These are things I feared as a child & now have come to fear even more as a mother of three boys… in Hong Kong. The very thought of one of my boys being lost, scared & alone anywhere… much less a foreign city of 7 million fast paced people, few of which speak enough English to understand a young child… just rips through all my facades & shows my true colors!!! So much so that we have prayed through this concern & very real possibility & then we have put in place a safety plan.
Joseph giving an elderly homeless person a hot dinner & a blessing in Cantonese: 耶穌愛你 = “Jesus loves you!”
Last week, we almost had to test that plan. All 6 of us (including our house guest for the month, Stephani) went out to serve the homeless near Mark’s office. On the way there, we were rushing from one subway train to catch another across the platform. 4 of us made it on the train, I was almost in when the doors closed ON ME & I had to back out… As I did, I bumped into my precious 8 year old son, Joseph… I was stunned, instantly realizing that he had almost been LEFT ALONE on that platform with about 1,000 strangers & very far from home. I grabbed him & held him tight as we both watched our family leaving through the windows of the fast train… Once it was gone, Joey began sobbing & buried his face in my shirt. I knew that feeling overtaking him. I was feeling it too… SO CLOSE. TOO CLOSE! It became so much more real, the likelihood of being LOST in this foreign place. All I could do to comfort him was to tell him I was with him & that God hadn’t let Mommy get on the train, instead, God had protected Joe by keeping Mommy with him!!! Then we went over THE PLAN again (reminding him that God will NEVER leave him, even if Mom HAD got on the train!) as we waited for the next train & I texted Mark so he would know where we’d meet up with the rest of them.
Before moving here, we would take our kids to the California State Fair every year. We’d repeat the same talk we gave at Disney Land… “YOU are never LOST because you always know where YOU are – but if you can’t find MOM & DAD here’s the PLAN…” – You know the drill, stay put & look for a safe person to talk to. An employee with a name tag. A Police Officer. Or last resort, a Mommy with kids around. No strange men, no other strangers, no wandering off to find someone’s puppy!!! Right??
So what’s the plan in HK? 7 million people. No name tags. Very little English. LOTS of strangers. Lots of men… Well, to start our little ones have Dad’s business card on them most of the time (which is in Eng. & Cantonese). The second half of the plan is to STAY PUT!!! FREEZE!!! Because in a city like this where everyone is moving, the only way to find you is for someone to retrace their steps to the last place they HAD you. Only if you can SEE a “safe” person to ask for help are you to move! (Obviously we hope they will not freeze in the middle of the street. *grin*) But even then, stay very close so we can come back for you!
I believe all of us have felt that deepest of fears before. Fear of being left all alone, in a world that is often unkind & unforgiving. Even in your home town, you may feel everything around you is foreign… It is! We were not created to live in this fallen world. We are not OF this world friends! — I know I have had many moments in my life where I have felt like saying “Don’t leave me Daddy!!”… And I had TWO Daddies! But neither of them could be there always. Neither could save me from myself or from the world that closed in on me… I was very lost! — So how do we get “HOME”?? After all my years of striving to do everything on my own & do it right, or at least do the wrong things well enough to get noticed… I finally discovered the only Father who will never leave me. God loves each of us so perfectly & so completely, more than any earthly father & His love will never fail. He will never leave us alone. With God, we are never lost or forsaken. There are days though, that you simply need to KNOW THE PLAN of how to get back on track when you lose your way. I am here to tell you friends, JESUS IS THE PLAN. He is the truth, the life & the way – straight into the arms of your Heavenly Father who loves you!
The guys enjoying Yu-Don (fish balls) on our outing!
If you ever want to know how Mark & I found our way through Jesus, ASK! We are more than happy to share our stories… & we are praying for your journey as well! Be blessed my friends & remember to talk to your kids about THE PLAN. Both a safety net for getting separated from Mom/Dad… & how they can always get back to God through Jesus! He’s always ready to lead us to our Father God – & right now is a good time!
“Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” -John 14:6