Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Couldn’t get these faces out of my mind

After flying out of Saigon to Danang, my focus today was seeing the extensive ministry of Giving It Back To Kids. Robert and Dorothea Kalatschan, who attend The Crossing, are the founders of this ministry in Vietnam. God gripped their hearts a number of years ago after adopting a little Vietnamese girl named Christina. Their concern wasn’t so much for the kids who were fortunate enough to get adopted, it was more for those left behind.

Today, Christina is this beautiful and growing girl who lives with her mom and dad (Robert & Dorothea) and brother, Tommy in Huntington Beach, but her legacy continues here in Vietnam. I had the incredible privilege of spending this day with the AMAZING staff of Giving It Back To Kids.

However, what wrecked me was the man who you see in the photo. The young girl in the photo is his 13 year old daughter. She had heart surgery a number of years ago, but she needs to go in for a second operation. Robert and his team were assessing their ability to assist in the funding of the heart surgery for this beautiful young woman. In the photo, it may be hard to tell, but she NEEDS surgery. She isn’t doing well.

I prayed for her. I even put my hand to her heart, it was like it was pounding out of her chest. I felt incredibly helpless...right then and there I wished I had the gift of healing. I so much wanted this girl to be all right. I have two daughters. I was thinking the entire time, what if this was my Emily and/or Lauren...I’d be screaming, “DO something, please HELP her!”

Which leads me to her dad, his eyes said what my spirit was yelling, “Please do something, please help her!” You can see that in the photo, it doesn’t take any imagination. Sure he tried to hide it with nervous smiles and nonverbal humble gestures. But I could see what he felt, cause I was feeling it myself, in fact, I don’t mind admitting, my eyes are tearing up as I type (I’m acting like my friend, Robert, now).

I am a dad. If my kids’ health was rocked to the core of their being, my eyes would be saying the same thing. The GOOD NEWS is...the funds are in place, this girl was approved for surgery in May...they are going to try to move up the date...I hope this can be accomplished.

What was even more telling to me of this man’s character is...he said, “Thanks so much for helping my daughter”, but he didn’t just say thank you for himself, he went on to say, “thank you on behalf of all the families that were in the room that day!”

I’m not sure this man knows Jesus, but on this day, he pointed me to Jesus. You see, in Philippians 2 it says, “Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.” This man wasn’t there for himself! It wasn’t about him. No, he was a real dad. Real dads don’t just think about theirs kid(s), but they look out for others’ kids as well. I want to be like that...

Thanks for reading,
Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing