Friday, October 22, 2010

The Beginning

Marco in June. 
Well, I fly out in 6 hours for Haiti.  God has done a glorious thing in my life over the past 3 years-- He's turned me from an average church going "Christian" living totally for myself to a radically sold out lover and follower of Jesus Christ, willing to go wherever and do whatever He says.  In June, on a missions trip with Impact 195 to Jeremie, Haiti, God said, "I've called you to work with orphans."  He used a little boy who never smiled named Marco with big sad eyes that completely broke my heart.  I said "Yes, God, I will go."

Marco in September.
I returned to San Diego in June and began making preparations to return to Jeremie within a few months.  I prayed for Marco every day and cried often when I thought of him and all the others like him.  When the second short term missions group from Impact 195 returned to Jeremie in September, I wasn't quite ready to leave yet.  I sent a picture for Marco with a note on the back.  The group arrived to his orphanage, recognized him right away, and gave him tons of love and personal attention all day.  They said he was a completely transformed kid-- all smiles.

I was shocked and thrilled to hear the story when the group returned, and wondered about how such a quick transformation could occur when this precious little guy was so wounded 3 months prior.  And I put myself in his shoes- imagine you're a little kid with no mommy and daddy surrounded by an orphanage full of 50 other kids.  You've probably never been singled out or felt special in your entire life.  One day this group comes back to your orphanage- you recognize a few of them, and all of the sudden, they recognize you.  You are surrounded by a group of people calling you by name, hugging you.  You are being singled out for special attention from the entire group of orphans.  Someone hands you a picture, maybe the first picture you've ever had of yourself.  It has a note written to you on the back.  You feel loved, really uniquely and specially loved.

And God started speaking to me.  "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, You are Mine."  Isaiah 43:1.  "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands."  Isaiah 49:16.  God knows Marco's name.  Even if Marco doesn't yet fully understand this, he got to experience the truth of it and it transformed his little life.  And I cried.  This is going to be my life-- sharing in word and deed with precious little ones who have no idea-- that God loves them, He knows their name, they are special, they are cherished.  Wow, what greater privilege could I have to do with my life?  I have had this ridiculously blessed life not so that I can enjoy it for myself, but so that I can give it away.  What a joy, what a joy.

I leave today for 6 months right now-- to live in an orphanage, learn the language, get immersed in the culture, and let God further develop and clarify the vision.  I'll return in April to put a long term plan together, then head back to Haiti shortly after that on a one way ticket to build an orphanage and share the love of Jesus Christ in tangible and real ways.  I think this is going to be the rest of my life.  And I can't wait.  Thank you dear friends and family for getting me to this point-- of being so well loved that I can go share it with those who are desperate for it.  I am filled to overflowing with gratitude to God for you all and love you so!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Calling



This is the story of how God called me to the mission field,  on a 2 week missions trip to Jeremie in June 2010.