But The Greatest of These Is Love


Our culture is hungry for stories of God’s messages to His people. Recent books about Near-Death Experiences are instant best sellers, but near death experiences are not the only fascinating and life-changingways God reveals Himself to His people.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Be still . . . Be still. Not an easy task for modern man, or woman.  God caught me accidentally being still one evening in March of 2000. What I heard was not a voice In the audible sense of the word. Still, what seemed like a sudden random thought, a whisper to my soul, was so clear, it might as well have been a neon sign.

Moments when you believe, or know, that you have heard a word from God are difficult to describe. My moment hit me with the force of a lightning bolt. I didn’t see it coming, nor did I have time to take cover. Never before had I encountered the God who is not silent! I was left singed and smoking. God had stricken me with one enduring, unthinkable directive: Adopt an older boy from Russia.

I was not eager to embrace God’s invitation.  Hadn’t He noticed that I already had three children? My girls—one was in college, the other was preparing to go. My precious eleven-year-old son had been the baby too long to relinquish that coveted role willingly. My life was so comfortable. Never had I considered any action as life changing as adopting an orphan.

I limped along for months, licking my wounds, blind at first to the reality that the lightning bolt had ignited a shallow faith and was transforming it into one that was electrified! During the months I spent in self-pity and deep despair, the God of the universe was at work, reordering my life.

Even so, I didn’t go easily. I wrestled with God every step of the way. He met my challenges with months of sleepless nights, and strange, hair-raising “coincidences” that confirmed that I had to follow where He led me

In April 2002, my husband and I traveled to Russia to bring seven-year-old Roma home. Roma had been removed from his family in March of 2000, the same time God burdened my heart for him. This boy had obviously been Hand picked for our family.

Eleven years have passed. Our family is living proof that God’s will for us is infinitely richer than the safe lives we plan for ourselves.  So many people in our small, close community have been touched by Roma’s adoption.

I published But the Greatest of These is Love last fall. Check it out on Amazon. Read the reviews. All profits go to Orphan Care Resources, an organization that trains Christians in Russia and Ukraine to care for orphans in their countries. In view of Putin’s recent ban on Americans adopting Russian children, their efforts will be a blessing to more than 800,000 children in the former Soviet states.

Check out the book’s Facebook’s page to read responses to the story from readers, Roma’s teachers along this journey, strangers who have never met us, and still have been impacted by God’s wonderful plan. Keep scrolling to the beginning, till you see photos of Roma, then and now. Have the past eleven years been easy? Emphatically NO! But it has been an unrivaled phenomenon which, in many ways, defines who I am and my relationship to God.

I thank God everyday for His revelation and transformation of me.

- Debbie Michael