Kidstown International

The Sower, the Seed, and Starbucks


Dear Kidstown Friends,

Gabi is a success story!
Gabi is a success story!

The time in Romania is coming to a close. Seven of us have had the opportunity to see and experience amazing things: some encouraging, some heart-breaking, and some clear evidence of a God at work. It is our hope that we can convey a bit of this to you in our emails and Facebook posts so that you also can participate in the tremendous Kingdom activity we have witnessed over the course of the last few weeks.

Today I visited the Casa Otniel. Some of you sponsor a child here. Some of you
have personally visited this place. Over the last 15 years, the Casa Otniel has
been home to 36 kids, 20 which currently live here. Of the 16 which have moved on,
non are homeless. Most attend church. Some have moved to Western Europe to live
and work. A few come back from time to time to reconnect with their orphanage
family.

One boy is named Gabi. He is now in his early 20’s…maybe 22. He comes from a
broken family. He has a brother. 14 years ago, when he was only 9 or 10, he
somehow landed at the Casa Otniel. His brother, however, did not. Gabi was loved
and cared for by the Otniel leadership. He was sent to school. He was taught about
a God who loved him and had plans for him. Over the years, Gabi became a role model
for the younger kids. He successfully finished his education. Then, a few months
ago, Gabi left the nest. He and two other boys from the same orphanage banded
together and rented an apartment. Gabi secured his first full-time job
at…Starbucks! He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, and continues to go to church.
Sounds like a success story to me, and only half the book is written.

His brother, conversely, two years older and unfortunate enough to not have the Casa
Otniel living opportunity, fell on much harder times. He has cycled in and out of
prison over the last 14 years. His future isn’t so bright.

Two brothers. Two roads. Two outcomes.

The leaders of the Casa Otniel, apart from the sovereign hand of God, are the key
players in this story. They are the ones who patiently tilled the soil of Gabi’s
heart, carefully planting therein seeds of love, confidence, and worth, and
faithfully watered those seeds as he grew, questioned, and probably even rebelled.
Then, when harvest season came, the fruit of their labor was evidenced by the
emergence of a young man whose future is bright. A young man who God wants to grow,
bless, and develop, and to use to accomplish His purposes here in Romania.

Ever look at the photo of the orphan you are sponsoring and ask yourself, “is it
really worth it?” Let me assure you, God is using your dollars, your postcards, and
your prayers in the lives of the kids you have chosen. You, like the Casa Otniel
leaders, are sowing seeds into the lives of children. Keep at it! Just because you
don’t see the results now doesn’t mean you won’t someday.

We can learn a lesson from the farmer: keep sowing, keep watering, keep praying, and
then trust God for a great harvest!