Our Faith and His Faithfulness

7 May

Blog post by Angela B., Team Moldova 2011 

“When our faith intersects with God’s faithfulness, miracles can happen.”  My pastor spoke that phrase on September 13, 2009 and it has been part of my journey ever since.  It was then I realized that God’s faithfulness was there, but my faith needed some work.

Two years ago I sat in my pastor’s office and told him that I felt like I was at a standstill in my relationship with God.  I had hit a wall. I was in a small group and involved in church but I didn’t feel like I was doing all that God had planned for me. I was frustrated and in a funk.  It was then that my pastor asked me what I wanted to do, and I responded that I wanted to do something working with orphans. When he asked me why, I didn’t have an answer.  I just knew that it was a desire God had put on my heart.

After our meeting, I began to think about the question he asked me. “Why?” I did not have the answer right away but it definitely got me thinking and wanting to explore why God was leading my heart in the direction of the orphans.

I came to realize that a big part of my desire was influenced by the eight years I spent as an elementary teacher in low-income urban schools. I transitioned into teaching from working with an NFL team and really thought it would be a temporary job until I figured out a plan for my life. It was through teaching that I began to see the innocence and potential in children in a new way.  I also saw the effects on children who had one or both parents absent in their life or who were neglected both emotionally and physically. I saw anger, sadness, loneliness and innocence lost. I often had students who would give me a hug and not want to let go. I know, kids hug. In a lot of cases, this was a different kind of hug. These hugs were a craving for touch and for love because they did not have it at home or had not had the chance to experience true comfort. This harsh reality made me sad and sometimes even angry. I was angry because children were having innocence taken from them too soon and the adults who were meant to protect them were not there.

I began to have compassion for children in a way that I never had before. The more I heard stories about children who are fatherless and in countries where they are not allowed to hear about God, it began to break me.  I have had some low points in my life and even during the times I was “running from God,” I always knew He was there. What about the orphans who have never heard that they have a heavenly father who loves them unconditionally?  Where do they find hope?

God was moving me to action.  A year after I met with my pastor, I was headed on my first mission trip to Kenya to set up a Kid Jam program at our partner church. Part of the trip was spending time with the orphans who came to the VBS-style camp.  It was my first big step of faith. I had never been on a mission trip and did not know what to expect. I have traveled plenty overseas but it has always been “comfortable” travel. With a mission trip, I was totally out of my comfort zone. The idea of not being able to drink the water, have my morning Starbucks, and dealing with bugs (just to name a few) was less than thrilling to me.  I am so glad His voice was louder than my worries. Through His faithfulness, He opened up my eyes to the scope of His greatness and brought me into a new closeness with Him and it changed my life. Kenya wasn’t just about going on a trip, it was about realizing that I wanted to live my life serving others and not just myself.

Our Moldova trip is another step of faith for me. Even though I am going on a trip to a country I know little about with a group I am just getting to know, I am excited because I know that this trip and our team were specifically pieced together by God for His purpose in Moldova. We are all here because we took a step of faith.  With our faith and His faithfulness, miracles can happen on this journey!

 Angela will be serving on the Moldova Journey 117 Team leaving in June 2011.

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