I haven’t mentioned the crisis in Haiti on the blog but, if you’re my friend on Facebook, you may have seen me post various statuses over the past few days about the unfolding horror that is happening with orphans in Haiti. The suffering isn’t just limited to orphans, of course; it’s reaching across the island and into the lives of each person residing there. The scope of the tragedy is almost too much for any of us to grasp, but when you start considering the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of children left with no parent to provide for their needs… well, it becomes nearly unbearable. Which is exactly why I want to bare my heart with you tonight.
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Before I went to Garbage City in Egypt and saw poverty-stricken children up
close, I honestly hadn’t given much thought to orphans before. I had several close friends in college who spent their holidays volunteering in orphanages throughout foreign nations, but I never went, mainly because I didn’t have that same desire. I was in the middle of running our ministry for girls here in the States and, on more than one occasion, mentioned to friends how I was glad God called me to the jungles of middle schools rather than the jungles of Africa.
So, naturally, He sent me to Africa last summer.
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When you’re standing in an orphanage staring at a room full of cribs, it’s easy to vow that you will do something — something — about what you’ve seen. But, for many people, the fulfillment of that vow will never come. Emotions and feelings fade when the need isn’t staring at you; it’s just, unfortunately, human nature. Sometimes we forget what we’ve seen. My problem is that I can’t forget.
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I knew I had a problem on my hands by the time I got back on the tour bus after leaving the orphanage. I walked to the back of the bus and took the very last seat, putting my backpack beside me in hopes that no one would want to sit next to me and talk. I sat there, staring at the street full of garbage and knowing that life
had, on that day, changed for me. They took us back to our flats so we could shower before catching the 8:35 p.m. train out of Cairo. I can’t explain to you what a defining night that was for me, other than to tell you that as the train rolled along, I knew nothing would be the same for me. It was confusing and yet clear at the same time; I would, somehow, be connected to orphans. Whether I wanted to be or not.
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I have no idea why God has put the plight of orphans in my heart but let me assure you that it is not because I have asked for Him to do this. I imagine that I know a little about what Moses must have felt like when God asked him to speak knowing that he had a stuttering problem. It’s the kind of situation that makes you want to pull up a chair at God’s conference table so you can explain to Him that He’s accidentally chosen the wrong girl for whatever plan it is that He’s got in mind. In fact, if He’d like, I could make Him a list of girls I know who are far more suited for this calling than I. But sometimes He picks the girl who never saw it coming.
“Had Mary been filled with reason there’d have been no room for the child.”
Never Saw it Coming
This popped up in my google reader sometime in the last few days (which have been CAHRAZY). I wanted to share it with you all. Because more often then not I'm ready with a list of girls much more capable than I just like Amy Beth said at the end of her post.