Revive Our Hearts Radio

An Encounter With God

Leslie Basham: While growing up in an orphanage Dorie Van Stone longed to be adopted by a dad and mom, but instead she experienced rejection.

Dorie Van Stone: People pass you by and look at you and say, "Nope, nope, not her. No, nope, not that ugly one." You begin to think you're the ugliest, meanest kid on the face of the earth.

Leslie Basham: Today we'll hear how Dorie finally discovered true love and acceptance. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: This week on Revive Our Hearts, we're listening to the story of Dorie Van Stone. As a little girl, she was abandoned by her mother and sent to live, first in an orphanage and then, as we will hear later this week, in a series of foster homes.

Yesterday, we heard the first part of Dorie's testimony. She talked about what it was like to be abandoned by her mother as a little girl and then to be sent to an orphanage where she was routinely beaten and experienced many different kinds of abuse and neglect.

As we return to Dorie's story today, let me remind you that there are some difficult themes in this testimony. And if you have little children in your home, let me encourage you to have them doing something else in another part of the house as you listen to this testimony.

I think you'll be touched as I have been by this powerful story of the grace of God reaching out to a young woman in distress. Now, let's join Dorie as she continues her story.

Dorie Van Stone: We never went to church. We never went to Sunday School and I never, ever heard about God. One day, they decided to have a religious service.

Now, let me tell you how stupid I was. I thought, What's a religious service? We were out in the girl's yard and I said, "Girls, what does religious mean?"

They said, "I don't know."

So I went over to the boy's yard and I said, "Hey guys, what is a religious service?"

They said, "I don't know."

I stood by the door while they brought folding chairs in and the kids were coming in. I said to some of the older ones, "Would you guys sit with me?"

They said, "No way, no!"

I got meaner and meaner. I was"¦I got mean. It got quiet and the whole room filled up with kids. The door opened up at the side. The front row was empty and a group of college young people from the University of California, all girls, came flying in.

When they sat down, I saw they were beautiful. I thought, I hate them, everyone of them. I'm at the back. And from the back of their heads, they were cute.

I thought that they were too cute to live. Die! I'm thinking, I don't want to hear this. And I started to get out because I was right by the door. A young girl stood up and she looked around at all the kids. She said, "Kids, I want to tell you something. God loves you."

I'm sitting in the back and you know what I did? I yelled out, "That's a lie."

The kids looked at me like, Oh brother, there she goes again.

One by one, all those young women stood up and told the difference that happened when they invited Christ into their lives. They asked Him to forgive them for all their sins and they became a child of God.

I thought, That's for the birds. I don't believe it. I don't believe it for one moment. That's for regular kids with moms and dads, but not for kids that live in an orphanage. I don't buy it, not for a minute.

When it was over, the young women had us sing a hymn. Do you know that never, ever in my life had I heard a hymn? After they sung the hymn, she asked everyone to do something that I never witnessed before.

Now, I've got to tell you this before I say this part. Miss Gabriel would always say something to us. If you didn't feel good when you got up in the morning, you had a sore throat or tummy ache and said, "Miss Gabriel, I don't feel good," she would look at you and point that great big, bony finger and say, "That's God punishing you!"

Now that is the only time we ever heard about God. He punished you. That's when you got sick.

When they finished the song, the young woman looked up and this is what she said, "Will all of you children please bow your heads?" Now, I don't cooperate with anybody, so I just folded my arms, leaned out in the aisle and shook my head no.

Heads went down and she said, "Children, will you bow your heads?" I folded my arms again, where she couldn't miss me and shook my head no. All the heads were down and I thought, Okay, I'll bow my head. Now this truly happened.

Then she said, "God."

I thought everyone was going to get sick and start throwing up.

Then her voice lowered and she said, "Father."

She talked to Him like he was her best, best friend. I was impressed. I thought, Wow! Those young people got up and walked out the door. As the young women all walked out, the last girl hesitated at the door just for a moment and looked up like she heard a voice.

Slowly, she walked back. She stood right in the middle of the room and looked at all the children and said something I had never heard before. She said, "Kids, if you forget everything else that was said, would you just remember this one thing? God loves you. He really does. He loves you."

She turned around and walked out and when she walked out, all of a sudden, I bowed my head voluntarily. My eyes were opened and I yelled out, "God!"

Every child in there heard it. I said, "God, those kids said You loved me. Nobody loves me, but they say You do so if you do and you want me, you can have me!"

He heard that little girl that night. We were excused and went up to the dormitories and as we were getting undressed, I remember they were all quiet. So was I.

They went into their little cots and I got into my cot that I had been laying in just short of six years. When my head hit that pillow, all of a sudden it came over me.

God loves me! He loves me! Now, guys, you won't understand this; but when we are touched deep in our emotions and we don't have the words, what do we do? Cry!

I was crying. Miss Gabriel came by and she pulled those covers off. She waylaid me. She walked away and I pulled the blanket up and I thought, I don't care, lady, if you hit me a thousand time. I heard tonight that God loves me.

As I go on with this story, there's something you have to basically understand. I was thirteen years of age the night I accepted Christ as my Savior. I have said this so many times; but men and women, it is the truth.

You can be really old by the time you're thirteen. People pass you by and look at you and say, "Nope, nope, not her. Nope, not that ugly one. Nope, not her."

You begin to think you're the ugliest, meanest kid and person on the face of the earth. I thought, They told me tonight that God loves me. I'm gonna believe it! I'm gonna believe it!

Now, let me explain something. As I've grown in the Lord, I've learned about the sovereignty of God. He's sovereign, good or bad. He's in charge no matter what happens. God's in charge.

He's sovereign over everything and everyone. What does that mean? Let me show you how He worked His sovereignty in the life of a little girl.

Right after I accepted the Lord, they hired the first Christian matron. A Christian matron never worked there before. I've got her name in the Dorie book. Her name was

Irma Friend. I'll never forget her because she was so different.

She didn't go around socking you and hitting you. I thought, Wow, maybe there are some more of those out there like her. Maybe I should give them a chance.

I don't know what the social workers were saying, but I know they were trying to get rid of me. You're supposed to leave when you're twelve, but where are you going to put a kid like this? I don't know the exact words, but I assume it went something like this.

"Have that kid ready; we've found a place for the ugly, unadoptable little girl." They got me ready. I was standing in the hall with another brown, paper bag. I won't go into it all.

I was standing there rocking because I was so scared and so afraid. I never had been to San Francisco. I didn't know what was going to happen.

All of a sudden the Christian matron said, "Dorie, wait, I've got a gift for you!"

I yelled, "I don't want it!"

I was lying through my teeth, but never in my life to that point had I ever received a gift.

You might think tonight, "Dorie, you're adding to it to fix the story up."

No, I'm not. One of the ways that the kids could get to Dorie was if they would get a present from someone, they'd wave it in front of me and yell, "Nobody likes Dorie."

I'd grab the present and I'd hit them, boy or girl. Then I would throw their present at them and say, "I didn't want it anyway." I'd run around the corner and bawl my eyes out. I was trying to be tough.

This Christian matron walked up and said, "Dorie, I've got a gift for you." I had my hands in a fist in my pocket and as she walked up; she pulled my arm out. Boy, I made her work!

"Give me your arm," she said.

I went, "No!"

She pulled it out and told me to open my hand. She forcibly had to open up every finger. Oh, I'm stubborn. She reached in her pocket and took out a little New Testament, closed my hand over it and said, "I trust this is the most precious gift you'll ever receive."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: That's Dorie Van Stone sharing a touching, but sometimes hard to listen to story of how the love of God penetrated her world of abuse, neglect and rejection.

It was so gracious of God to give to Dorie that gift of that little New Testament. As we'll hear when we return to this story tomorrow, that little New Testament became a lifesaver. Dorie's salvation didn't mean that all the pain and the rejection went away.

In fact, as we'll hear tomorrow, some of it got worse. Throughout the continuing circumstances of her teenage years, she laid hold of the unfailing love of God and that's what kept her through those years.

I think of that passage in Psalm 33:18 where the scripture says, "The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. May your unfailing love rest upon us O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."

If you've experienced something of the pain and rejection that Dorie talked about in her story, can I just say that the same love of God that rescued this little girl is what will rescue and redeem your situation as you put your hope in the unfailing love of God.

Let me just say a word to some of our listeners that may not relate at all to Dorie's background. Can I remind you to not underestimate the impact and the importance of planting those seeds and sharing the power of God's love?

Even as that college student came to Dorie's orphanage and said, "God loves you." God used that message to plant seeds of hope in the heart of a thirteen-year-old little girl.

As you look around you today, ask God to show you who's hurting, who's experiencing pain and rejection, abuse of different types.

Perhaps you could speak a word of hope to them by sharing with someone else the unfailing love of God. God may want to use your words and your love to penetrate a heart that feels hopeless and unlovable and to change the whole course of a life.

As you touch a heart with the love of God, you really can be an instrument of God's love to a hurting world. One way you can do that is by ordering a copy of the book that tells Dorie's story.

It's called, Dorie, the Girl Nobody Loved. I encourage you to order a copy of this and consider giving it as a gift to someone you know who has experienced a background of hurt, rejection and pain.

Maybe God will use this testimony in that person's life to help them realize the greatness of God's unfailing love and that there really is hope for them in their situation.

Leslie Basham: To get the book, Dorie, the Girl Nobody Loved, you can give us a call at 1-800-569-5959 or go on-line.

Our Web address is ReviveOurHearts.com. Maybe today's program has brought to mind a hurting person in your life and you've been thinking about showing God's love to them.

Would you write us and tell us about it?  When you write, if you would let us know that you're praying for Revive Our Hearts, it would really encourage us.

We can't continue this ministry without you and we need the prayer support of our listeners.

Tomorrow, we'll hear how the Word of God came alive to Dorie, even as the world around her seemed to get worse and worse. Please join us for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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