|Alyssa and friend, Jordan|
There is going to be a second plane in the air that day that also has our attention. While Gabriel has been in Florida, he has befriended a young man that grew up in foster care. He is currently being processed out of the Navy and literally has no family to return to. The moment Gabriel told me about him, I felt the burden of making sure he had someone in the world that would help him navigate through his early adult years. Since he is younger than my two oldest children, it sickened me to imagine them in his shoes. This young man has attended church with Gabriel during his time in Florida, but Gabriel has warned us that he doesn't always make the wisest decisions. We decided when we went to Florida to meet him; he was very pleasant, respectful and a likable guy. We have spent the last few months researching options for him that could be back-up plans while he pursued a job in the oil fields of Texas. Just a few days ago, he found out that the Texas opportunity was not a possibility, and our unconfirmed back-up plans became an urgent need. Without something coming through, he would be handed a bus ticket to return to the city he was raised and exit the bus with no family, little money and no plans. While we considered ourselves as an option, we went back to the best opportunity that we had imagined for him which was with my farming family in Montana. They are able to model Christianity as well as show an example of a family that loves and supports each other. They always have work to do, as well as available, affordable housing and extra vehicles. After only two days, they have agreed to let this young man come and "join" the family - ironically, he already conveniently shares my maiden name! Yesterday, they rented a little one-bedroom house in town for him and yesterday JD and I bought him a one-way ticket for Big Sky country. I am just overwhelmed with gratitude in watching God reach out to him through way of Gabriel; my prayer for him is that he is able to understand how much the Lord of the universe loves him to arrange all this just for him.
I have to say if you have never read Crazy Love by Francis Chan or Radical by David Platt, pick one of them up. It just shows how we need to be willing to lay aside convenience and comforts to reach out to others. True joy is never found in collecting stuff in this life, it's about impacting others eternally. If we as Christians will all do our small part, we could radically alter life on our planet! I'm excited to see what God has in store for this one, young man!