Advent Devotional: Filled With Joy

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy (Psalm 126:2-3).

Christmas Eve 2012 brought clarity, peace, and overwhelming joy! We were praising His goodness in our sanctuary at WFMC at the candlelight service when we clearly heard the call to move forward with the adoption of our second child, Joshua David. Several months earlier we saw Joshua’s picture for the first time in an e-mail of waiting children in China. As we opened his picture, we knew that God was prompting us to inquire about this precious child. But there were the usual insurmountable mountains to climb—our family was without insurance at that time. We could not possibly afford a $40,000 adoption, and Joshua was described as a special needs child with visual impairments.

The next months and years were spent on our knees in constant prayer. The Lord provided a job for Jackie with wonderful benefits for our family. Friends and family poured out their love for us in large, tangible, monetary ways, and all the while He was caring for Joshua in a mighty way at a Christ-filled and joyful home in Beijing, China. We and our son, John, traveled to bring Joshua home this past May. Joy perfectly describes Joshua’s countenance. He is happy, caring, kind, and filled with Jesus. We are blessed!

Charley and Jackie Neal live on a farm with loads of animals and a couple of grandparents. They are blessed to live near both sets of grandparents, enjoy their work, and, most of all, to be parents to two precious jewels from heaven.