You have to see this to understand it. And when you see it, only through prayer and surrender to God, can you attempt to not be overwhelmed or even paralyzed by the need. And even then, it takes the wisdom, experience, and sometimes research to really grasp the complexities and the truly devastating effects of poverty, disease, hunger and thirst.
At first you respond in a frenzied attempt to fix it, to “save them”, but you soon learn that our quick fixes are often complicating and are rarely solutions. So you invest yourself. You give of your time, you give of your treasure. You give to a cause that you are called to and that you deeply believe in. And through that persistent and faithful support, you go deep, and you begin to see change.
I’ve traveled that journey. Six years ago I stepped onto the mission field for the first time, and since then, I’ve gone deep. Biannual mission trips turned into volunteering in the office, which evolved and has brought me to the place where God has entrusted this precious ministry to my stewardship.
This summer, I have embarked on a missions journey unlike anything I’ve ever done before. In the next three months, extended time in Uganda, Moldova, and Ethiopia will leave me out of the country more than I will be in it. And my prayer for that time is this: that God would break my heart, and make it fully alive, for the things and people that break His.
For me, with the mindset of managing a ministry, that is a challenge. That does not mean I love the children any less, but when I’m home, working to build sustainable solutions, I can forget what it feels like to look at a child in Uganda and see my son’s eyes in his; or to look at a girl in Moldova who is vulnerable to exploitation, and not think of my daughter.
It is a constant struggle to sustain the level of a broken heart for these children that will keep my heart fully awake to the individual child, so that I can love the child as God loves the child, and so that the child does not become little more than a sustainable solution, or an impactful ministry. Because, none of us can fully understand His love for those children, or His love for us.
In the same way, it is a constant struggle to remain in relationship with Christ, to daily lay down your desires and surrender to His. But it’s through that daily walk, the daily surrender, the constant intentional act of turning to Christ, that we may allow Him to work through us, to meet the needs of these children and, in His grace, move the needle on the orphan crisis.
This summer, I want to make this real. God willing, my heart will be broken in unimaginable ways; in ways that used to keep me in tears, sharing stories with my husband for hours in the early years of my walk in missions. This summer I want my heart to come fully alive to the one individual child, of whom there will be thousands, who reminds me of my own child. Will you pray with me, as I go, and will you join me as I share the stories of the children God loves so deeply?