Sunday, January 13, 2013

What has God put on your heart to do?

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." ~Psalm 82:3

Over the past six months or so, my heart has been breaking little by little.  It started in August when my husband and I agreed to sponsor a second child through Compassion International - our beautiful "daughter" Rebecca (from Ghana), along with our handsome "son" Michel (from Mexico) whom I had started sponsoring before we got married.  

When we chose Rebecca, I wanted to learn more about Ghana - its culture, its history, and its problems.  I started trying to do research to find out what I wanted to know.  I came across a blog called Compassion Can {Beyond Measure} and voraciously read every post the owner of the site had written during a trip to visit their sponsored children in Ghana.  It made me long to go visit Rebecca, but, even more so, it made me long to do more for the children there.  Part of what I learned about was the tremendous problem of child slavery there - as many as 27,000 children live in slavery around the region of Lake Volta.  The stories were heart wrenching.

The images and stories have stayed with me, and my desire to do more has only increased.  This weekend, I read Pam Cope's Jantsen's Gift, written by the founder of Touch a Life ministries.  The short story is that her son died unexpectedly at the age of 15, and they raised something like $25,000 after the funeral.  In the midst of their grief, they went to Vietnam and started working with orphanages there that took in the abandoned, the disabled, and those rescued from human trafficking. They went on, over the past ten years, to establish ministries in Southeast Asia and in Ghana. I read the entire book in about 12 hours. I didn't sleep at all that night.  I keep seeing the faces of those children in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Ghana that were rescued and given hope. 

Last summer, I was tormented by the question, "What has God put on your heart to do?"  It haunted me.  I didn't feel like there was anything there, except loving my husband and loving God. I begged God to show me what He has put on my heart to do. 

I think I know, at least a little piece of it, now.  My heart rends for these children - the ones living in abject poverty, dying from simple diseases like diarrhea, the ones being sold by desperate families into slavery (despite international and national laws forbidding it), the ones who have lost their parents and feel abandoned and hopeless.  I want to be part of helping these children.  I was praying and told God that I would love if I could work for an organization that served those children. I wish I could spend the majority of my time serving them in person.  

As of right now, I have no idea how any of that would be possible. Right now, my husband is unemployed and can't find work; I make a pittance and can't cover all of our bills, and can't get anyone to even talk to me about extra work.  While we are still sponsoring Rebecca and Michel, and I am writing them every two weeks, along with another beautiful young woman named Brigida (aged 15 in Bolivia) for whom I am serving as a correspondence sponsor, I want to do so much more.  I don't know how.  But I think I finally know what God is putting on my heart to do.  

If my few readers (I think there are only about 10 of you total) have any additional leads on ministries or agencies that I might be able to serve in - even if only as a volunteer - please let me know. 

"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. 'Come now, let us reason together,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'" ~Isaiah 1:17-18

"For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing."~Deuteronomy 10:17-18

"Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds-- his name is the LORD-- and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land." ~Psalm 68:4-6

1 comment:

Elizabeth Ann @ Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

i love the verse you chose for Beth Moore's Scripture team! :-)