Monday, June 17, 2013

My Journey: A Tapestry of Faces

Only one more Monday of school left for me!  Woo hoo!

Tonight, I am super exhausted, but want to share something a bit different with you.  As some of you may know, I am going to India this summer to work with orphans.  This is the journey that led me to India.

My Journey: A Tapestry of Faces

All of us are on a journey throughout our lives.  We travel through good times and bad times, ups and downs, times of certainty and times of doubt.  We take bold steps of faith when we clearly hear God's call or wait in neutral longing for direction when we are not sure of His plan.

All of these phases are part of my journey.  A journey that has led me to India.  A journey that has opened my heart to the least of these.  To orphans.

My journey began the day I first believed in Jesus Christ when I was four years old.  Little did I know that as I prayed that humble prayer that God moved into my heart, He was already changing it to be like His heart.  He was already showing me how to love those who are precious in His sight: children.

Looking back at my journey now, I see a beautiful tapestry of little faces smiling back at me.  They are the many faces of all the children I've loved and been loved by.

The first of those faces are of my cousins.  These are the sweet little ones I played with, cared for, and loved even though I was just a child myself.  

  
The next faces I see woven in are of the boys and girls that both God and parents entrusted to my care as a Sunday School teacher.  For an hour each week, I was blessed with the responsibility to share God's love with a cute and crazy bunch of preschoolers.


After that, my tapestry becomes even more diverse as God expanded my heart to love all those who He created and to open my eyes to their physical and spiritual needs.  As a volunteer with CampusSERVE inner city children's ministry, I began to really see poverty and spiritual darkness for the first time.  Yet, even as I cried for those trapped in homes riddled with drugs and violence, I also discovered the hope that Christ's love gives.  Even more, I discovered that I could be an instrument of this hope.


Once God got my attention, there was no turning back.  I had caught a glimpse of His vision and He began to do what He always does...He grew the vision.  He stretched me.  That is why the next faces in the tapestry are of children and youth of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds.  They are the faces of children living in poverty in the Dominican Republic where God showed me how much I have and how much others need.


They are the faces of campers, the diverse young ones that God poured into through me for a week at a time over the course of two summers.  They are the faces of children and youth who needed comfort, peace, healing, salvation, and so much more.  They are the homesick 4-year old, the 9 year-old girl just getting to know Jesus, the 11 year-old who never knew her father, the 13 year-old searching for her identity, and the teenager fighting to overcome a past filled with abuse.  They are the faces that taught me I am not enough.  I cannot fill the need.  I do not have the words, the strength, or the resources.  God does.  He is enough.


Throughout the next years of my life, God wove this same message into my life through the ups and downs of student teaching in an inner city school, starting my first year of teaching in a state far away from home, and challenging me with a class of students with more needs than I could ever meet.  

He also wouldn't let me forget the needs of the poor around the world by calling me to be a child sponsor.  The faces of the four children I sponsor could not be more different, yet they all represent children treasured by their Creator.  Children who are so vulnerable, yet have so much potential.  Children who need to be loved, to be cared for, and to be given a chance.  A chance to dream.  A chance to thrive.  A chance to know their Savior.


As I look at the tapestry, I see that each child is a different colored thread that God wove into my life for a season.  Each season prepared me for the next one.  Each little one taught me more about God's heart.  

I stand here now on the verge of a new season.  A season that will show me a new piece of God's heart.  A season that will take place in India.  A place I never expected to go.  A place full of new faces.  

Orphan faces.

Though I never expected to go to India, it is clear to me that God has called me to go there.  He has shown me it is time for me to respond to His command in Isaiah 1:17 to "take up the cause of the fatherless."  

United with the Journey 117 team that God has brought together, I am eager to see how God will show us His heart and the many needs of the orphans.  Though the task of caring for these vulnerable children is overwhelming and none of us are capable on our own, I trust that God will show us that He is enough.  He is the Father to the Fatherless.  He is Jehovah Jireh, the Provider.  However, this does not mean we can sit by and do nothing.  No, we are His instruments.  God shows His love through us.  He meets needs through us.  He uses us.

Looking ahead toward this new adventure God has called me to, I do not know exactly what will happen.  I do not know what I will say or what I will do, where I will go, or who I will meet.  

All I know is that I will come back from India changed.  I will come back with a fuller tapestry.  A tapestry with new faces woven into the fabric.  The faces of beautiful orphans whom God loves.


I cannot wait to see them.


If you are interested in my journey and my upcoming trip to India and/or have a heart for children in need, I would love to invite you to support me as I embark on this great adventure.

There are a few ways I would invite you to be involved. First, you can share this information. The more we talk about the problem of orphaned and abandoned children and the exciting ways that God is at work caring for them, the more people will be involved and the more children will be cared for. You can visit the Journey117 website:  http://www.journey117.org/ to learn more.Secondly, you can pray. If you are interested in supporting me and my team in prayer, please contact me and I will add you to my e-mail list and keep you updated on how you can be praying.

Finally, you can make a gift to World Orphans to assist with my expenses. I am responsible for raising a little over $3,650 on behalf of World Orphans to help cover the cost of the trip. I would be so incredibly grateful if you wanted to give.  I am currently at $3184.  Up until a few weeks ago, I thought that I was fully covered, but due to the high cost of airfare, the total trip cost was raised.  Although it makes me nervous to not be fully funded when the deadline, June 26, is just about a week away, I am trusting that God will provide.

If you are interesting in donating to my trip fund, please click the link below.  Every little bit helps, so please do not feel pressured to give more than you are able to.  I appreciate your generosity more than I can adequately express in writing.


P.S. My fundraising site still says Uganda because that was my original destination until God changed my plans.  You can read about that here.

Thanks for listening to my story.  I wish you all a wonderful evening!

3 comments:

  1. Becky, I am a Christian Educator at a Christian school. Unfortunately I am not in a position to be able to support you financially but I do feel it in my heart to offer prayer for you and your missions trip this summer. Please add me to your e-mail so that I may be specific in my prayers. I am praying know for your funding and safety. God Bless.
    In His Service, Pauline Pretz
    First Grade by the Sea

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  2. oops forgot my e-mail: Firstgradebythesea@gmail.com

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  3. Becky,
    I think this is a wonderful thing you are doing. Thank you for sharing your story. I will be praying for you and your journey. Please add me to your e-mail list as well so I know how to pray for you specifically. sleepnght@yahoo.com
    My cousin and her husband are actually traveling to India this summer on a missions trip as well. I wonder if you are going to the same place.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

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