by Bill Martin        I've got a shirt in the drawer that's one of my favorites. It' s a white T-shirt with the black shadow of a man in fedora and with sunglasses. He looks like one of the blues brothers. The caption below read: "on a mission from God". The question is what is our mission? Aside from our commission in Mathew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", I believe that God has challenges us to take on a personal mission as well.

       Erzabet Daroche was 36 years of age. Her olive color skin was soft to the touch and seemed flawless. He auburn hair curled down around her shoulders. Her green eyes were penetrating.

       Erzabet was alone living in a remote part of Northern Romania, a member of the gypsy culture. One night Erzabet fell into the embrace of a man she did not know and did not love. It was in that moment, a dark and rainy night, twins were conceived.

       Nine months later a frightened Erzabet cried out in pain from her solitary hospital bed. The room smelling of antiseptic. A lone crucifix was nailed into the paint chipped wall just above her head. The bed's cold and rusting metal squeaked as Erzabet wreathed from one side to the other. It was here that the twin girls were born. It was here the children were abandoned.

       The date is March 23,1998:

        "Today we brought the children from the hospital. We were several Swedes that wanted to take part in this historical moment. We have taken pictures and filmed. We walked with the girls back to the orphanage." This passage is from the diary of these twin girls kept by orphanage workers.

       John 14:18 "1 will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

       This verse is very special to me. It's in this passage and the following that Jesus promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, the one whom will empower the believer.

       John 15:16 "You did not choose me. But I choose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."

       I imagine the twin girls, especially being orphans, were loved and nurtured by God. Erzabet was never heard from again.

       Back in Ohio my wife and I were going about our business. Our daughter Katie was 9 years old. Judy and I were happy, but pleading with God for another child. The infertility treatments were not working. The tensions, pressures and baggage were crushing our faith.

       The date is May 3, 2000 from the orphanage diary:

        "You are ready to leave us now and we are all thrilled. You charmed us every day with your presence and we thank God for it. We know that having a family is the best thing for you. God bless you."

       One year ago, Judy and I stood in a dilapidated train station in Bucharest, Romania. Off the train several orphanage workers, twins in tow, presented us with our children.

       I understand that God chose these girls for us. I also understand that my shirt is no ordinary T-shirt. I really am on a mission from God.

       John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world."