About three months after coming home, K received her Certificate of Citizenship in the mail. Amazingly, she was a citizen as soon as our plane landed in the US, but now she has the parchment to prove it. The day after her certificate arrived, she completed her first act as a citizen of the US–she prayed for our country.
Our family stood on the capitol’s green with over 8,000 people from our state. We joined Franklin Graham in praying for our country: for forgiveness of sins, for the courage to get involved, for our presidential candidates and the election, and for God’s Lordship to rule in our hearts. We felt it was important for us to experience this as a family, so our kids were allowed to miss school. Will they look back and remember that time we stood in public and prayed to God for our nation?
As we stood with our brothers and sisters in Christ, I thought of our brothers and sisters in Christ across the ocean in MaeMae and K’s birthplace. When have they been allowed to stand in public and pray to God? When can they even stand freely in church and pray to God? In that place, people worship in underground churches under the threat of imprisonment and Bibles are a rare treasure.
A few weeks after receiving her Certificate of Citizenship, K began school. She is able to go to a local public school and receive three hours of instruction four mornings a week. Because of our taxpayer dollars, she receives a quality education, along with occupational, speech, and physical therapies. If we wanted, a bus would come right outside our door, pick her up, and bring her home again. The staff is required to do what it takes so she can access the same curriculum as every other student. Her teacher and other staff are excited to have her in class, and we can already tell they are dedicated to helping her be all she can be.
In her birthplace, it is rare that orphans with special needs are allowed to attend school. In fact, children with special needs are still considered cursed in many cases. (Follow the link to read an article about an infant with cleft lip that was killed.)
You may shake your head and think, “How can they think a child with a cleft is cursed?” How different is it here, though? If an ultrasound is performed and concludes that a baby will have significant needs, women are encouraged to have abortions. Many say these unborn babies do not have constitutional rights and their needs will not allow them to have a happy life. I believe God ordains a life, makes a life, and we are not the ones who decide they are worthy of that life. Those babies are not cursed, and every one is worthy to be born: alive, loved, and wondrous. More and more, God is showing me that I cannot only be Pro-Life, but I must be Pro-LIFE, supporting those who have been born in whatever way I can.
Not long after school started, K received something else in the mail–an insurance card. Our state provides secondary insurance to children with special needs. When our primary insurance does not cover something related to her cerebral palsy, even charges going towards our deductible, the secondary insurance will cover it. This is an answer to prayer, as the weekly charge to attend outpatient occupational and physical therapies is $700. How amazing to have this extra provision! Did you know that in Chin*, patients have to pay up front for medical costs? If your child has a heart condition that requires surgery, you pay before the surgery. How is this even possible for families? It’s not, which is why so many children with special needs are abandoned in *hina. We are all complaining about astronomical insurance costs here in the States. How long until it reaches a point that families are abandoning their children in order to save their lives? It happens every day in *hina; may it never happen here.
K has her citizenship, for which we are so thankful. We are afforded many wonderful things by living in this country, and most we take for granted. May we not take for granted the privilege to pray in public, to worship freely, to attend school, and to obtain healthcare. And above all, may we recognize that our true citizenship is in Heaven and live in a way that shows others the way there.