Stephanie was sitting on the couch in her living room, watching the
news. Death and carnage was the order of the day. In
orphans were being dealt with in a most inhumane way. As she sat
there, war film footage was portraying child after child, from infants
to early teens, in a hospital, covered in blood. The hospital itself
didn’t have the necessary supplies to adequately care for the
children, or anyone else, for that matter. Scenes in the orphanages
didn’t look much better. The only thing in abundance was the lack of
everything. A bed, a table…not much else. Silently, Stephanie sat
there motionless, watching, weeping.
On April 19,
1995, the unthinkable happened. Terrorism, in unparalleled
proportion, hit Oklahoma City, USA. America sat glued to the
television, watching the aftermath of the bombing of the Murrah
Federal Building. What the world saw, from one single act, was
unbelievable...like a face being ripped off, half of the building was
gone. What was left, once again, was more death and carnage. More
bloody people, some staggering, some being carried.
Then the reports
started coming in…surely, they had to be wrong, they just had to be.
The reports made the unbelievable claim that a daycare center was in
the building, street side, at ground zero. It was true. It was full.
There were more bloody children, many dead children, as well as adults. Mayhem and panic were in control. Once again, Stephanie, sat
on her couch, stunned, watching, weeping.
Blackstone, a registered nurse, spent years working with the
homebound. She mixed chemotherapy drugs without the knowledge of
damage, from the drugs, happening to herself. As a result, in 1991,
Stephanie became disabled with Cardiomyopathy, and congestive heart
failure. The doctors told her she would die within a couple of years.
She was not only heavily burdened for the
suffering of the innocent, she was waging an inner war. Sitting there
watching the suffering on television, Stephanie was wracked with guilt
for what she had not done. As a healthy person, she went on with her
daily life, doing her job as a nurse.
“But there was so much more I could…I should
have done, when I had the chance.” But there she sat, unable to bring
her lifesaving abilities to the wounded. “While I sat and watched
Oklahoma City, I cried out to God and said, ‘Lord, if you ever heal my
heart, I will go to the first crisis you show me.’” In 1996, God
took the offer. He healed her heart, much to the amazement of the
doctors, and herself.
By a seemingly strange set of circumstances, God showed Stephanie that
He needed her in, of all
Russia. She went with
a small group, taking humanitarian aid to orphans. When they
arrived at Dubovka Baby House, with a surplus Russian army truck
loaded with food, the Director of the orphanage cried.
With no more food than potato water, sometimes for extended periods,
the children were seriously malnourished. Their clothes were rags.
Having only these rags as diapers for the infants, many slept in wet
pants and wet beds. Over all, the children were in poor health.
There Stephanie was, doing what God told her He needed. But she wasn’t
ready for what she was looking at. Once again, Stephanie found herself
“God, I can’t do
this. My efforts will only last for a moment. These conditions are too
hopeless; I can’t make a difference here. When I’m gone, who will feed
them tomorrow? I’m giving them false hope, and that is cruel.”
Stephanie was seeing with her eyes, Goliath was in the camp. Wearing a defeated spirit like an overcoat, Stephanie
Then came the
reports the next winter – six infants, in their wet beds, froze to
death, as the orphanage had no heat. Slingshot in hand, David arose.
“The battle is not mine, but the Lord’s!” she declared.
The clarion was
sounded. “To battle!” was the cry. With no concept of what was to
come, Stephanie, at God’s Hand, began to organize a new assault on the
enemy. This would be an all out offensive, no defense in this game
plan. As a start, there was a call for money to buy coal for the
orphanage. Hopefully, enough money would be raised to provide heat for
a month. The Lord provided…a month’s worth? No, God makes no small
plans. He bought several train cars full of coal. A month? How about
more coal than the whole Russian winter could handle?
It is amazing
what one can see, and how things look, when one looks through the
Spirit, instead of through the eyes. “Not by might, nor by power, but
by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” Zech 4:6. Thus began
a most unlikely story.
© 2000 Howard K.