With each story I read, I marvel at the unique way in which God orchestrated the situation—and the uniqueness in the way He reveals Himself.
In the following testimony, one of our volunteers writes about one of the international students she and her family hosted many years ago. The student, Kate, engaged in relationships, loves God and sought His will for her life. This story speaks of God's intentionality for our lives. It also highlights how He reveals Himself through friendships that bless us. Our volunteer writes about Kate:
"We had many adventures together while she finished her Ph.D., and we learned about Kate and her country. Being an only child, she even began referring to our children as her own brother and sister. When she left, it was a difficult day for all of us. Students often invite us to visit them after they spend time with us. It's a kind gesture, but I never dreamed we would one day visit Kate in her country. A few years after her departure, though, we were on a plane headed in her direction! I am still shocked to think of it. Kate was so gracious and generous during our visit. One day I noticed in her room a picture of her and my family by her bedside Just seeing it caught my throat in a small gasp. I was amazed and humbled. That was what she saw when she went to bed at night and when she opened her eyes in the morning--a constant reminder of our love and friendship. I hadn't realized we had such an impact on her."
Our lives touch each other in powerful, amazing ways—ways we never realize this side of Heaven. On days where He may feel distant or even absent, I encourage you to focus on the truth: He loves you more than your ability to understand. He created you so uniquely, even the "hairs on your head are numbered" (Matthew 10:30, NLT).
I am reminded of a passage in Isaiah when the Lord reminds us of His constant love for us. "Never! Can a mother forget the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands," –Isaiah 49:15-16 (NLT).
Yes, He has written your name on the palms of His hands!
When you think your love and service don't mean anything, think again. Your picture just may be by somebody's bedside.
For More Information:
Learn more about how to use your unique talents and gifts to bless the lives of international students.
Read the encouraging testimony of one of our volunteers. Hope, from Indiana, shares how her friendships with international students has brought incredible joy to her life.