Our agency is growing...within the last 9 months, we've grown from a one person show (me) to 2 full time employees and 2 part time employees. And all of this growth is happening in my home office! :)
As you can imagine, a not for profit isn't just rolling in the dough, so it saves us thousands of dollars to work out of my home for now. We have a growth plan in place...but we are definitely in that stretching time and that place of transition where there are growing pains.
Some of those growing pains are hitting home...literally. I decided recently to move out the two twin beds I had set up for my "children to come" bedroom so we could make it into a temporary office space. When the reality of what that indicated hit me, it stung.
See, when my husband and I moved into this new home, we (or I) decided that one of the extra bedrooms should be set up as a prophetic act that soon we would have kids. You know, the build it and they will come idea... and I fully believed in this act of faith. I have even been saving precious little dresses and boys clothes in this room's closet as I come across them. I just knew that one day soon God would call us to adopt a sibling group or that I would get pregnant and I wanted to show God that I was ready and prepared and our hearts were open.
However, it's not looking like this was God's plan for our lives yet. Right now, He is blessing Visiting Orphans and this home, which is His home to do what He wills with it. So, the act of moving out the baby and child furniture to make room for the growth of Visiting Orphans is very bittersweet.
I think laying down our lives for that of the Lord, looks different to everyone. I laid down my desire to be a mom when I was in my twenties. I remember literally dying to it, straightening my posture again and accepting with hope and promise what God would have for me. He led me into the corporate workforce where I was trained and prepared for what I am finally doing today. I wasn't married until I was 36 years old and there wasn't one day that went by that I didn't desire a family. Now that I'm married, that desire is even greater. So everyday I have to lay that down and choose to TRUST Him. To trust that He is good when my flesh wants to think He is just mean and selfish. To trust that He has my best intention in mind...when reality sometimes suggests otherwise. To trust that one day I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
I share all of this, because I want you to know me. I am not a woman who has it all figured out. Who is greatly blessed because I have a full time career in orphan ministry. Dont' get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE what I do and I am indeed blessed on every side. I am as Pastor Isaac from Uganda puts it, "a mother to the world". I told someone recently and I promise I'm going to make a t-shrit that says this...but I feel like I am pregnant with "multi-millions". Everyday I go to bed with hundreds of faces in my head from orphanages I have visited...Rosalyn, Daniela and Naomi in Haiti, Faida and Norbert in Gulu, Adongo in Jinja, Ababa in Ethiopia, Aracely in Costa Rica and many other nameless faces which in time and circumstances I have lost over my life. I pray for them, I desire them to each be here with me. The sad thing about each one I just mentioned is that they are "unadoptable" by whomever deems such things. So, I labor and carry them in my heart and in prayer. I hope I am truly "mothering" them in the Spirit.
But isn't it funny that I would lay all of this down in an instant if God gave me my own family. Maybe God knows this...He's quite smarter than we think! :) So, He waits and tarries...and I choose to love and trust Him. I know one day I will indeed be a mom to some of the most amazing chidren I could have ever imagined. I look forward to that day and in the meantime, I will throw this longing and energy into saving the millions of children, who like me, do not have a family and long for that which they are at the mercy of God to give them.
"Thank you Lord that my lot in life is what it is...thank you that this pain helps me to relate to the pain of an orphan. The longing they have to be loved by a mom and dad. The longing that I have to love my own child. May you infuse that longing and make it Yours. I pray you would fill it up and radically use it to make a dent in this unruly population of orphans. Don't let me forget this longing and this pain...use it for Your glory. Better is one day in your courts, LORD, than a thousand elsewhere. I'd rather be right in the center of your will than anywhere else or in any other situation. I love you...."
Follow along as I take this mission seriously and minister to the orphans in this world.
Visiting Orphans...It pretty much speaks for itself. Our lives are made to give away to others and I love it that helping orphans is pure and undefiled religion! Follow along as I take God seriously about this mission and minister to the orphans in this world. He is constantly at work in our lives..we just sometimes have to shift our perspective to notice Him. I pray you will hopefully see Him in the words and pictures below..through my perspective.
This blogpage follows the mission trips I lead to minister to orphans in this world. I am the Executive Director of a mission sending agency called Visiting Orphans. (www.visitingorphans.org) I believe my mission in life is similar to the President of Compassion International, Dr. Wes Stafford. In his book, "Too Small to Ignore" he says, "On one side of this international bridge, my role is to minister to the poor, to the orphans, to "comfort the afflicted." And then I cross the bridge, coming back to the Western, more affluent world, where my job is to speak and write and to "affict the comfortable" to call them to action." Loving people on both sides of the spectrum...
I pray that something in my words or pictures will inspire you to reach out beyond yourself...to GO and help the "least of these".