Those of you who have been following my time in Zambia or my blog have a pretty good idea of the battle she has been through in her 12 short years.
Almost exactly a year ago, in spite of all she was struggling through as an orphan, she stood beside me in church on Easter with her hands raised. Shantel became a Christian before the church that Sunday, although she had been a believer for quite some time.
Since she popped into my life in February of last year, all that we've been through can best be described as a roller coaster--a thrilling ride with as many ups as downs. Through the many highs and lows, together we have not ceased moving forward towards a sweet victory. The victory is preceded by a vision held and the vision preceded by a promise:
"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow" Deuteronomy 10:18
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling" Psalm 68:5
There have been prayers for protection, open doors.
Prayers to sustain, prayers for strength, prayers to preserve.
Prayers for the vision to be upheld, prayers for justice, prayers for the lion of Judah to show himself.
And let it be known that God has answered them all, every one. As if that was not more than enough to show Him faithful there are more blessings falling on us, as abundant and as sure as rain.
I will be with Shantel again this Easter, and celebrate we will--
"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable,
and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:
'Death has been swallowed up in victory.'
But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.
Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that
your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15
With all He has done, it's as if I've seen him here walking among us once again, performing miracles and defeating death.
Her life is a testimony of His resurrection.
And to me it is a good and perfect gift.