Jenni & Lee Smith: "Specially Blessed"

October 2, 2017

 

 

 

I knew from the second I stopped in front of the house I was going

to love interviewing this family.

 

The house had its own personality and seemed to scream, “Welcome!”

 

I walked up the brick sidewalk admiring the front porch and

the white swing with bright pillows.

 

The grapevine wreath on the chocolate front door had a big burlap bow

on it, and before I could even ring the bell, the door opened and

five-year-old Moses Henry Kidane (Kee-don-a) Smith flashed a big smile

and called me “Mrs. Marilyn” as though he had been waiting for me all day.

 

I was smitten.

 

Moses was born in Ethiopia. He also has a disability known as

cortical visual impairment. His eyes are healthy, but he sees poorly

due to a neurological malfunction between the visual center of

the brain and the eyes.

 

Although he is about as bright a child as you will ever meet,

his eyes put him in a “special needs” category.

 

It was sometime in late 2009 that Jenni and Lee Smith’s faith journey

made a dramatic turn—a radical turn.

 

It began with what they call “a stirring,” a sense of restless discontent

with the status quo.

 

Lee’s job as a pharmaceutical salesman had provided well.

A four-year-old son, an almost one-year-old daughter, and a house

with a picket fence—what else was there?

 

They could have stood up most any Sunday at Pinelake Church

where they were members and testified to their abundant blessings.

 

As part of a couples’ small group ministry, they were studying

Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love at the time. The book’s subtitle

is "Overwhelmed by a Relentless God."

 

To say the message transformed their lives, their family’s lives,

and changed all of their plans and priorities barely begins to tell their story.

 

Marilyn Tinnin is a regular contributor to Mississippi Matters.

To read the rest of this story in Mississippi Christian Living's new Oct. 2017 issue, visit https://mschristianliving.com/2017/columns/jenni-lee-smith-specially-blessed/ 

or pick up the new issue at any of the hundreds of free distribution sites 

where Mississippi Christian Living is found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2017 MississippiMatters

MississippiMatters is a news blog of cooperative writers, videographers and podcasters published by  The Well Writers Guild, a 501c3 devoted to mentoring Mississippi writers and to addressing uncovered or under-covered topics.  MississippiMatters focuses on offering creative "takes" on our state's culture, ideas, events and more.