We spend about two weeks at a Christian children’s home in India. A few days before we left, the owner of the home asked each of us to write down what God has taught us during our time at the home. This is what Joy write down the day before she passed away:
“Being here at this home, God has been so evident – I feel his presence all around me. Initially when I came I expected to experience God in some big, fiery, and huge way and that excited me more than actually seeking Him. So now that I am here God has shown me that He is always around, from when I wake up in the morning to when I hear the laughter of the beautiful children here. I have learned to just enjoy the beauty and serenity of His presence.
Something else that God has been showing me is the mental chains that I am still shackled to. When I shared about freedom yesterday it was truly because I realized that I still counted myself chained not living in the freedom God has brought me to. I have always had a low self-esteem and I could never see the beauty God created me to be. Things that make me look different such as my hair and my skin tone – those were things that I hated. But the minute I came to this home the children spoke truth to me. They told me that God created me beautiful and whenever I made a self-depreciating comment about my hair or how I look they quickly reminded me that I am God’s creation and that he made me beautiful, that I am beautiful. Although I’ve been told that all my life this is the first time that I believe it. For this I will always remember this place and will thank God always for using the children to teach me His truth. His presence and the beauty He has created me to be is what I’ve learned here. So grateful to experience this little slice of heaven!” – Joy Negash, Biola Team 2015
Joy painted this picture because for the first time in her life she was experiencing freedom from insecurity. God used the little children to speak truth to her. She felt free from the bondage of Satan’s lies. It was a wonderful thing.
I first saw Joy’s painting after she had passed away. Upon seeing it I broke into tears. I knew that now she was completely free. The blue sky and clouds made me think of Heaven. She is experiencing complete freedom in the presence of Jesus. I think her painting is meant to remind us that we are free. Jesus set us free. He wants us to live in that freedom.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)