She met us on the side of the road. We squeezed her into our van. She would lead us to Yoseph. Yoseph is a sponsor child of IAMNOT4GOTTEN MINISTRIES. We set out that day to meet him. Her name was Balynesh Nadaw. She takes care of Yoseph. Both Yoseph’s mother and father are dead, and Belaynesh is only a distant relative of Yoseph, but I could tell she was eager to introduce us to Yoseph. Each of us could see desperation in her eyes. She needed help and she needed guidance. She welcomed us into her home. She was eager for us to meet with them. She had kept Yoseph home for school just so we could meet this special young man. We walked in and there he was intent on his school studies. We could tell his hand seemed to curl up. Probably many of his peers would focus on that disablity, or others of his society would shun him because his was an HIV carrier. My first thought of Yoseph, “My what a studious little nine year old.” Have you ever though about that? How many different opinions can be formed over just one object? Same person but different thoughts shaping who this child is. Each view being formed by our various environments and cultural practices.
Ray Boltz sang a song, “Shepherd boy”. A line from the song goes, “Some may see a shepherd boy but God sees a king.”
God never views us as we view ourselves, nor for that matter, as our society views us. God sees greatness in us. God sees what we could become if we would just give our lives over to Him.
“Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).”
John 1:42 NET
That look! Can you not just picture this scene in your mind? Jesus looking up to give Simon a considerate acknowledgement. His gaze was locked in on Simon. His was a concentrated gaze fixed on Simon’s potential. Jesus’ look held great love and concern for this ordinary fisherman. Jesus took time to consider more than what was physically visible. Other’s may have seen a struggling fisherman from the shores of Galilee, but Jesus saw in Simon a rock on which His church would one day be built upon. Jesus saw past the failures and mistakes this man would make. He saw and beheld a man who contained a sure foundation in him. Jesus stared at Simon fixedly and spoke, “You will be called Cephas.” Cephas is Aramaic for rock. Jesus spoke into being that which was not seen by ordinary eyes. This shifting sand of a man would one day be a firm foundation for His church. That is what Jesus does in the life of those who believe in Him. He changes us. He calls us new creations. He sees in us what the world cannot see. When some would only see a shepherd boy, God sees a king who would build a dynasty of followers.
Jesus honors us. He stops what ever He is doing and looks up and locks his gaze in on us. That is what He did the day we met Yoseph. Yoseph is more than a young child with a crippled hand and HIV. He is worthy. God set up an appointment for us to meet Yoseph. Salvation came to Yoseph’s house that day. My friend Belewchew led him in the prayer of repentance and confession. Yoseph accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior that Monday in ADDIS Ababa Ethiopia. Yoseph may seem like an outcast to many in his society, but Jesus loved him enough to die for him and offer him everlasting life. Yoseph in Hebrew means, “May Jehovah add and give increase.” I know there is greatness in this young man. I know the Lord will add to his life. I know because Yoseph’s name is now tattoed in the palm of God’s hand.