I’m a sucker for a good story; therefore, I couldn’t help but to share this heart-warming story of how God merged the lives of three children to bring healing and new life. God certainly has the power to make beauty of ashes. (Isaiah 61:1-3).
In 2009 in Flower Mound, Texas, tragedy struck the Clark family. Kyle Clark lost a 10-year-long battle with brain cancer at 42 years old. His 14-year-old daughter McKinley witnessed his brave fight and clung to the cross.
Meanwhile, 9,000 miles away in Lusaka, Zambia, 4-year old twins Jacob and Esau were experiencing similar pain and loss of their father, who abandoned them soon after their birth. While McKinley was mourning the life of her father, Jacob and Esau were mourning the loss of theirs.
Two years later, the Clark family traveled to Camp Life in Zambia. Throughout the week, McKinley wondered if God would show them exactly why they were ministering to the orphans of Zambia. On the last day of camp, while touring the Tree of Life’s Children’s Village, McKinley suddenly tapped her mom on the shoulder.
“Mom, what would you say if I wanted to build a house here and name it after Daddy,” McKinley proclaimed. “We can call it Kyle’s house!” As tears fell, the purpose of their journey became evident.
Furthermore, just down the road in Chaisa, Jacob and Esau’s mother refused to feed them or let them sleep in her home. She left them as their father had. Wandering the streets during the day and clinging for warmth in a wet drainage ditch at night, the twins were broken.
When the Clark’s returned home, they put endless effort and time into raising money to build a house for Zambian orphans in Kyle’s memory. Over three years, family and friends united to bring glory to His kingdom as they raised the money necessary to fund the building of Kyle’s house.
In June of 2014, one month before the opening of Kyle’s house, God brought the extreme situation of Jacob and Esau to the attention of a Family Legacy staff member. Spotted in the drainage ditch during the early morning, their faces were swollen and scarred. Their skin was rough, their hair was matted, neither had bathed in months and both were malnourished. Although they were 9 years old, they appeared to be only 5 or 6. Family Legacy worked tirelessly day in and day out with the Zambian government. The ministry eventually gained full custody of the twin boys.
On July 19, 2014, Kyle’s house opened and became home to Jacob and Esau. Like most of the Family Legacy children, Jacob and Esau gained new names, Isaac and Israel, symbolizing their new life in Christ. Kyle’s legacy lives on through Isaac, Israel and 10 other boys who live in Kyle’s house. Previously unwanted and abandoned, these boys are welcomed with loving, open arms as members of the Clark family.
“Our hope and prayer was that my dad’s legacy would live on,” McKinley said. “I pray that when people hear my family’s story, they would see God’s handprint on our lives and praise Him!”
Through the obedience and willingness of a broken American family to glorify God, the next 50 years of Zambia are being transformed, one child at a time.
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