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Personal Testimony - Adopted Daughters Wedding

Mike Connell

Page 6 of 11
I said: God, You've got to come and help us. This is just so difficult!

It looked like there was going to be no real Value and Honour. You know what Kiwis get like - that funny humour, that's kind of a putdown sort of a humour?

I so wanted God's value, and presence, to come into the place; but it just seemed like it was impossible for that to happen - so I went home. I was quite upset, the night we'd met with the family, and did the wedding practice; and I went home saying: God, You've got to help. You've got to show me how I can actually make a difference in this service tomorrow - and so we talked about it.

I would’ve spent probably a couple of hours, just waiting on God, to get something that was appropriate for that situation. It was an incredibly unusual feeling - we'll show photos through as we go, then you'll kind of catch the feel of it, as we do this.

It’s a most unusual feeling to have some ‘other man’ bringing my daughter down the aisle. It was quite challenging to deal with the emotions that went with that; but I had to face the consequences of choices I made years ago.

I knew that the Lord would provide grace; and what He did was: He showed me to speak on honour - to actually demonstrate honour; and to use honour to unlock that service.

So we had Kate and Andrew (our son-in-law, and daughter-in-law) put a song together - and as they began to sing - the atmosphere just began to change. It wasn't even a song they chose; but nevertheless, because of what's in their lives, the atmosphere began to shift and change - and the presence of God came into the place. You could feel the change; and of course everyone's looking at me: what's he going to say? What do you say? How much do you say?

We felt for her parents. Originally we had felt: perhaps just a couple of members of our family come; but Jo wanted everyone there, so we were kind of ‘very sensitive’ about this. But the Lord showed me exactly what to say.

[Joy Connell] The little boy ‘Alex’ is Josephine's little son.

[Mike Connell] That's her father and mother; and that's them giving our daughter in marriage to Steve.

I felt the Lord show me to actually honour the parents - because they would be feeling uncomfortable. And humility is ‘knowing your position’, and adopting the ‘right position’. Sometimes we can be in charge; but sometimes you actually have to be the servant.

You've got to see how God has positioned you; and choose to position yourself in that way. I actually spent time, and honoured them; spoke directly to them, honoured them.

It was a very difficult choice for them, to take home a baby that had...

[Joy Connell] Congenital hip.

Amazing surprise; this mother claimed to be an atheist, but she looked at our baby, and said: I just ‘knew’ she was going to be alright - and at 10 months, she got up and walked!

[Mike Connell] No one wanted her, in the hospital - which we had no idea about.

Her own (adoptive) mother was resistant to her having this baby, because she thought she might be a cripple; but she felt in her heart that she should have the baby. So I honoured her for choosing to welcome Josephine into their lives.

We honoured them for the education, and family life they'd made. We honoured them for encouraging her to seek us out - knowing that this would be quite a difficult thing for them. And we honoured them then for...

[Joy Connell] Opening their home to us.

[Mike Connell] ...welcoming us into their home to meet with them and have time with them.

[Joy Connell] It's funny, the first time they met us (soon after we met Josephine), we went right to the bottom of the South Island; two sets of parents, and Josephine, having a meal together - it was big of them to invite us into their home. But what amused me: half way through the meal, the mother was just pouring out her heart, and her feelings, and emotions... and she suddenly said: hey, but you're complete strangers! I don't know why I'm doing this!