"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do.
God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls,
knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." Prov. 24:12
For over a year, I have been seeking God to understand His heart and how I can do more to be a part of sharing His love in the world. In the early part of last year, I came across a website (via Facebook) for 147 million orphans . I visited the website, along with the founders' personal blogs. I was facinated by their passion for and commitment to caring for the "least of these." However, I could not imagine God calling me to that ministry or to adopt. As an admitted "blog stalker," however, I followed links to other blogs and began to learn more about women and men in my area involved in this kind of ministry and lifestyle. Still fascinated, yes; moved to action, no. But my eyes were beginning to open.
In the fall, my Sunday School teacher chose the book, "Radical" by David Platt for us to study. I am somewhat opposed to "trendy" Christian books as the newest "success as a Christian" guides. I participated in the study, though I am ashamed to admit, half-heartedly. Half way through, however, I was convicted that if I was going to be in the class, I needed to really read the book. (Novel idea, I know). I think the thing I struggled with the most was the fear that I (and my peers) would read the book, discuss it at length, be inspired, but never let it really permeate and change our lives.
You see, "Radical" is a book that essentially challenges American Christians to live a life that is patterned more on the teachings and life of Christ in the Bible than on the Americanized "health, wealth and prosperity" version of Christianity. The book challenges Christians to consider how they have been blessed and how those blessings can be given back to God for His purposes, not the advancement of ourselves. Among the topics, of course, was adoption and caring for widows, orphans, and the many "least of these" in our community, cities, and world.
In the middle of studying this book, God also brought real people into my path (not just pictures and words in a blog!) who are committed to serving God this way. Needless to say, God was beginning to get my attention. Around Thanksgiving, during some of our conversations, I began to share more of my thoughts with Thom and my contemplation of going to Africa on a mission trip. He was immediately supportive and encouraged me.
After researching a couple of opportunities, I have applied and am going to Uganda in July of this year. I am going through an organization called Visiting Orphans with a group of 20 people from across the country. We will be in Uganda for 10 days working with Amazima Ministries (click for websites), Canaans Childrens Home, My Father's House, and Return Ministries in Uganda.
I am really excited about this journey and seeing God at work in so many ways. I am admittedly anxious about the fundraising aspect of the trip and equally nervous about how God may challenge me to grow and change through the experiences in Africa. I trust the Lord, however, and am looking forward to the journey!