"Your pain has changed me Your dreams inspire Your face a memory Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me What I'm afraid of Your courage asks me What I am made of And what I know of love." ---Sara Groves
God has been using my experiences in Africa and all over the world in a powerful way in my life lately. I feel as if He's really speaking to me about ministry and also about injustice; not just overseas, but even right here in our own neighborhoods.
The powerful impact that Prisca had on me since the trip to Africa is just the start of the work God is beginning to do in my life.
Life and ministry is a journey....more about that later!
Ok, so first I must apologize for taking so long to post more about this. I've been processing the Africa trip for awhile. I've still been praying for God to tell me what I'm really supposed to "do" with the knowledge that someone I love, a child I spent 8 hours a day 5 days a week with, a child that I have grown to love - that I've asked God to help me love...is starving, sleeping on the floor, often beaten, lost parents to AIDS, etc.
I've traveled alot. I've seen alot of poverty. For the most part I've come to the realization that it's happening all over the world. It's always affected me, but I've been ok in taking the knowledge that I now have by seeing it, and put passion into praying for those situations. But this is one of the very few times that I've really grown to love someone that is in this situation. It's a big thing to swallow. It's different. I haven't known what to do with it.
Sure I can pray. Sure I can be grateful for what I have. But how do I live, and what do I do, with knowing someone I've grown to love, is suffering so. How can I be ok with that?
The more I've tried to process and "chew" on that, the more God speaks to me about the injustices in the world. That sometimes I just can't DO anything, other than pray and speak with passion about it to whomever will listen. And to remember.
There is good news. The organization I went with does a huge work with these children, but there are too many children. The world is hugnry. No, not OUR world...but the rest of it. This organization can't do it all. They are a beacon of light to most of the children we see while hosting camp. But there are sooo many more. Check out this quote:
"To satisfy all the world’s sanitation and food requirements would cost only $13 billion, hardly as much as the people of the United States and the European Union spend each year on perfume." — Ignacio Ramonet, The Politics of Hunger, Le Monde Diplomatique
So is God calling me to "do" something...I don't know. I have a deep, sinking feeling He just might be...but He hasn't let me in on what that is.
"Caring for the poor is lending to the Lord, and you will be well repaid." Proverbs 19:17
"If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places — firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again." Isaiah 58:10-11
Yes, the enemy does attack us at our weakest points, but we can't just think of satan as this sneaky serpent who nibbles just at our exposed weak parts. Sometimes he attacks us at our strongest points. We have to also see him as someone who can hammer hard at our very strengths.
Think about how he caused Peter to fall - by striking him where he thought he was strong - his ability to command leadership. Sampson - his strength was his weakness...and satan knew it. Job - satan trapped him in his integrity - his strongest spiritual asset.
Have you ever felt the same thing? That in a place where you feel strong is where satan tripped you up? Where you felt secure, he stripped naked? Like Job, have you ever thought too highly of your strength and then it became your pride? and then when pride entered, the enemy helped develop a blind spot?
Even with Jesus, satan tried to throw him off by attacking his sonship. "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones..." (Matthew 4:3). Of course satan knew Jesus was God's son; and acting on that knowledge, he tried to shrewdly twist Jesus' strongest element into something devious.
So keep your eye out on your strengths, the devil is not always creeping around hidden, sometimes he will hit you exactly where you think you are strong by creating a blind spot through your/our pride in our strengths. That simply means...I must be careful to let my strengths simply be my strengths, but never my boasts.
ok...this isn't the best edit, but I wanted to go ahead and get something up from our trip. Hope you enjoy!
the thing about this video - if you watch it towards the end as we are giving the gifts away, you see how happy they are just to receive a jacket. For you to understand the significance of this, you have to know that the majority of these children only have one meal a day, if that. That meal consists of a meal mixture that has no taste, it's just something that fills their stomach to survive. Most of them sleep on the floor in the sitting room of their homes. They never get gifts, they don't know when their birthdays are, many of them are abused and nearly all of them have lost 1 if not both parents to AIDS. We didn't just give them the gift, we tied this giveaway in with the whole week where we'd been teaching the the 23rd Psalm, the Lord is my Shepherd. We told these children who have nothing, that God is everything they need and he will provide for them - he would prepare a table for them.
I'm just a regular person who has had some amazing opportunities to serve. I have a job that I can't describe how wonderful it is to be able to get paid to do what I do. I have the best friends and family anyone could ask for! So I want to share about them all here!