Monday, October 10, 2011


This morning I start my day off as an entirely different person.  I am not sure I have ever experienced so much change in such a small amount of time before.  Sounds elusive right?  Well I am excited for the change.  Scared and nervous, but elated that I can feel a real and strong sense of purpose in my life.

I am, however, interested to see what a normal, everyday Monday morning will do to change, strengthen, or hinder this new sense of purpose.  Will I revert to my old self?  Will I downplay these new feelings and ideas?  Or will I hold on to them, and continue to work toward them, even when life goes back to normalness?

So sometimes I get all vague on here, and talk about crazy ideas, but never tell you what they are.  And part of me wants to keep silent on this issue and not say it out loud, because if I do, well then I may just have to actually follow through.  I may be held accountable and it will make these thoughts more real.  But today I am feeling a great need for accountability so I do not wish to keep silent.  I want you to know how I feel.  I want you to know my plans.

Lately I have been doing some reading...(uh-oh).  I picked up a new book titled 58: Fast Living.  My friend Steve who went to Africa with us this past summer is working with a new initiative called Live 58.  It is an organization that truly believes extreme poverty can be eradicated in our lifetime.  Do you believe that?

Do you believe we can end extreme poverty in YOUR lifetime? 

Do you believe we can end extreme poverty at all?

The easy answer is yes.  Of course!  Why else would we be trying.  But search your soul for a moment and really contemplate your answer.  Can you see a time in the future when people aren't going hungry and dying from preventable disease?

I must admit, I was more close-minded than I thought.  When I began to read Fast Living I thought my answer was yes.  And then I realized my answer was no.  I didn't have hope.  Reading the book created an internal conflict within me and I could feel God moving, stirring my heart.  I could see clearly the suffering all over the world and I began to feel very insufficient.  These feelings initially made me feel very badly about myself.  I felt the suffering of those in extreme poverty, but I couldn't do anything about it.

I expressed my sorrow to my friend Elizabeth who mistakenly sent me the website of a young woman who had felt God's presence and purpose in her own life 4 years ago.  After teaching kindergarten in Uganda for 10 months, Katie decided to stay there.  She couldn't watch the suffering and stand idly by, she had to take action.
At the age of 21 Katie now lives in Uganda with 14 adopted children.  She's crazy right?  That's what I thought.  It's people like her who give Christians a bad name.  Who turn others off because she must be out of her right mind.  She hears this voice in her head and now she's only 21 with 14 kids.  This can't be right.  Yup, that's where my mind went.

But then I watched her video and it changed my perspective.  She quotes the bible in explaining how she found her calling, "Love your Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.  Well, myself doesn't want to be starving, so I don't want other people in the world to be starving."

You know this message rang in my ears.  I am a self-professed foodie.  I enjoy eating.  I don't enjoy being hungry.  We have a word for it in my house: Hangry.  I don't want to be starving, and I don't want other people in the world to be starving either.  What am I doing about this?

In an ironic twist of fate, Forbes and I were attending the Mwandi Summit this weekend.  This Summit brought together over 50 people from all over the country that are stakeholders in the Mwandi Mission.  Forbes and I were the newbies in the group.  We had only been once.  There were some who had been going every year since 1989!  They had passion.

Since we arrived home from Mwandi this summer my life has changed.  But simultaneously I fell back into my old self.  Many days I do not even consider the people of Mwandi and pray for them.  The summit helped to reignite my passion and correlated with thoughts and feelings I have been having lately about wanting to serve the Kingdom more.

This weekend it all came to a head.  I finished the book.  I read Katie's blog (and found out she was in Nashville speaking the same weekend I was there!)  I attended the Summit.  So I went to church on Sunday, and in a way I gave my life to Christ once again.  When I was saved over 4 years ago, I told God that I wanted to change.  I needed forgiveness for my sins.  This weekend when I surrendered my life to Him again, I said that I would go to the ends of the earth to proclaim His name.  That I wanted to be a bold Christian, that wouldn't stand for hunger, injustice and poverty in this world.  That it is possible to end poverty, but not if I'm sitting around all day. 

In telling Forbes all of my thoughts and feelings on this, I believe I did promise not to adopt 14 children at some point in our conversation.  I did, however, express my desire for long-term missions.  I'm sure at the end of this post you are expecting a huge announcement about an impending move to Africa, right?  Well, that's not the case today.  I am a married woman and because we are one, we must move as one.

I trust God's timing, and his plan for our lives.  I'm not sure where this new life will lead me, perhaps Africa.  But perhaps my own backyard.  I can serve the hungry and needy here too.  And maybe there is an interim where I can learn in my own community what it means to open my heart and serve others.  But I know that I am changed.  And I am ready to serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment