Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Team Leader Tuesday spotlight: Gael Nichols

Gael Nichols leads China trips for Visiting Orphans. She wrote this last year when she was delayed on the way to our team leader training. We love sharing the stories of our leaders and giving you a glimpse into their hearts. We are honored to have Gael as one of our amazing team leaders who step out in faith to GO BE LOVE! To read her and other Visiting Orphans team leader bios, go to our Team Leader page here.


I'll share something some of you may find odd. I'm not really an adventurous person. Seriously, I like my adventures best read in books in the comfort of my own home. The only reason I would say, "yes" to following Jesus into orphanages in China is sheer obedience to my king, and a deep thankfulness. Thankfulness for the child that is now mine that was once dependent on the kindness of those who were strangers to me.

So this non adventurous person set off this weekend by myself heading towards a visiting orphans conference in Nashville, TN. My prayer, "don't send me from here (home) unless you go with me and bless me to be a blessing".

Travel didn't exactly go as planned. (Rule number 1. Be flexible). My first flight was delayed. It was so delayed that I was going to miss my connecting flight, so I rescheduled my whole itinerary.

I made it to the airport extra early and found a comfy spot by a window. Within a few minutes I was joined by an older man who sighed as he sat down and made a joke about sharing my chips. I laughed and offered him some but of course he wouldn't take any. With plenty of time to visit, we started to chat. I found out he was a radiochemist and although he had been in the US for almost 30 years, he was originally from Ghana and he was on his way back to Ghana to see family. He had gotten a phone call that left him unclear to whether his 96 year old mother was dead or seriously ill. He didn't know what was waiting for him. I asked him if he was a believer, if he knew Jesus, and he immediately said "Yes! Hallelujah!". We shared that moment of recognition. A moment of mini worship staring out the airport window, and the shared understanding that

ALL things, all THINGS are under His Feet.

He asked me where I was going and why, and so I told him about VO and about going to my daughter's orphanage last summer and my commitment to go and lead teams into other orphanages if God willed. He asked me, "do you like it"? (Not a simple answer to that). I said, "I love China. I love the people. I'm thankful for the opportunity,'s hard.". He asked me what was hard, and I struggled to put it into words. I said, " just belong in families that love them. They just do better there. I'm sure there are things about Ghana that are hard?". He took his glasses off and looked me in the eyes. "I want to tell you a story". He proceeded to tell me a story of being born with a white spot on his cornea and of younger years being held down by his uncles while they tried to treat his eye to get rid of the spot. He told me how scary it was, how painful it was. With tears in his eyes he told me, "I was lucky. Do you know what they do with babies in Ghana that are born with physical imperfections? They kill them. They don't kill them themselves. They get someone else to come and kill them. Even if they are just missing a finger. They KILL them. You don't even KNOW what that child had the potential to be". He got quiet and he told me, "you need to keep going to China".

All things are under his feet. All things.

As my plane finally started to board, he said, "we may not cross paths again in this life, but I think we will meet again in heaven". I grasped both his hands and said, "I think we will."

All things are under his feet. All things.

I won't talk about the second DELAY and the cocky flyboy I had to crawl over because he had stolen my aisle seat. (He ended up being a nice guy). I also got my sweet revenge by parting ways with him thinking about adoption. I imagine his wife and mother of their four beautiful kids might not thank me. (Rule number 2: maintain your sense of humor). Evidently the Lord had a use for the extra hour we spent on that plane before it ever left the ground.

I was originally scheduled to get to Nashville around 5pm. I arrived at 11pm.

All things are under his feet. All things
Ephesians 1:22

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