Rathjen Family

Rathjen Family
Rathjen, Party of EIGHT

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The 4th of July and Finding an Old Friend

We had a great holiday this year! The first one with our family of seven. It was so cool seeing our two newest members sporting their red, white and blue and enjoying a warm summer day, chomping on some watermelon in a FREE country!

Another super duper exciting thing I can't wait to share, is my reunion with a special little friend. This past Sunday we had outdoor service in the park and across the lawn I spotted a (too cute for words) little African boy, running, tumbling and giggling his way around. Right away, I knew who it was: Jethro!

Jethro lived in one of the orphanages I was fortunate enough to serve in on my Uganda Mission over a year ago. At the time, Jethro required a lot of attention. He was a thin, frail, nine month old baby with serious burns on most of his torso. The first time I saw this precious boy, he was whimpering in his crib, flat on his back, stiff as a board. Big tears streamed down his brown cheeks. I picked him up and his many bandages were revealed. Immediately, I asked a "momma" what had happened to this poor boy. She informed me this baby had pulled a pot of boiling water off the stove and burned a large area on his mid section. Hmmm, something very unsettling about this story.

Day after day, we returned. Our team fell in love with Jethro, especially my good friend Stacy. We were able to change his bandages, feed him bottles and sing him sweet songs. As the days went on Stacy especially grew more and more attached to him. She spoke to the director about the possibility of adopting him, and got some indirect answers. She prayed and prayed for him and for God to give her some direction.

After our return home, Stacy and her husband talked and prayed a lot about little Jethro. Eventually, God showed them he was not their child. Their prayers for Jethro changed direction. They began to pray his mommy and daddy would find him soon. Stacy and her family began their adoption process on their sweet daughter, Olya, as she continued to pray for Jethro's future.

Prayers were answered and mountains were moved, and just recently, Jethro's parents brought him home after serving as missionaries for several months in Uganda. They are two wonderful, Jesus loving people and they plan on returning to Uganda, with Jethro in tow, and living there permanently as missionaries.

Now that you know the background, you can imagine the emotions that waved over me as I saw this once neglected, injured little orphan child, running and laughing amongst hundreds of people who love him.

These are the stories that give me hope. I never dreamed that frail little boy would belong to my church. I never dreamed I would see him again. But my God is and awesome God and He has big plans for that little one, as he does the rest of them. I pray each family is as blessed as Jethro's, and that each child is as loved as him by a mommy and a daddy.

I scooped him up and kissed those soft little brown cheeks and could not help but look at his once burned tummy. What I saw is nothing short of a miracle. I.saw.nothing. The skin was normal colored and just as soft and smooth as the rest of him. Thank you Jesus for healing. Thank You for loving the least of these, for bringing them home to a free country. Thank you for trusting us with them.



You can read more on Jethro on his families blog : journeyfortheorphan.blogspot.com as well as on Stacy's : imaginethatpushinglimits.blogspot.com


  1. This is beautiful and has me teared up. Knowing that God has broken many hearts for our little boy so that we where able to bring him into our lives. It is an honor to be his daddy and to have his mommy as my wife. Thanks Misty your words are precious.

  2. OK is seems I can't even see anymore. My eyes are doing this funny little thing. ;)
    So amazing to see him with a wonderful mommy and daddy and such a joy to be part of his life. God is an amazing God and I feel so blessed to be able to watch him grow and be blessed.
    Love Ya Girlfriend!