Monday, July 28, 2014

Reality of my World

I realized once again today how different my two worlds are. The headlines this afternoon on the local news stations are about a baby that was found abandoned in a wooded area. The baby, whose umbilical cord was still connected, had bruises and scraps. In Michigan this is big news. Children do not get abandoned this way. If a child is not wanted there are steps one can take. People can bring the baby to a fire station and or hospital and surrender their rights to the child. In Lesotho the situation is different. If you do not want your child, you need to go through a huge process that is scary and intimidating. I have heard from people in Lesotho say that it is easier to abandoned your child and risk the penalty of being caught than to go through the correct steps of action. This is why children everyday are placed in trash bags, toilet pits, along the side of the road or even thrown into dams only to drown.

I have to be honest, I wasn't shocked at all about the story in today's news. I hurt for the child and the person who abandoned them, that believed this was their only option, but it didn't phase me, because that is "normal" life for me now. I am used to hearing about children who have been treated like trash and thrown away. I am used to holding them and sharing their stories to others without even thinking that it could be a shocking to someone that life could be treated this way. I am used to speaking worth into a child's life, who has been told they are worth nothing more than an empty candy wrapper.

In the past few hours, I have heard people's heartache for the child and the judgement for the person who did it. I want to challenge you all with a few thoughts. First Moses, was an abandoned child, so there is a lot of hope for this little baby. Second, I have looked a parent in the eye when they had to say goodbye to their child. The grief and pain, knowing that they cannot give the child the life they deserve so the only choice is to give them up, is so deep I can't get the their eyes out of my head. (I am aware that a lot of abandonment situations are not this way and are because of selfish desires, but please know the facts before you judge and say hurtful things.) Lastly, I encourage you all to pray. Pray not only for this child and parent, but for the thousands of children that were abandoned today and will never make headlines, because that is "normal" in the country they are from.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Life Lately

It has been a few weeks since my last blog and that is mostly do to the switching gears for Beautiful Gate Lesotho. I flew back to Michigan on July 3 and was greeted warmly by family and friends. Arriving back home was very hard last year. I remember having to play catch up with friends and feeling out of place all the time. I vowed to try and not let that happen again this year. I took some steps while in Lesotho to help with this. I stayed connected with friends and family via the Internet and that helped a lot. I was able to already know what was going on in their lives and not feel left out of the conversation. Another big help was having an accountability partner on each side of the ocean. It is always good to have someone who you can be real with and share your honest thoughts, but they feel very comfortable to keep you in check when the doubts and fears come in.

The biggest thing I believed that has helped me transition back to Michigan is God's glory. I didn't want to come back here and feel like I had no purpose. Leaving Beautiful Gate can do that to you. It is hard to go from everyday having people need you to no one needing you. I prayed while I was in Lesotho that God would show me His glory in Michigan. I know He is everywhere. It may seem easier to see Him in Lesotho, but He is just as present in Michigan as He is in Lesotho, it just may take a little more time to find Him. I am amazed how this prayer has brought so much joy and peace.

I have found His glory in...
  • Conversations with people about Jesus.
  • Phone calls from a friend, just because we can do that now.
  • A friend staying late after church, who truly wants to hear all about what is going on at BG.
  • A stranger stopping in and praying with a friend and I while we had lunch.
  • A backyard landscaping project that brought some great quiet time.
  • Participating in worship at Haven Church. (What song did we play? Oh yes, Oceans.)
  • Bible Study on Wednesdays.
  • Family time.
  • Moments with my family that I live with.
  • Walks with the dog.
  • Pizza with a friend.
  • Moments of laughter and joy with people.
  • Hugs.
  • Time on the deck with my guitar.
  • Conversations with people who want reach out to children who need to know their priceless.
The Lord is so good. Being in Michigan the last two weeks has been good. I was already given the opportunity to present to a group of business men and have had multiple meetings regarding Beautiful Gate Lesotho. I am blown away by how many people know this tiny little country and want to be able to help them know Jesus.

Are there days when I miss Lesotho? YES!!! I miss having children in my arms, in my office, in my house, tied to my back and sitting on my lap. I miss my friend and the daily conversations about life and how we never took each other too seriously. ;) But I know that right now I am called to be right here and in being here I want to live life with JOY.

God is everywhere and if I spend so much of our time and energy on focusing on the differences of life in two very different worlds, I will miss Him.

I don't want to miss Him.