Saturday, September 18, 2010

these faces...

these faces are capturing my heart.
these faces are those of the children of zambia, africa. the LORD knows their names, their hurts, their hearts and every little detail about their little selves.
"I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." john 14:16
these are the faces of orphans. they are loved with an everlasting love by GOD, their FATHER.
"father to the fatherless... HE places the lonely in families and gives them joy." psalm 68:5-6
these are the faces of children needing protection and provision. the LORD is their provider.
"I have come that they may have life and that they may have life more abundantly."
john 10:10
these are the faces of children waiting. Waiting to hear about the love and power in the name of JESUS CHRIST.
"go and make disciples of all nations... teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." matthew 28:19,20
these faces cause me wonder and to think about my faith. am i living out the gospel?
"religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." james 1:27
these faces are beautiful. real. precious.
"the KING will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for ME.'" matthew 25:40

we attended a banquet for family legacy missions international this weekend. family legacy is an organization that just celebrated their 10th year of work in zambia, africa. the wonderful people from family legacy provide camps for the over 1 million orphans in zambia each summer and continue to provide them with safety, love, and encouragement through their tree of life ministry.

zambia, a country in africa that is a little larger than the state of texas, has the lowest death rate in the world, 38 years old. half of the population is under the age of 16. most of the children are double orphans, having lost both parents, and are rejected and shunned by their society. they are alone and helpless.

during this banquet, my heart was once again wrenched at the sights and stories of the many children pictured above. stories of abuse, neglect, and rejection broke my heart as i began to say to the Lord, "this is not fair. little children should not have to live like this." as the speaker continued and we learned more about the awesome things God is doing and has done through family legacy, i just sat wondering and thinking.

God is doing great things in zambia, and in other parts of africa (check here and here for a great stories). He is so GOOD and always hears the cries of those hurting and alone. little children are being saved from their lives of despair, and are truly made into a new creation in Christ. praise the Lord!

but, still, my heart ached. i kept thinking, "what can i do? what should i do? Lord, what do you want of me?" matt and i both felt the same pull we have been feeling ever since we met this little cutie...
i don't really know what my heart is feeling, and i don't know what the Lord is doing, BUT i do know that we serve an awesome BIG God who hears the cries of the hurting, HE rescues, HE makes new, and HE gives wisdom to those wondering what to do in the mean time.

do i know that we should pack up everything and move somewhere where we can experience real suffering like paul talks about? NO. have i thought about it? YES! do i know the plans God has for our future family and children? NO. have i entertained the thought of adoption from somewhere? YES.

BUT, i have also thought of the work God is doing here, in little 'ole arlington, texas. i know that its not for nothing and that He wouldn't be so present for no reason. i know the HE is changing lives and making them new, that HE is working in high schools, and that HE has awesomely big plans for the people here that i cannot even imagine.

what do i know at this very moment? not much, but i know this: "i want to know CHRIST and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his SUFFERINGS, becoming like him in his death..." philippians 3:10
it scares me to ask for suffering, but i want to know Christ MORE than i am afraid.

Lord, give matt and i wisdom about what we should do. give us wisdom about how to best serve you and where you want us. thank you for not letting the cries and prayers of hurting children go unheard. thank you for redeeming us and making us NEW. all the praise to you alone Lord.

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