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Personal Testimony - Adopted Daughters Wedding

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 11
[Mike Connell] So what I did was honour them; honoured her brothers, our own family for coming and being with us, and supporting us. The whole family - everyone turned up - there wasn't anyone left out.

Everyone turned up; and then I honoured Steve, for the way he had conducted himself in approaching me; and Josephine, for her courage in actually being willing to seek us out; and then to make us welcome in her life and heart.

I indicated very clearly: it was not ‘by right’ we were there; it was by privilege - and by her choice, the goodness of her choice.

I shared a message for them that “wisdom builds the house”. By wisdom you build a marriage; by wisdom you build in various ways - you can build relationships; business; and ministries.

But wisdom is making choices from God's perspective - and I acknowledged that we'd made a bad choice. We'd lived to regret it; but now we were glad that God had made a way for this day to happen. It was like a miracle that we could be there, involved like that, on that day.

[Joy Connell] Its one thing, when God restores things - He's got such a big heart; there's just one other thing...

On the journey, before we had the wedding day, Mike and I went to Nigeria to celebrate - I think it was our 25 year wedding anniversary. But the prophet in Nigeria put his bony finger in my face - and read my mail!

One thing he brought out was: in God's eyes, Josephine had been like an orphan. I mean, if I could have selected her home... the home she was great. We were both teachers; they were both teachers. She was brought up in the country - had her own pet lambs and calves, and had a wonderful upbringing!

The only thing missing was the God element. She was totally foreign from the things of God; so in God's eyes she was an ‘orphan’ to His family. I thought: wow - God, You have a heart for people that are orphaned from Your things. It's better to have nothing in the natural, but to have Jesus, who is everything; than to have everything - and not have Jesus.

So that incident really made me feel deeply, and agree with God about orphans, and His heart for orphans - and our own passion for orphans was really birthed out of that. I'm just so excited that many people here support orphans - because God is on their side!

And He was grieved, that she was orphaned from the things of God.

[Mike Connell] When it came time for the reception, we wondered how that would go. When we went in - we noticed that Jo had done an interesting thing.

She sat at the main table; and she'd positioned the table with the two parents right in front of her - so they were given equal positioning. Quite amazing! I mean you can't make that happen. Then she stood up, and honoured her natural family (her adoptive family); and then when she'd honoured them, and appreciated them - she honoured us.

It was incredibly heart-touching; but when you honour people, it unlocks something. Look at a couple more pictures there, very happy couple.

What happened then was, her mother had said: she was ‘not going to say anything’; and then suddenly she said: “I want to say something.”

Understand that honour: opens the way for people to come near; and also brings God near. When you honour people, God's presence somehow, sometimes... it just seems to come in. So she stood up and what she said just stunned us.

[Joy Connell] Yes. The night before it was so awkward! I mean, she didn't kind of even want to look at me, or acknowledge me - she just got busy, busy, busy, busy...

[Mike Connell] It was obviously painful.

[Joy Connell] After she'd been honoured at the service, it just kind of disarms people. After Josephine had honoured her, the mother stood and she - this person who wasn't going to speak, she was so beautiful.

She spoke from her heart; and I don't think Josephine had ever heard her speak from her heart; but she honoured each of her children. Three of them are adopted; and they have one of their own - how precious each of them was.