I need to do a much better job of keeping our blog updated. Opining aside, I felt deeply compelled overnight to share something that God put on my heart after Julie and I spent the evening reading the blog of an incredible young lady.
Many who read this know that Julie and I have a calling to care for the orphan. I spend the majority of every day at HopeChest trying to compel God's people to engage themselves into the life of 145 million of the most vulnerable. I am blessed to be very close to the stories of redemption that come as a fruit of the hands and feet of the Church engaging with these children. From the challenge of a Russian orphan that is being turned out to the world at 15 - alone- to the hundreds of leaders of child headed households in Swaziland that visit a HopeChest CarePoint for food and a hug because both parents died of HIV/AIDS. My heart breaks and swells with joy many times each day.
Last night through periods of tears and laughter, Julie read a good portion of the blog of Katie Davis. I have the honor of talking with many people that have followed God's call to be a 'missionary' and committed their life to service in some of the most challenging circumstances one can imagine. None have impacted me like Katie. She was called at age 16 to leave Brentwood, TN and care for the orphan in the most dire circumstances in Uganda. This young lady calls 13 orphans her children and touches nearly 400 kids everyday. Simply incredible. Simply read a few and I trust you will be in awe and wonder of her calling and commitment. Katie Davis blog
While I hope that these stories compel you into the care of the orphan, that is not why I am writing. As we were reading stories of her sacrifice and faithfulness weaved in with heart wrenching stories of malnutrition, abuse, starvation and death, I tripped across an entry by her father. I felt as though I could relate since my Claire is 10 years old and persistently speaks of her desire to care for the orphan. But to sit here and realize that he provided faithful encouragement to a 16 year old, beautiful young lady to go to a dangerous, filthy and desperate world challenged me to the core. This blog entry is a must read for all dad's - I implore you to soak in the circumstances and his response. Blog from Katies dad
As you read this I want to share some questions that I was challenged with last night - through tears:
-Have I allowed the expectations of our culture cause me to dampen the dreams (calling?) of my children because they might be too risky?
-Am I spending enough time listening so as to be intentional about knowing and fostering the God given passions of my children?
There are two certainties that I glean from scripture. First, risk and sacrifice are weaved throughout the stories of the great and faithful people of God (David, Daniel, Ruth, Paul, Peter, Timothy, Mary......). Second, we are ordained as parents to train them as we go in His way (Proverbs 22:6). I pray that WE not allow the world to stain God's plan for our children!