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, amen...to 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 was...how 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!!