One of our winter host families shared a story with us yesterday and we just had to share it here as well! The Bohannon family in Georgia is hosting a teenage boy named Igor from Ukraine. Here’s their story:
Igor is the fourth boy we’ve hosted through New Horizons for Children and I can truthfully say that each hosting experience has brought it’s own element of uniqueness and individuality. Last Christmas we were blessed with an unexpected Latvian angel at the last minute who became very ill within 24 hours of arriving, then another little Ukrainian angel arrived a week later (which was precisely when my husband was attacked with the same illness that our first boy became sick with… fun fun…) so needless to say, nothing went as planned but I was surely taught a lesson in faith and trust. Then we hosted again over the summer. Thankfully there was no physical sickness among the family, just a little boy that arrived extremely guarded, hurt, afraid and shy. After a few days he started to speak to us and we began our adventure in full force! Fast forward, leaving out a tremendous amount of details brings us to this Christmas. ..
The weeks prior to Igor’s arrival were very busy and brought a few questions and confusion upon my husband and myself. Without going into to specifics, I found myself questioning why and if we were the best fit for this boy that would soon be joining our family for the holiday season. Ready or not, he arrived and I quickly realized he was the happiest child I’ve ever seen in my life. He adjusted with little trouble (albeit he is bit more of a night owl than we are, but after a couple of weeks he has at least learned to retrieve to his room by 10:00). The nighttime rowdiness came to a head a few days after New Years with a refusal to go to bed and then sleeping until after noon the next day. Needless to say we had a long heart to heart about family, family rules and what that means, obedience, and consequences of disobedience. He was very receptive and looking back, I think this was his little way of testing the boundaries, which I will gladly take over tantrums and anger! I told him that he was not allowed a movie in bed the following night, and he must be in bed when Papa says so. No running, being loud, scaring people or animals or anything else once we say so. He wasn’t thrilled, but agreed.
When evening came around the house was actually rather peaceful! No scaring, no wrestling, no racing…. I tucked him into bed and showed Igor a new stuffed animal that was sent to us from the New Horizons office, donated by a hosting family’s church! This animal is called a Wildlife Story Teller (http://wildlifestorytellers.com/) . It comes with a MP3 player, preloaded with bible stories in their native language. I cannot explain the look of comfort and relief on his face to hear his language! I left him with the stories and said goodnight. The next morning I went to wake him and he practically jumped out of bed. I could tell he was a bit troubled and was very serious about what he was trying to tell me. He was pointing at the storyteller, and then upward saying “Jesus, Jesus!” Then he asked for a pen and paper. He started writing and writing. Then he would get up and knock on the bedroom door, then knock on his own chest. I quickly realized he was telling me that Jesus was knocking on the door of his heart! I started to panic a little because there was so much I wanted to say, but I had to make it simple so the translator would get it right! I even started messaging one of my fellow New Horizons Volunteers, needing moral support J I continued to tell Igor how much Jesus loves him and that he will NEVER leave him. He was very serious and receptive to everything I was telling him. We talked for over 2 hours. I told him that Jesus is king, so that makes him a prince. He smiled and said “Yes, and you, Papa, Colby and Dasha my seesters and brothers!” Wow! This kid gets it. He accepted Jesus by being in a little bit of “trouble” from excessive night time rowdiness, therefore leading to listening to bible stories! I am amazed, humbled, and in awe of my Jesus. I am reminded that all we have to do is be available. We do not need to know all the details of our future. I was reminded that God does not NEED us. He CHOOSES us! Thank you Jesus, for the opportunity to be USED by YOU!