Monday, December 21, 2009

Good King Wenceslaus....Who Was He???

"Good King Winceslaus looked out.....On the Feast of Stephen".....

We've all heard the song during the Christmas season, but who was he???

Winceslaus was born to a Duke and Duchess of Bohemia in 907, was educated by his Christian grandmother, lost his father to a battle, and was then left to be raised by his mother who was not a Christian. Following his father's death, the Duchess embraced paganism and plunged the country into a civil war between Christians and non-Christians.

Winceslaus' grandmother wanted him to claim his rightful title of Duke of Bohemia and end the persecution of Christians. His mother was so determined for him NOT to become Duke, she had her mother-in-law strangled. However, after turning fifteen, Winceslaus became ruler and declared that every person would have the "liberty of conscience" to worship God freely.

As leader, Winceslaus defended widows and orphans, built churches, fed and clothed the poor, visited prisoners and tried to end oppression of the poor. His brother, Boleslaus, had followed in his mother's pagan footsteps and could not stomach his brother's spreading of "Christian Cheer". As a result, he developed an evil plan to murder his brother and take his place as ruler.

Winceslaus made it a habit to visit churches on their feast days. When Boleslaus learned his brother was going to be visiting a church near his home, he invited him to stay with him. Even though Winceslaus doubted his brother's intentions, he stayed with him. A plan to assassinate Winceslaus over dinner failed, but the next day, Boleslaus attacked his brother with a sword just before he entered the church he had come to visit. Co-conspirators joined him and took Winceslaus down. Before dying on the steps of the church, Winceslaus said, "Brother, may God forgive you."

When you follow God's Way, you will be hated by those on the opposing path. The heat will be a constant in your life and may come from unexpected people and places: Winceslaus was hated by his own mother and brother. His stand for Christ in caring for widows and orphans, feeding and clothing the poor, etc. cost him alot.....his family and his life.

Chappy and I have lost many friends over our passion for orphans and widows. Maybe it is because we are both first borns and pretty open about suggesting anyone who is "able" should adopt an orphan.....and EVERY Christian should find a widow to visit and look after. Each day we discuss our shock over how many Christians we know who have plenty of money and space in their home who could save ONE orphan with Down Syndrome through the gift of adoption AND it would not impact their lives one single bit other than they would have an extra member of the family.....but they don't. These believers know orphans with DS are tragically placed in horrible mental institutions to be tortured and killed when they turn four.....they know scripture says Christians are to care for orphans in distress.....they know God is holding them responsible to act.....but they do nothing. They are comfortable with their lives and do not want to change their routine.....not even when a child's life is at stake.

Don't misnderstand, Chappy and I do not want to come across as self-righteous or holier than thou. We are far from perfect, and do not sit in judgement of anyone. However, to us, this as an urgent situation that needs to be discussed openly, because children are dying right now, and God wants us to save them! If it was your child or my child who was being dragged off to a mental institution where he/she would be drugged, starved, and tied to a bed for the rest of his/her life.....can you imagine the lengths we would go to in order to save our child?? We wouldn't be able to sleep or rest until we knew our child was safe. Well these orphans don't have who will stand up for them? lose sleep for them? save them? If not us, then who? By doing nothing, what is the message believers are trying to get across? Is the message: "This is unfortunate, but not my problem"......or "The orphans with Down Syndrome deserve to be tortured and killed." From God's viewpoint, what's the difference???

Added at 10:17am 12/22:
I received a comment from a woman named Kathleen below. I hope you will take time to read her comment and be moved. Just so you will know, I get emails from people like Kathleen all of the time. "Kathleens" are people who get very mad at my blog posts, but not for the reason you would expect. You would expect Kathleen to be someone who argues the point: "Not everyone is called to dare you make me feel guilty for not doing something I am not called to do." Wrong! The "Kathleens" that email me are moms and dads who have already adopted....or have fostered children.....they read my posts and want to do more, but have full plates. They want me to show more grace and mercy in my posts.

I respond to them in the same way I responded to Kathleen's comment below.....the "Kathleens" are not the audience I am trying to reach. If you have already adopted, friends, you have certainly done your part. I was told a shocking statistic recently.....I don't know if it was true, but I wouldn't doubt it's accuracy: Just less than 10% of Christian families in our country have adopted or taken in an unwanted child. Does that surprise you?

If you hear anger in my posts, it is because I feel angry about the orphan crisis......but especially about special needs orphans. I am angry because so many "could help" but won't help. Thanks to all of the "Kathleens" of the blog-o-sphere who are always so willing to do more. God bless you!

"Stop oppressing the helpless and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day." Isaiah 58:9-10

"Jesus said: If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it."
Matthew 10:38-39


  1. Another excellent post.
    A question: didn't you do a blog on Tyquan recently? Where did it go?

  2. I came to your blog during the fund raising for Darya and have stayed because I enjoy reading it. However, lately I feel that I need to defend myself. I agree that we need to help these children, but we also need to wait on God's timing.

    We have three biological children and two adopted children. Both our adoptions were older special needs children. In between adoptions, we took in refugee children - one boy for two years and then two brothers for three years. I am glad we did it, but these were difficult placements. Our adopted children have not been easy either. They are great kids, but they both have very significant medical needs as well as being very behind academically and having behavior issues related to their past experiences.

    Because of the economy, we moved this summer. Before we moved, the house we had been trying to sell flooded (4 feet of water in the living spaces) and insurance would not pick up any of the costs for repairs or cover any of our personal losses. As a result, we incurred a lot of debt. The house still is not sold.

    God is taking care of us, but he also seems to be telling us to cope with all these things that are happening and not to take on anything else. Both our children have been struggling more with their medical conditions. Can you find it in your heart to say that there might be a stage in life where we need to focus on the responsibilities God has given us already?

  3. Oh, Kathleen, my posts are not written for have done your part. You have obeyed God by caring for the least of these. I live in a very affluent area, and I know MANY Christians who talk the talk but do not walk the walk. They live in 4 or 5 bedroom houses, are financially stable (often wealthy), have two or three healthy children who excel in local private school, drive great big SUVs....yet close their ears to the orphan crisis. I see it every single day, and I cannot wrap my mind around "why"??? Please forgive me if I have not made my posts clear. Dear one, you are definitely entitled to sit back and care for those you have taken in. My prayers are with you today. Thank you for commenting; I will try to be more clear in the future. What you are hearing from me is the rage I have inside me for the children who are being tortured in mental institutions....I feel so helpless. The only thing I can use is my voice. It is funny, but the only ones who seem to feel "convicted" by my blog are ones who have already done their part....those hearts are the ones who are open to helping another. The ones I would like to reach and challenge simply read the blog and say: "Great Blog!" Go figure.

  4. Thank you. Your words were a blessing to me today. We would like to do more and have prayed but have clearly heard God say, "Wait on me and I will lead you where you need to be." I don't think God is done using us yet. While I wait on his leading, I will continue to enjoy reading about your family's adventures.

    I saw this video on Serbia awhile back. It makes me cry every time. I have showed it to many people and said, as your daughter said, now you know - you can't pretend not to know - what are you going to do?

  5. Melanie and friends, here is a wonderful link to one of the articles about Lydia and her fundraising for Darya...

    love to you all and Merry CHRISTmas...


  6. Melanie, thank you for your thought provoking posts. I am at a place where I would very much love to adopt (scared but willing! :-) ) We support a wonderful mission called Children of the Nations and have sponsored an orphan through them for 4 years. It is delightful to watch her grow and know she knows the Lord and is being raised in a safe caring way. We just did a youth group activity and made pillowcases for her house of 11 sisters. We can't wait to get our disposable camera back that I sent with them and see the girls with their lovingly made cases. Our family also does many little things in the name of the orphan and the children of the world who are the least of these. I have been praying and hoping to adopt for the past 3 years but unfortunatley my wonderful husband is not at the same place. He's not opposed he's just not "there yet". I pray this is God's perfect timing and that one day the child meant for us will cross our paths and my husband will be "there". It's a hard place to be as I feel conficted by so many stories like yours but feel powerless to act in the way I really feel drawn too. Until that day comes I will continue to support things like Lydia's wonderful fundraiser and be a prayer warriors for other families.

    Cathy in Washington State

  7. This post has been haunting me for days. My heart literally aches for orphans around the world (particularly the ones on Reece's Rainbow). I sat and sobbed during our rendition of "Silent Night" at our church's Christmas Eve service. The thought of so many children without a mother was too much for me. We are not currently eligible for adoption through RR because of our insurance status, a situation that breaks my heart. My husband has encouraged me that we will see where the Lord leads and how He moves this coming year.
    I shared about RR at church and showed Andrea's recent slide show. There was not a dry eye in the place. We took up a nice offering for the Voice of Hope fund. But, I was so disappointed that not one person expressed an interest in adopting one of those precious children. Not one.
    The older I get in the faith, the more certain I am that adoption is a huge part of the Father's heart. It makes me almost physically ill to see the complacency and wasteful spending in the church...even in my own life.
    I just wanted to say that I get you...I really do. May the Lord richly bless you in 2010!