What is a jewel? The dictionary has several definitions; 1) a gem stone, 2) anything considered precious or valuable, and 3) a person that is treasured, esteemed or indispensable. Many people are very interested in the gem stone definition and in fact millions of people flock each years to see the Crown Jewels in London. But I want to talk about one of the other definitions of jewels, a person that is treasured.
You might be thinking, why am I writing about Jewels on a blog about our work in Nepal and Myanmar? Let me take you back a number of years to answer this question. I was attending a women’s conference at my church years ago and the speaker wanted to walk us through a biblical mediation exercise. We closed our eyes and though about a verse from the bible that held special meaning to us. During this time, a vision flashed through my mind. I saw a church narthex with the floor covered in jewels that sparkled and glowed with many colors. I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me that I was suppose to sweep up the jewels and take care of them. Then the vision was gone. I did not really understand the vision but I tucked it away because I knew it had a meaning that would be shown to me later in life.
Now we can fast forward to more recent times. I am reading a book called “No Longer a Slumdog”. In this book it is telling stories of many poor Indian children and how they suffer. One sentenced really hit me hard and brought back the memory of my vision. The sentence was, “Can we see them as Jesus does, so special to Him, their worth like jewels beyond compare.” Wow, children as jewels, our orphans as jewels. Jesus was finally showing the meaning of the vision He had given me and helping me to understand the importance of the work He was calling us to do.
As I think about all our years we have been on this mission, I now see another example of the jewel connections. Early on in our work in Kenya, I remember one trip that just Bill and I took. We visited lots of areas in and around Kisumu to see what work was needed to be done. On this particular day, we were visiting churches that were in dire need of repair or needed to be built anew. We stopped to see one church in Osenteti but it was locked. The people we were working with knew were the custodian lived so we decided to go to his house. As is Kenyan tradition, we were invited in for tea. The lady of the home became really excited and kept pointing at us. She did not speak English. Our friends provided interpretation for us. The lady stated that she had dreamed about a white couple that came to visit her home and they had a treasure chest of jewels with them. In her dream these white people also decided to help them by building their church for them. She went on to say that we were the people she had seen in her dream. It is awesome to watch God at work.
I wanted to see if there were any verses in the bible that also help to confirm this vision. I found Zechariah 9:16 On that dat The Lord their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land. This speaks to how God sees his people as jewels. Another verse is Revelations 21:11 having the glory of God, it’s radiance like a most rare jewel. The verse is talking about the New Jerusalem and comparing the new city to a jewel of great worth. So heaven (the New Jerusalem) will be a jewel filled with Gods own people who he sees as jewels. The vision is making a lot more sense. I wanted to make one more connection to see what the bible says about children especially orphans. Again I found 2 verses that really struck a chord. James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father is this; to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and keep oneself unstained from the world. And then Matthew 18:10 See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. As I said before, wow! God has called me and all of us to care for His jewels in the world and especially His littlest jewels. What a blessing to finally see more clearly my vision and to also get confirmation for work we do.
I am not usually one to write something so publicly about my faith and about our work with orphans but I really felt called to share. Thanks and hopefully this will spur you on to find your vision or to join us in ours.