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He Knows Your Name | Linda Znachko

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2024 1:00 am

He Knows Your Name | Linda Znachko

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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June 15, 2024 1:00 am

If you’re overwhelmed by all the needs in today’s world—and those needs tend to paralyze you into doing nothing, don’t miss this Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. You’ll meet Linda, who saw a news report about an abandoned baby. Instead of moving along with her life, she got involved. Hear her inspiring story on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Featured resource: He Knows Your Name: How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God

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This baby must have a name because dough is not a name and a dumpster is not a grave and a diaper is not burial clothing. And it was like as soon as I said it, I knew it was God flipping the economy of the world's picture of this. And he gave me his view and his picture.

And then I knew the assignment was mine. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Well, Linda's life was forever changed when she saw a news report about an abandoned infant. That story broke her heart and helped her make a life-changing decision that you'll hear about today. Her name is Linda Zanacco and she tells her story in the book titled, He Knows Your Name, how one abandoned baby inspired me to say yes to God.

You can find out more about it at buildingrelationships.us. Gary, this is Father's Day weekend. And before we talk with Linda, I wanted to hear your heart for dads who might be listening today.

Can you give a little encouragement to dear old dad right now? Well, you know, Chris, first of all, I'd like to say thank you to dads. We hear so much today about poor dads or absentee dads and all of that. But listen, there are thousands of dads that are given their best, you know, to their wife and to their children. And so I think on this day, we need to honor fathers.

And I just want to thank all the guys that are being faithful to their wives and loving their children. I mean, you know, listen, that's our first responsibility. I think if you're a father and you report to God for duty, he says, oh, let's see, it looks like you're married and you have children. That's your first responsibility of ministry. And if you're doing that, well, probably the rest of your life will turn out well also. Thanks for that encouragement from one dad to another, Gary.

And I want you now to hear from our guests today. But I want to get you to respond to this observation. I think people who make a difference in the world, some of them are dads, some are moms, people who make a difference in the world are those who see a problem and instead of thinking, well, I can't do anything about that.

They look at what they can do, and they just step up and do it. I see you as one of those people. Have you seen that same thing through the years? Well, let me say, first of all, I'm encouraged, Chris, that you would say that about me. But I do think, yeah, there's some of that in me. You see, something needs to be done, do it. You know, it's like my grandson, who's grown now, he's 20.

In fact, he just had a birthday, he's 23 now. But he says of his sister, he said, you know the thing about David Grace, she sees what needs to be done, and she does it. And that's a great trait, you know. And you're right, the interview we're going to do today is with a lady who has done just that. So I'm excited about our program today. I think our listeners are going to be encouraged.

And I think many of them, hopefully, are going to be more open to what God may want them to step into as they encounter life as it folds out for them. As you listen to Linda's story, I want you to listen to it through the prism of the thought, I don't know if I can do anything about that. Hear Linda Zanacos story now. She's founder of He Knows Your Name Ministries, which seeks to honor every child with a name in life and dignity and honor in death. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her family, her featured resource is the book, He Knows Your Name, How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God.

You can find out more about it at buildingrelationships.us Well, Linda, welcome to Building Relationships. Thank you. It really is an honor to be here with you. Do you agree with what Chris and I were talking about, that people who make a difference aren't held back because of the enormity of the problems, you know, that they face?

Yes. I love that you started the show just talking about Father's Day because there is such a need for fatherhood in our culture and men stepping up to be fathers to anyone who needs it. The orphan spirit, I think is really present in our young people today. And I just saw on Instagram this morning where a Dallas school invited fathers to come and have lunch with kids who didn't have fathers that would come.

And 600 men showed up. And I thought, yes, yes, it's the invitation, right, that we want to see people connect with. And that is like seeing a problem and hearing something. I feel like you just said, see it, do it. I say too, in addition to that, once I hear it, I feel responsible to do something.

I don't think Esther felt that she could escape her generation's need because she had an opportunity to do something. And I really think we all have an opportunity to do something, not everything. And when I saw the breaking news story on the news, what overwhelmed me was I needed to do something.

I felt the conviction deep in my soul that this was really an injustice. And I was like, I can make a phone call. So I think if we are honest, when we look at the problems we face, we could say, yeah, there is an enormity to them and I could never possibly tackle all of them. And so instead of going numb or retreating and throwing my hands up and saying, therefore I'll do nothing, I think we can say, what's this something I can do?

And so I would want your listeners overall to be listening with an ear of invitation this morning. How is God inviting me into an assignment that maybe has my name on it, that only I can do something about in my little way? And I thought for me, it was a little phone call.

I didn't have the vision for all that the last 15 years has held. And so, yeah, I think that when we hear the news and we're overwhelmed, ask God if that's a conviction or is it just overwhelm? Because I think generally there's a way for us to say then the next thing, what is mine here?

Is there something that has my name on it that I can do something about? I think you're right. And I think a lot of people have missed opportunities that God had for them because they just said, oh man, that's somebody else's problem. You know, not mine. Wow. So you started a ministry that's called He Knows Your Name. Tell us the story of that ministry and that news that you saw that really took you the first step on this journey.

Right. So, you know, picture me sitting kind of like I am now at my computer and a breaking news story comes on in the middle of the day. And you know, my life at the time, you know, I probably had just started the dishwasher, taken my girls to school. I had two girls living at home still. My son was back at Baylor University. My other daughter had just gotten married the year before and my mom had just died after an 18 year battle with cancer. So I honestly was not looking for anything to do.

And I was the last thing I was going to do was start a ministry that just wasn't even in my wheelhouse of thinking. And so when I saw this picture come on my screen, as we all do, we're all in front of screens. We see the pictures and the caution tape is across a parking lot and people are milling around and there's a ladder going inside a dumpster. And I see the coroner climbing in and the sirens are going, you know, it was very compelling.

How could I not watch this? And I thought, what's happening here? You know, and all of a sudden the news voice comes over it, breaking story, baby dough found in a dumpster wearing only a diaper. I was so frozen. What happens to a baby?

And I felt the Lord lean in and say, get that answer. And so I called the coroner's office, which, you know, you have to know, I don't know the coroner. I've never talked to a coroner and I don't even have their phone number, right, in my context.

The woman on the phone was gracious, but she said, we don't really have a plan. You know, the baby will be put in a mass grave if the criminal investigation doesn't turn up DNA samples and we find the mom and the dad, the criminal investigation will just kind of end and fizzle away. And I was like, what do you mean a mass grave? This is the 21st century in the most resource country in the world.

We have those still. And she started saying, yeah, it's like a pauper's grave. And I was like, I don't get like, so the next injustice was unraveling very quickly, you know?

And I was like, hold on a minute. I just buried my mom six months ago and we chose the most beautiful pink suit for her, her favorite jewelry. My father and I designed a headstone for her. We chose the picture, the songs, the beautiful place where she would be laid to rest. She is a child of God and so is this baby.

And this baby must have a name because dough is not a name and a dumpster is not a grave and a diaper is not burial clothing. And it was like, as soon as I said it, I knew it was God flipping the economy of the world's picture of this. And he gave me his view and his picture. And then I knew the assignment was mine.

And I said, I don't know how many people have called. And she said, you're the only one that's called. And I felt goosebumps go all over my body. And I thought, this is heaven opening over me.

Like this is for me. And I didn't have language for assignments at the time or like really much of calling other than like I'm a follower of Jesus, which of course I am banner over me. But I kind of thought this was an episodic situation. I mean, I'm like, I've never heard of anything like this before. And I said, I really want to do something for this baby. Please put my name on the case.

I mean it. And how can I track this story? And she's like, well, we'll call you or you can just call and track it. And so I did. I called the coroner's office every Friday morning for 13 months.

Well, a lot happened in the meantime, but I'll wrap up this one picture. At the end, they said to me, we have found the mother. And all throughout those 13 months, the media would revisit that story and they would demonize the mom. Everyone just suspected that was the mom that threw the baby away and abandonment is criminal. And so it was kind of like, you know, yeah, give her the worst. They said, no, it wasn't the mom, a funeral home director illegally disposed of the baby.

And now there will be a criminal investigation against him, but we no longer need the baby as evidence. So then they asked me if I wanted to meet the mother. I can guess your response, but tell us about it.

Yes. I met her. I pulled in to the coroner's office, which I'd never done before. And you know, it's a tiny little building.

It's right across the street from Lucas oil stadium, which is gigantic and new. And the old coroner's office is in this old brick building that looks like it's going to fall apart at any breath coming by, you know, and in walks this mom who's just crazed and she's like, who are you? Are you the police?

Why do you want to talk to me? And I was like, no, I've just been, I've loved your baby for 13 months and I've just had this passion to give you and your baby a funeral. And she's like, well, I can't afford that. And I just explained to her that I was wanting to invite my community and her family to come and give her baby a celebration of life. And so that's what we did. And my community came together, hers came, her family came and we had a beautiful time of celebration around the grave. That is the, really the legacy on Nicholas's life is he knows your name ministry. But in the process of that 13 months, the graciousness of God was that as I was calling the coroner's office, I was meeting people and talking to people and I was building relationship.

And as God would have it, we know how important relationships are to God. And my conversations every Friday morning got longer and longer with the people there. And one time when I called, I spoke with the receptionist and she had told me that she was battling breast cancer.

And so I prayed for her. And then another time someone else answered the phone and I prayed for them and talked to them. And another morning I called and they said, we were just going to call you. And I said, you never call me.

What are you going to call me about? And they said, we have another baby. And I was like, wait a second. And I said, I got to call you back. And they said, well wait, we just wondered if since your organization will take care of this baby, would your organization to take care of that baby?

And I said, that's what I need to pray about. And I got off the phone and wept in my car in a parking lot and I just was so baffled. And I was like, Lord, what is this? Is this the baby I'm supposed to take care of, but then the other baby is going to be taken?

Like, I don't know. And he just said, no, this isn't, you are, this is an organization. And right now it's just you, but it's you and me. And it's, he knows your name. And so from then on, I accepted everything that came my way as the Lord laid a blueprint for my ministry out for that whole first year, that everything I did from buying headstones for families of loss, everything was coming out of my relationship at the coroner's office because I was learning about more and more needs. And I just had no idea that I was going to school on what grief in families look like from all the way from infant loss to child loss. And I was being, I was being connected and the coroner has a heart for families and her love of the Lord. And I mean, we just clicked as sisters and we just really got a lot done through that first really big year of waiting for baby Nicholas. So it sounds like God signed you up for a ministry that you, you had nothing about, knew nothing about when it began.

I really didn't. It was clear that we were on a journey. I didn't understand that, you know, establishing He Knows Your Name as a nonprofit and going just all these places that I never would have been able to go before by myself if He would not have directed me and introduced me to cemetery offices and the coroner's office and funeral homes and then families of loss that first year or two. You know, I was starting to get calls because the media was coming to my stories and telling stories about families and what was happening. And the media was starting to call me and say, Hey, there was a bus accident. A five year old died. The mom doesn't know what to do.

And I just thought maybe you read one or phone number and you could call her and help her. And I just started getting connected deeper and deeper into situations in the city. And that really, that's what my book is so much about is just how those first five years of the stories. I mean, the stories were just one was more different than the next, but at the core, it was how do I give honor and dignity and death and celebrate life for a baby or a child at the grave and invite strangers to come and be spiritual family and do church without walls at the grave and realize that the greatest miracle was performed there. And so there's nothing to fear at the grave because it's an opportunity for legacy to be birthed, healing to be birthed and closure for families. And these are all under-resourced families who couldn't afford anything and to give them the gift of joy and honor and see their child memorialized and celebrated by so many people in the city was more than they ever could have imagined.

It's just God's upside down economy for healing. You know, we talked earlier as we started this program about what I think is a more natural response that people tend to have when they hear news like this to say, oh, that's sad, but not really even have a thought of stepping into that situation. Was there ever a time in this whole process through those, let's say those first five years, when you felt like, you know, I can't keep going, this is getting deeper. I mean, did you ever have a feeling like that? I really never did. I think, honestly, I was more aware that the grace was coming for every situation and the preparation from the Lord in anointing to do this work was so beautiful that I run to it.

And when I have an opportunity to do something and come alongside someone again, and just bring them resources, introduce them to people that can help and realize that God has built a collaborative foundation under he knows your name ministries that I could never have done on my best day. I'm not a business person. And yet the wisdom I have, I mean, honestly, someone who owns the more land in Indiana than anybody with a huge cemetery and funeral home business said, you know, we are learning so much from you and your marketing skills. I was like, what?

I don't have marketing skills. It's just vision God's giving me. And I know it's so prophetic. It's just so prophetic because I get these pictures and I get vision and understanding for things. And then the confidence to walk in at a situation and be with a family full of generations of very sad people under resource, but sad because they've had compounding grief and come to them with options and give them a voice and say, tell me what you want. I'm not just going to do this my way or a way I think is appropriate to do.

Let me join you in the celebration of your child or loved one. And I leave feeling like I just was in the presence of the Lord and the Holy Spirit carried me. And that is never overwhelming. And that is never anything I want to run away from.

I want to run to it. And even when I talk in my book about avoiding suffering and pain, I did not think in a million years that I would have been healed by being among those who are also suffering. And I think generally the Christian life, you know, people avoid suffering and they think that we can escape it and pay for it away and, you know, plan a vacation and run here and run there and do this and do that. And I realized that, oh, actually long suffering and suffering is the heart of Jesus. And when you're near it, you're near him. And I like to say to that, like, it's a sacred suffering and there's a holiness at the grave because miracles are performed there. And life comes from the grave in a resurrected power of legacy and love and relationship and honor and dignity that I don't think you can find anywhere else.

Let's go back to the beginning of this whole story. It was 13 months, that process, when you were praying and waiting to work with a corner in terms of coming to that first child. And you said during that time, they asked you, made you aware that there was a family that had lost a child, as I understand it, had buried the child. But we're asking, can anybody help us get a headstone for that child? Tell us about that experience.

Yeah. So I went to the coroner's office because the coroner had said, there's a mom that just is grieving the loss of her 13 year old son who drowned in a public park pool. She's pregnant and she just keeps reaching out to us.

And she said, she's just inconsolable. And I don't know really what else to do is that she keeps saying she would like a headstone. And I was like, well, I'd never bought a headstone for anyone before. And I said, well, what cemetery is it? And so I called the cemetery and I was like, how do you go about doing this? And they told me, and I was like, that's easy enough. Okay.

Yeah, I'll do that. But I want to tell the mom myself, I want to meet her because a lot of what I do, I don't end up meeting families as my ministry has gone on. But I show up at the coroner's office and I was talking to the coroner while I was there. And her assistant came in and said, the family is in the conference room, but they're not in the small conference room. They're in the big conference room.

And Alfie said, oh, okay, well tell them we'll be right up. And I was like, hold on. I thought I was just meeting a mom. And why are we in a conference room?

Why can't we just be here in your office? And she said, I don't know. It sounds like it's a family came. And I was like, okay, like who's a part of her family?

All right. And upstairs we go and the door opens. It's the largest conference table I've ever seen. And the room is packed with people, like at least four generations of people. And they're all just staring at me and I don't look like anyone in the room. And so I have my Bible and they were like, they point to the head of the conference table and they're like, here, you sit here.

And I sit down and I have my Bible and I'm looking around and I'm like, I want to tell them that I'm going to do this headstone for them. To me, easy little thing. But to them, you would have said I was buying everyone in the room a car. That's how big of a deal this was. And I said, well, before we get started, please tell me about Tim. And the open whaling began and the stories went through four generations from the littlest child in the room to the grandma and the great grandma. And I was sitting there like, I did not bargain for this. I did not know that I was going to walk into this emotional room.

And then I said, yes, I'd love to do this for him. And they almost couldn't receive it. And the humility over this family was so incredible. And so that was the first headstone I purchased for a child. But because he was 13 and he was at the public parks pool, the park there, it's nearly a hundred percent Africa American and black children die from drowning at an exponentially high rate compared to white kids. And there's no swim lessons really offered at the park and all this. And so a year after that child's, well, his first anniversary, I had gotten together with Indy Parks and the mom and we established a scholarship foundation.

And we have had free swim lessons for one week for that whole community of kids every year for eight years. And that is his legacy. Because what I started seeing was people keep talking about Tim like he's an event, like his death was an event and it's the last thing we have to talk about when we talk about Tim.

And I was like, there's no redemption in that talking about the drowning over and over and over again. Let's talk about his swim lessons. Let's talk about his legacy.

Let's talk about how we can change a whole community by having those kids get in the water and their moms come and everyone gets comfortable around a pool and learns how to swim and float and do the necessity of understanding water safety. And it just, what made perfect sense to me was something that had never been done before. And I learned so much through Tim's legacy, the opportunity for legacy, the importance of legacy. And now I look for legacy on every single child's life that I have had the opportunity to celebrate. I mean, just last week I buried two more babies and I have buried now 52 babies in 15 years that have been either unclaimed at funeral homes, the coroner's office or hospitals that are 20 plus weeks gestation. I look at every one of them as an opportunity to see more come from the event and change the event and talk about life.

I was just sitting here thinking to myself, as you were telling that one experience of that whole, everything that grew out of putting a headstone and then, you know, providing swimming lessons for a whole community. And I was just thinking, wow, how one thing leads to another thing and you just see the hand of God in the whole thing. You know, it's wonderful. Yes. God was all over it.

That's for sure. Well, you have come along the way to collaborate with other organizations. The Safe Haven Baby Box Program is a significant partnership with you. Can you explain that, what that program does and how you work with them?

Yes I'll tell you first why I work with them. It was incredible. There was a baby found here in Indianapolis at Eagle Creek Park, December 28th, 2014. And it came on the news the next morning that a hiker had found this baby.

And of course, think of how freezing cold it is in Indiana on that kind of a night. And they showed the blue sweatshirt that the baby was wrapped in and the emblem on it said Vincennes University Aviation Department. And this baby girl was left. And I thought, oh, I'm going to name her Amelia. And I called the coroner and I said, I want this baby and I want to claim her. I already know her name. And they said, yes, we're probably going to discharge her within 10 days. And they had reasons why they were doing that so quickly.

The criminal investigation just wasn't going to be a deal. And so I claimed her, named her Amelia. And as I prayed about her name, I looked it up and it means defender. And I asked God, what is she going to defend? Because defenders capitalized in the Bible as a name of God's character.

What is her anointing going to be since I'm naming her after God? And I felt my spirit rise quickly to the safe haven law. And I thought, well, how could that be? We have that in every state.

And here in Indiana, it came into law in the year 2000. I don't really get this, but okay. And then at her grave, we had a huge celebration of life for her. I mean, the city just poured into the chapel standing room only.

The procession was longer than I could even see with people. And I stood at the grave. I had just placed her in with the groundsman and everyone was throwing flowers on top. And I got a tap on my shoulder and I turned around and this woman said, I'm Monica Kelsey, and that is a problem. And I have the solution. And she said, I am working with someone to write legislation for the safe haven baby box law. Will you come to the state house and give testimony and prove to them that abandonment is criminal and it's real and she is not a statistic. And I said, sign me up.

I can't get there fast enough. And so Monica was in the very beginning stages of her ministry with safe haven baby box, collaborating with her, going to the state house, giving testimony, seeing the entire state house unanimously passing that law here was incredible. And what I did when I went to give testimony was I had taken copies of her footprint and I took 200 pages of foot fee print on pages, and I handed them out when I got there. And then I brought her little mini temporary headstone, which weighed five plus pounds. And I passed it around and I said, she actually weighed exactly with this piece of marble weighs.

She was real. And when I picked up her casket to carry it in the chapel, I felt the weight of her in there. And I said, Lord, I feel her.

And he said, of course you do, honor weighs a lot. And I was like, oh my gosh, this honoring life and carrying her in and then putting her, celebrating her with the community. But when I shared that at the state house, I did not realize that Monica Kelsey took that picture of her footprint home and put it on her desk. And then months later, when it was time for her to start drafting a picture of the logo for the safe haven baby box, she called me and said, can I use her footprint as the logo?

And I said, absolutely. And so Amelia's footprint is the logo of that box. And that box is sitting in 219 places in our country, 121 of them in Indiana. I mean, there are over 10 States that now have passed this law and we have had 43 babies safely surrendered under that law. And they've been retrieved from this box that can be opened from the outside of the fire station by a mom anonymously. Babies put in a climate controlled bassinet inside. She closes the box, walks away, and then the baby's retrieved from the inside of the building and given immediate medical care. And these babies have received medical care in 60 to 90 seconds. And then they're rushed right to the hospital where someone who's in the foster care system and wants to adopt a baby will get a phone call and say, do you want to say favorite baby box baby? And these babies are all being adopted and it is the greatest option. And it's the greatest, I think, initiative we have in our state and now country to bring down infant mortality, which is too high. And it is a rescue option for moms in crisis and for babies and it's saving lives and it's working.

Wow. And how many States now has that been adopted? I think the law has been passed in probably 12 States now, and I think five are working on it.

So it's just, I mean, within the next two years, the law will be everywhere. So what you're saying is that a mother who has a child that she realizes she is not in a position to raise that child can take that child while it's still alive and place it there in the hands of somebody who will pick that baby up and move the baby through the process of finding adopted parents. Is that right?

Yes. So the safe haven law is a handoff surrender law, exactly what you said. The box is a box law, like allows the mom to anonymously, not face to face, place the baby in a box and walk away. And a lot of these babies are placed in the box, placenta and umbilical cord and all. And these brave moms who've chosen life, chosen to carry, have also chosen to probably give birth by themselves somewhere and wrap that baby in whatever they have and give that baby a future and a life and a future family who's been praying for that child, you know, has been just had an answered prayer and gets to come to the ER and see the baby. I mean, it's just incredible.

The stories are, will just make you weep. Yeah. Yeah. But if someone's listening out there and is really touched by that whole concept, is there, what could a person do to see this manifested in their own state government? They need to contact shbb.org and there is all the information there that they could ever want about how to move forward with helping getting legislation passed in their state, or if the legislation has been passed and they want a box in their community to start the fundraising process, but that's their full resource right there. Okay.

So it's shbb.org. Linda, through your work in ministry, which began with one phone call, you've been able to influence the lives of many and help bring change to your state and to others. What encouragement would you give to the person who feels overwhelmed by the needs in this area or some other area and doesn't know where to start? I would say pray. You know, you pray about what your assignment is and is there something that has your name on it? You know, is there something that only you based on who you are spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, where you live and what your social capital is and financial situation, like what God is it that only I can do and ask him because it was never my goal to franchise he knows your name all over the country. And what I love to hear is that people call me and say, well, I'm a nurse in Washington state and I take care of bereavement and I have a vision to do XYZ here.

How can I do that? What do you think my next step should be? And I give her encouragement. I give her a next step and next thing you know, this woman is changing the world in Washington state for bereavement and care in hospitals.

And then it just keeps going and going and going. And so I love that she took her vocation as a nurse and turned it into influence and impact in her community. And that's what I love to see born out of people's ambition for the holiness of this calling because there are so many different ways to go, like giving honor and dignity to life. And it's as simple also as, I mean, this is my call to action in regard to, like I mentioned, unclaimed babies. There's also unclaimed adults at funeral homes in the coroner's office by the hundreds. And this is just something no one can get their head around and I get it. But with cremation up 60% in the last five years, people are choosing cremation like at a funeral home and then they're not coming to pick up.

And I want to say to people, please have the conversation around your dinner table. Like so, after so-and-so's funeral and where's grandma? Where's uncle Joe?

Like who went and picked up? Because with all my work with the coroner's office and funeral homes, I have come to realize that there's also, I can claim all the babies and I'm doing that. But they're like, we have a huge problem with adults here unclaimed. And our coroner's office here in Marion County is moving.

And they said, we cannot take these 200 plus unclaimed remains with us. And so we worked for two years to come up with a solution. And I said, I will have a memorial service for them and I will plan this, but only to model to you how it's done so that next year you have something in your budget that allows you to do the same thing. And that's what we're doing. The Marion County coroner's office is now in year three of putting this in place. So the first year I laid to rest 173 unclaimed remains that were all adults. Yeah. And then the next June, 55 more and then another 75. And it's like, we have got to realize that we are not honoring human life in so many ways.

And the trickle down effect of it is people are just finding it inconvenient to go back. Like, well, I just buried a man, George, that was unclaimed in Hamilton County. And I think he had a family member somewhere else in the country and they got ahold of him. And he said, I didn't ever even know him.

I can't leave my job and come and do this. And so he stayed unclaimed. And so I buried him in not even two years between funeral homes and the coroner's office. I've laid to rest and honored over 700 adults. So like opening this up and exposing it has been gigantic in the funeral home industry and the coroner's industry. And the coroner here in Indianapolis is on the international and national coroner's association committee. And she is telling everyone about this because we've got to deal with this as a country and say, we don't just leave people in hiding in a basement somewhere.

Like that is just not acceptable. These are God's children. And if we are going to give, this is how I felt at the beginning. If I'm going to give my mother a beautiful funeral that I think she deserves, then I believe we need to give everyone. And as we talk about Memorial Day, and I love what a lot of funeral homes do for veterans, they honor them and make sure that they are taken care of in death. But it's like, what about everybody else?

There's like hundreds and hundreds. It's just something I want to expose. And one of the things I'm so thankful for is the media exposure from like baby Amelia and Safe Haven Baby Box to this kind of situation. The media is at all my press conferences and I'm able to give this call to action.

And I'm using media as my education arm to raise awareness and educate on all these really big epidemic problems, social issues, and try to get them changed. But it happens one person at a time. Like, please ask your family, do we have anyone who's been left behind? And when we make that call to action, we have had reunification happen at funeral homes where people are like, Oh, I didn't know. And so they've come back.

But I'm saying that's one or two or three out of 200, you know? Well, I'm sure many of our listeners are not aware of what you've just shared, of these adult bodies who were left unclaimed. Linda, could you tell us what happens at the funerals of these little ones that you direct to the funeral? Tell us how that works.

What's it look like? Well, I love to write a funeral and I really base it around the child's name. And if the mom has named the child, I love to look up the meaning of the name and cast a legacy and vision over the child in a blessing kind of way. And if the baby was not named, then I get to name the baby.

And I do that in prayer. And I also just take a little bit of the information I do know about the child and I'm able to just give a spiritual blessing over the child based on their name. I work with several organizations that provide repurposed wedding gowns.

Made into baby burial gowns. And so I always select a beautiful gown for the child and sing a lullaby over the baby. I believe every baby needs a lullaby and inviting strangers to come.

I always put an event on Facebook and invite the community to come and people are people come and it's beautiful to see a gathering around an open grave. And I love to cast vision for heaven because I believe the truth from God's word has promises in it that I can claim over the child's life. What I say is that the child will see the loving face of their father and will be given a mansion in the holy city, will receive nourishment from the mouth of God and will sit in the lap of light wrapped in a royal garment and will eat from a banquet table and will drink from a flowing well of living water and be warmed by the hovering of the Holy Spirit and will stand in the presence of their savior forever and ever. And when I do that, I know in casting vision for heaven, I am sharing the gospel for everyone there. And it's an opportunity to, of course, I don't know most of the people and I don't know where they stand with Jesus, but I just know that everyone who came came for a reason and they all need Jesus. I need Jesus every day. And so realizing that standing before an empty grave creates an opportunity to have everyone like feel their mortality. And it's easy to confront that there. And we have beautiful moments at the grave where I can share the gospel.

Well, there have been so many lives touched by the small yes that you said way back there early on with God. Can you tell us one other story of someone that you were able to help? Well, one story I love is about a mama. Her name is Evodia, and she's from South Africa and she lives in Ireland. And she found me on Instagram. She was given a diagnosis. She's pregnant with her fifth child and she didn't know what to do, had never heard of the diagnosis before. And she was on Instagram and saw one of my videos.

And then she went to my website and checked me out. And she said I was just praying and saying, God, I need to talk to somebody who understands this diagnosis because she was being told to terminate. And she was 25 weeks pregnant and just couldn't wrap her mind around that. Her husband was back in South Africa on work and she was very alone. And I caught her little message, the Lord, out of all my messages, I was like, that one just stood out.

And I said, please email me. And she did right away. And then we did a FaceTime and I was able to coach her through making a decision. She ended up going into labor, but her baby was diagnosed with trisomy 18 and she didn't know what that was. And I've been able to take care of a lot of families here in the States with that diagnosis. And I just held her hand through that all the way across the pond, so to speak, in Ireland.

And when she went to her hospital and professional medical care team, they really weren't sure what to do for her either. And I was able to coach the bereavement team and different parts of people involved in her life at the hospital about what they could do for this family. And she asked me to name her baby and I named her little girl Gabriel. It was just the most beautiful connection.

And I thought, Instagram and all the things we can say all day long, like social medias, blah, blah, blah, negative, whatever. And yet it has been a connection place for me across the globe many times for moms who are in other countries who have a lot of questions and they're seeing what I'm doing and it just raises their heart for, oh, I want that kind of honor for my baby. And I've been so thankful for that. Well, I hope our listeners will get the book. It's called He Knows Your Name.

And as Linda just shared, the website is heknowsyourname.org. I think, Linda, no question about it, God has led you over these last 15 years into what is a much needed ministry. And I think there are other great needs in our country that God wants his people to be stepping into. So I hope that those who have heard us today and those who read this book are going to become open to God and what he might have for them. So thanks for being with us again today. Thank you for having me.

It's really been a joy. I appreciate your heart for everything you're doing. It's Linda Zanocco. And as Gary mentioned, heknowsyourname.org is the website.

The book is He Knows Your Name, How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God. You can find out more about that at buildingrelationships.us. We have a link right there, buildingrelationships.us. And next week, we'll discover the power of meaningful mealtimes together. Ryan Rush talks about revitalizing your family in one week. Our thanks to Janice Backing and Steve Wick for their work today. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-15 02:14:20 / 2024-06-15 02:31:21 / 17

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