Friday, September 28, 2012


Today is the 10th Birthday for my youngest son, Timothy David Sanyu Jenkins.    Please share with me in blessing my son.   

 Bible verses that seem appropriate to summarize the Spirit of God living in Timothy are

 "You remember what the Lord said at Kadesh Barnea when he was speaking to the prophet Moses about you and me. Moses, the Lord's servant, sent me to look at the land where we were going. I was forty years old then. When I came back, I told Moses what I thought about the land. The other men who went with me frightened the people, but I fully believed the Lord would allow us to take the land. So that day Moses promised me, 'The land where you went will become your land, and your children will own it forever. I will give you that land because you fully believed in the Lord, my God.'

  "Now then, the Lord has kept his promise. He has kept me alive for forty-five years from the time he said this to Moses during the time we all wandered in the desert. Now here I am, eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out, and I am just as ready to fight now as I was then. So give me the mountain country the Lord promised me that day long ago. Back then you heard that the Anakite people lived there and the cities were large and well protected. But now with the Lord helping me, I will force them out, just as the Lord said. 

 Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him the city of Hebron as his own (Joshua 14:6-13.)"

            For Timothy a phrase he has used to summarize his approach to life is “Give me these stairs.” 

            Timothy is a surprise adoption.   We did not seek him.  There was no human effort.  The Divine Will of God brought Timothy to our home.    

            Ten years ago, Jana was helping friends of ours; Brent and Inell Slater consider adoption.   Jana went with Inell to Sanyu Babies Home in Kampala, Uganda.    While there, the matron, Mama Joyce told Jana, “I have someone I want to introduce to you.”  Then she placed Timothy in Jana’s arms.   Their eyes met, and Jana said, “I’m a goner.”   

            Jana came home to tell me about Timothy.   Everyone else in our relationship network went to see Timothy.   I did not.   I tried to remain objective.   I counted the cost.   What would our lives be like if we did not adopt Timothy?   What would we lose?   The only thing I could conceptualize was money.  I came to only one conclusion.    I had never made a life changing decision simply by counting money.  I would not start with Timothy.   If Mama Joyce was led by God to place Timothy in Jana’s arms who was I to say, “No.”   Timothy would be part of our family.   This was the Will of God.

            As we left Sanyu Babies Home with Timothy in our arms surrounded by ecstatic Sophia, Caleb, Ethan, and Ruth I remarked, “We came as a family.   We’ve left as a tribe.  God will bless us.”

            We laughed frequently.   Timothy’s first sounds were not the “coos” of a baby.   Instead, Timothy growled and roared.   When I would enter a room he would look at me, and we would affectionately growl and giggle at one another.   Timothy’s strong will and joy were clear even before he could speak.

            At 10 months old, we began to notice that Timothy army crawled only using his left arm and leg.   He drug his right arm and leg.  We saw a pediatrician.   Timothy was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP).

            In a certain way the diagnosis was sobering.    Yet, in a strange way it was a blessing.   We had known other families whose son had CP.   With each one we had observed God giving a special guiding touch.   We anticipated He would also do the same for us.    Who were we to argue with God’s intent to bless us through a struggle of this created earth?

            We prayed for strength that Sunday at the Kampala Church of Christ.    That evening we went to the Nile Hotel to see Ndere Troupe.   We danced.   We laughed.   The dance was prophetic.   The last dance of the evening was traditional Rwandese.   The Ugandan crowd found greater joy in Rwandan dance than any of the traditional Ugandan dances.    Two years later we would arrive in Kigali pondering Rwandan dance.

The Ugandan Drum That Taught The Jenkins' Kids to Walk
            Timothy army crawled.   Then he did what all our children had done.   He pulled himself to standing on the drum.   Then he began to beat the drum.   His body moved in rhythm.   Then he took his first step.   His first step became a run.   Timothy David Sanyu Jenkins has never stopped running since.

            A few notice that Timothy has a bit of an odd step.  His right arm barely functions.   His right leg is shorter than the left.   Yet, when Timothy runs all the disadvantages of this created earth disappear.    He is usually the fastest of his peers at school.   He usually leads in goals scored in soccer matches.  In running God’s pleasure in Timothy is found.

Timothy at Victory Soccer Camp This Summer
            A man of old, named Caleb had a similar spirit.   As a young man his faith and courage far exceeded his peers.   As an old man he went to war with fellow soldiers 40 years his junior.   His strength of both spirit and body was unstoppable.    The Lord was the source of this enduring strength.   His requests to the Lord were not for a life of ease, but for all the Lord intended.   His request was, “Give me this mountain country.”

            Two months ago, I went to register Timothy at Lowell Elementary School in Wheaton.   We toured the school.   Lowell had four classrooms dedicated to fourth grade.   Three classrooms were on the ground floor.   One classroom was on the second floor.   Timothy’s mind like Caleb's of old went to work.   If he carried his books up the stairs each day his strength and speed would increase faster than his peers on ground level.   Timothy asked to be in the class on the second floor.   Few nine year old boys’ minds function this way.   Yet, Timothy has always run up stairs and hills.   He has always created his own special training regimes.  
            I considered calling Lowell’s principal with this strange request.   “Give my son these stairs.   Push him hard.    Make him carry many books home.  Ask him to carry other student’s book bags up and down those stairs.”    Yet, my wise wife cautioned me that I’d look like a psycho soccer dad with such a request.   Timothy and I chose to ask God for the stairs.

            God gave Timothy the stairs.   He is in Ms. Kraft’s fourth grade class on Lowell Elementary School’s second floor.   Thank you God.

Timothy in an Uganda Cranes and Dave in a Rwanda Amavubi Soccer Uniform
            Now, may Timothy be blessed with a life of risk.   May his life be one that requires him to seek out hills and stairs.   May his courage, faith, and strength grow.    May Timothy see God’s favor when his peers are full of fear.   May Timothy as a mzee (wise old man) have the strength of youth.    May Timothy be an enduring model of faith that generations of others will emulate.

            Thank you God for giving Timothy those stairs.

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