This beautiful origami heart was given to me by a grandmother. It spoke of the pain and heartache and how God alone can bring us hope. To this day, whenever we are at this convention in Japan, we hope to see her and to bless her. Her face spoke a thousand words, and her tears birthed the “heart” of this ministry.
It was in November 2012, in the last hour of the CHEA-Japan convention, a sweet and gentle grandma walked up to me through hundreds of parents and children. For the ministry of ChildD, it a time of many emotions. As the convention was coming to a close, I was elated that God carried me through three days of seven seminars, with scheduled and spontaneous meetings, counsel and conversations, while battling the disbelief that my time would make a dent in the magnitude of need. Japan does not have many resources available for those with learning or invisible disabilities. There are no accountable groups, or programs that minister to those with needs at a mild level, let alone support groups that are Christian. Now, it was the closing ceremonies and my mind was filled with thoughts of leaving those children I met. How will their parents be able to help their children with so little available in Japan? I asked God, “I know it’s not by what I could do Lord, but what You could do.” That was when my translator turned to me to acknowledge this grandma. I turned to see such a sweet grandma with eyes lowered, and tears streaming down her cheeks. She held in her hands an origami heart and bowed offering this gift to me. She spoke softly in Japanese. My translator said “She says she made this for you.” I held out both hands to receive in this beautiful winged origami. She placed it in my hands, and said, “Thank you.” Being American, I bowed and tried to thank her with eye contact, but with eyes lowered she continued to bow to remain in a lower position. As we were almost on the floor, suddenly all the noise around us seemed to dim. That was the moment God engraved in my heart. The heart speaks for on this origami, are her handwritten words, “Thank you Lord” with a prayer for me. It shifted my heart to my limitations, and weaknesses, to hold fast to the Truth that God is capable!” The origami heart reminds me how God allows weakness, not because He missed this. He is sovereign and He misses, nothing. Her origami heart spoke the ministry of ChildD. We get to share God’s heart, and pray for others to see, God rises in weakness, and He will use our weaknesses to tell us His stories!
As my eyes flooded with tears. I could only bow and say “thank you.” Then, the noise returned, and the audience came in focus. She turned away keeping her head bowed. I was handed the microphone, to say my final comments and I gave a final look throughout the auditorium, and couldn’t find her, but saw the families I have met, and agreed that it was far beyond anything I could offer myself. But what I can offer, is the truth that will set the those who hear, free. The Apostle Paul says this best, “But He (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I (Paul) am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
To this day, her origami continues to speak. It not only birthed this non-profit ministry, but it also keeps our eyes upon the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ.