Thursday, October 11, 2007

Inspiring Story

Yesterday I drove down to the headquarters of Holt International Children's Services in Eugene. They have staff devotions once a week and had asked me to speak. I told our adoption story and shared a few lessons I've learned from it.

Afterwards, a woman named Maria gave me a tour of the place and told me some of Holt's fascinating history.

Basically, there was this farmer and his wife, Harry and Bertha Holt, and their six children living near Creswell, south of Eugene. One evening in the 1950's they "happened" to see a presentation by Bob Pierce of World Vision on the terrible state of the illegitimate children of UN soldiers born to Korean mothers.

The Holts felt compelled to do something and first sponsored a number of children, and then both Harry and Bertha, independently of each other, felt they should give some of these children a home and came up with the number of eight.

At this time, international adoption simply wasn't done. It's hard to imagine now, but there was no system in place, no international agencies, nothing. They truly were pioneers.

Harry decided to go to Korea and while on his way he felt very overwhelmed and discouraged and asked God for a sign. Without looking, he opened his Bible and put his thumb on a verse. It was Isaiah 43: 5,6,7--Fear not for I am with thee. I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west. . . bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth..."

Meanwhile, back in Oregon, Bertha wrote letters to people in Congress and within two months the Holt bill was passed that allowed them to bring the children, and Harry brought home eight children ages 4 and under.

Soon people came from all over wanting to do the same thing and within two years they had helped place hundreds of Korean children. Now Holt has a huge variety of ministries all over the world and has helped probably hundreds of thousands of children.

Obviously there's much more to the story than I can relate here. I was given a book by Bertha, The Seed From the East, that I recommend.

And if it hadn't been for the work the Holts did, who knows if we could have adopted Steven some 50 years later. And they were just ordinary farmers who did what they felt God was telling them to do. I find that inspiring.

Quote of the Day:
"If it be Thy will, give us some way of serving thee; a humble way, a way of Thine own choosing that will glorify Thy name. . ."
--a prayer the Holt family often repeated that was answered in a remarkable way in 1955


  1. I literally had chills when I got to the part of your post with the verse from Isaiah!!! Isn't our God something?! Talk about cutting right to the heart of the matter and giving someone a fresh Word!

  2. That book will be a must read. I vaguely knew of the Holts but never heard of the book. That prayer is just what I need to see.

  3. Just want you to know how very much I enjoy your blog. I stop often and really enjoy what you share.

    Be blessed!