I know I've been absent from blogger world for awhile...I've been reading blogs, I just haven't felt that I had anything to blog about. However, my heart is so full of a thousand different emotions right now and I don't know where to begin.
About a month ago, I stumbled across Katie Davis' blog. Warning: reading this blog WILL change your life. God is continually using her experiences to break my heart. I started reading through from the very beginning and quickly showed Jake. Within about a day we came to the same conclusion; we can't just sit here and not DO something. So we started looking into trips to Africa, first to Uganda just to visit Katie's ministry and let her know how God is using her. After talking to a few close friends, we started looking a little bigger. We're currently in the process of filling out applications with Africa Inland Mission to go somewhere over there for 6 months to work with orphans.
We're not sure where God wants us or for how long or what we'll do when we get back. Life's just one big question mark now but it means we HAVE to put our trust in Him. Today I had a rare day off (which I should be spending studying...but I haven't done much of that) so I decided to spend my afternoon reading more of Katie's blog. I read all of her posts from 2010. Challenging stuff. God is using it to majorly convict me. I found a statistic from UNICEF that says there are between 143 and 210 million orphans in the world. Please don't just read that as a statistic. That's about half of the United States population. Orphaned. Alone. 143 to 210 million individual children. They aren't just a statistic.
I also found a statistic that said approximately 16,000 children die every day from hunger-related issues. 1 every 5 seconds. Katie blogged about Matthew 25 and Jesus separating the sheep from the goats. "...And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you sick of in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
There's a little bit more to the passage but I think you get the point. Eternal fire = Hell. I can guarantee you Jesus did not say these things lightly. He fully meant just what He said. And all my head can think is "What am I doing RIGHT NOW? How am I picking up my cross and following Him in this moment?" Yeah I can say I'm going to Africa in January but how am I serving Him and the least of these today?" I'm not saying I have all the answers but I know I need to DO SOMETHING. In the time it's taken me to write this post dozens of children have died. That's not ok with me.
The best Jake and I have come up with is selling the excess we have (our tv, our blu-ray player, xbox, clothes and shoes we never wear, etc.) and giving the money to Amazima (Katie's organization) to help feed orphans in Uganda and reach them with the gospel. I'm writing this to bring awareness to her agency, to the need, and also to hold us accountable. Already as I'm writing this we're talking about how hard it will really be to live without the excess comforts of this world but how can it not be worth it? I don't want this post to sound in any way like we're trying to draw attention to the "good" we're doing. My best deeds are still filthy rags. We're going to prayerfully consider where God is leading us and what He plans to do now that He has so drastically changed our hearts. Please pray for us, as well.