Thursday, May 19, 2011

JV Kids and Faith

When we brought our two little boys here to Czech almost 18 years ago, it really never crossed my mind that we would have more than a few other missionary kids in our lives.

Was I ever wrong, as you saw in the photo I posted the other day!

I count 60 kids in this photo, there are another 16 or so who are in the support raising process with their families, and I can count at least 36 more JV Kids who have been out here on the field with us sometime in the past 17 years! That's a lot of missionary kids.

There are many blessings about the missionary life, but one of them is definitely our JV Kids. They are an absolutely amazing group of people.

A team from Scottsdale Bible in Arizona came for at least the tenth year in a row (they've been so many times we've lost count!) under the leadership of our dear friend, Rae Larson, to care for our little ones. Their hands were FULL that week with all the JV Babies and Toddlers!

Tanya and Korban Miller came for our older kids. Korban is a worship pastor in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and both he and Tanya are crazy gifted and talented in music. We were so excited about what they would bring to our older kids this year.

And that they did! The kids put on an outstanding "Glee" type of choir/drama performance that was very moving to us all. In the above photo they're singing a song that ends with "We bring glory, we bring honor, we bring praises forever, the King, to the King". Not a dry eye in sight on that one!

However, this is against the backdrop of what was happening in their lives before they came. Two weeks before they were to fly, Tanya and Korban received some devastating news. Six months into their fourth child's pregnancy, they were given the news that this precious little girl had no brain and will only live a few hours after birth.

After grieving and much prayer, they made the agonizing decision to proceed forth with the pregnancy until birth, and to come to serve our JV Kids in spite of what was happening in their lives.

And by doing so, they came as a live example of people who are living out the theme of our conference that was chosen months ago - "Faith That Amazes".

They shared openly with the JV Kids, about what was going on in their lives, which had tremendous impact on them...they will never forget this precious couple who have placed themselves so trustingly into the hands of the Lord in the midst of true sorrow.

On Saturday night, after finishing their last full rehearsal for the performance that was coming the next morning, Caleb and Noah gathered the older JV kids together and said they felt led by God to give a song to Korban and Tanya. They wanted to express their hearts to them, and already had the words off of the internet to do so, but no music that they could find.

They sent the JVK out of the room so they could write the music, and within five amazing, Spirit-filled minutes, the boys had finished the majority of the song. They called the rest of the kids in to teach it to them, taking just a little more than an hour to do it.

At the end of the performance on Sunday morning, they called Korban and Tanya to the front and had them sit down so they could sing "Everything is in Your Hands" for them...freshly written and sung with much heart by those JV Kids.

You want to talk about not a dry eye!!!!!! Oh...I can't even begin to express how beautiful that song tender, how faith-filled, how personal.

At the end, they encircled Tanya and Korban and prayed for them, from the depths of their faith-filled hearts.

It was a perfect end to our JV conference.

We pray for ourselves, and for our children, that we too would be living examples of people who are full of the kind of faith that amazes Jesus!!


  1. I am so privileged to be a JVK!!! Thank you so much Mom (and Dad!) for starting off the JVK well, and for caring about each one of us. I am so thankful for Korban and Tanya...their example will forever be set in my memory! It's one of those things that you just can't forget. You did a great job of capturing that whole thing Mom...that's not easy! But still, my favorite part was the part that most people didn't get to see...all of us older kids, up in the library, learning the song, figuring it out, and knowing that those words we sang were absolutely true. :)

  2. Connie, I can not begin to rejoice in hearing about how the jv kids related to the pain this young couple is going thru.Being blessed to have your kids
    grow up and surrounded by Godly men and woman who also want to serve God is the most precious gift any of you could have ever given you children.
    I have friends of ours many years ago go thru the same situation and I can
    rejoice in telling you God CARRIED them thru with His perfect peace and Love. Pain is but a moment in the heavenly calendar and on earth a forever moment, but one of the most beautiful things i have ever heard is when a
    three year old die and went to heaven he came back and told his Mom and Dad he saw his sister in Heaven. (He never knew they had a bady that died.) I know that I will see two more of my children when I am home in heaven. May our Great God continue to bless the JV Kids and allow them to become bold in faith and witness. Thank you for being obedient to Christ and listening to the call of Jesus to go into all the world and preach the word.
    Bless each and everyone of you.
    My Prayers and supplication will continue to be before the Throne on your behalf. Manette

  3. Oh Connie....thank you for taking the time to tell this story and attach pictures to it as you walked us through with you. What an amazing story of faith. I can't help but wonder if maybe God will reach right into Tanya's womb and heal her little baby.

    Love you, Michelle

  4. Nstittamen-pi Lovie Bradford Here