New Journey for Josh

On that January morning, standing in the church lobby, Josh could not have known the turn his life would take. He and his sister Ka'Lene were in temporary care of a church member because their mom was in rehab for an alcohol addiction. Children's Services was looking for a more permanent home for them.

When Alita Henslee walked into church that morning there stood Josh and Ka'Lene looking dejected. She recognized the children, as their mother Laura was one of her students. She remembered the angelic face, blonde hair and beautiful eyes. She also recalled the pain Laura felt when her parents divorced, the nasty custody battle, and the robbing of Laura's self-esteem. Her heart went out to Laura all over again and now to her children.

All the next week Henslee could not get Josh and Ka'Lene from her mind. She learned the State was having difficulty placing them. The next Sabbath they were in church again. That night and the next Henslee could not sleep. She was impressed God wanted her to be involved; so she mentally went up and down the streets of Long Creek, home by home, looking for an appropriate foster home. None seemed to be a good fit.

God's plan was becoming clear. Monday she told the Lord, "You know how awful it would be for an 11-year-old and 13-year-old to live out here with me in the country. They are used to town and being with their friends. Besides, I'm busy with my own grandchildren. I am 66 years old, after all."

Finally, after three sleepless nights she gave up and said, "OK, Lord, if I'm the one, I have to be able to depend on you to keep me healthy, to give me strength and wisdom. And most importantly, to make me NOT CRANKY!"

The next morning she called Children's Services, and Josh and Ka'Lene came to stay with her. Henslee spoke often with them about God's plan. On one occasion Josh said, "You know, I think your plan is part of our plan. If your husband hadn't sent you back to school to be a teacher, you wouldn't have known my mom, and you wouldn't have wanted us."

The next summer while they were moving into the dorm for Idaho camp meeting, Josh exclaimed, "Wow! It would be awesome to go to school here." Henslee continued to pray. She contacted the school and was assured maximum financial aid would be granted. Josh was concerned his mom would not let him go, however she thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for him. Everyone pooled resources, and Josh started on a whole new journey.

Josh has finished his freshmen year at Gem State Adventist Academy. He is excelling academically and growing socially and spiritually. He is planning to be baptized. This summer he is traveling with the GSAA Discipleship Team, sharing his love for Jesus.

July 01, 2008 / Idaho Conference