Crippled Lambs by Eva Diane Baker
When I was a little girl, I once heard a missionary talk about how crippled lambs were often held closely in the arms of the shepherd to protect them from harm. The missionary compared the lambs to us and how when we go through difficult situations, it is then that we can know that we will be held closely by our Father, the good and faithful Shepherd.
This analogy resonated with me at a very early age. Having lived in a home with addiction, I had known conflict all of my life. The idea that I could turn to my heavenly Father and be protected meant so much to me. Throughout my life during conflict, I imagined that I was just a crippled lamb in the arms of the Shepherd and this always gave me great comfort.
As that little girl, I would have never imagined that I would grow up and live overseas for over 12 years. But there, I found myself experiencing new cultures, trying my best to learn new languages, and finally, falling in love with the people of Hungary. In the summer of 2019, my husband retired from the military with over 35 years of service, and we found ourselves leaving Hungary, a country we had grown to love.
My husband had often talked about coming back to Hungary for short-term missions. We knew that God had given us this experience and love for the Hungarian people so we had to obey His call. Also, since I have endorsements in elementary and special education, I felt that God could use these skills at a camp for children. After joining Whitesburg Baptist Church, my husband and I set our sights on returning, partnering with our Hungarian friends, Janos and Ildi, who work with the Paulus Ministry. We had the mission trip first planned for the summer of 2021, but due to COVID, we had to postpone our trip to 2022. Thanks to God, we were able to build a wonderful team of talented members and move forward with our partnership with Paulus to work at an English camp for students ages 7-12.
I can't begin to express how being back in Hungary and ministering to these children blessed our hearts. There I was with these precious children living in all too familiar, difficult situations. We heard the stories of children from abusive homes, children dealing with the trials of disabilities, and children who were refugees from war-torn countries.
Then I was reminded of the verse in
"Like a shepherd,
He will tend His flock,
In His arm, He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;"
These children were crippled lambs longing to be held in the loving arms of their Shepherd.
During the week, the children learned about the love of Jesus through dance, sports, skits, and Bible time. I even received some art lessons from a precious child with autism. He called me his "eternal friend," and we are now email penpals :).
Leading these precious children toward the redeeming love of Christ, their Savior and Shepherd, was an experience that has forever changed my life. I am so grateful for the opportunity that God gave us to work with the children. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, we know that some of these children made professions of faith. My prayer for these children is that each one of them remains, as I have, a crippled lamb staying close in the arms of their loving Father.
For me, it has made all the difference.