God took Lion King and brought about a life’s passion

5 Nov

Blog post by Breanna A., Team Ethiopia 2011

I can honestly say that what first stirred my heart for Africa was watching Lion King as a kid. I was taken with the gorgeous scenery, catchy music, and wild animals. Now, I know that Africa is not quite how Disney portrays it to be, but that longing to go has been deeply rooted in my heart from an early age. Anytime I was asked that question, “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?” I always answered with Africa. My passion and heart for Africa has grown immensely from that first experience with Lion King. The Lord has been stirring in my heart and has constantly brought Africa to the front of my mind. To go was never a question of ‘IF’, but a question of ‘WHEN’.

It wasn’t until I began my college career at Kansas State University that I realized exactly what it was that I felt so passionate about. When I came to college, I had no idea about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was overwhelming trying to decide. So I prayed and prayed. I eventually discovered a major called Family Studies and Human Services. I fell in love with the idea of getting to help people as a job! Over the last three years, the Lord has been creating in me a heart for the fatherless. Organizations like Invisible Children, TOMS, Love 146, Not For Sale and Passion Conferences have added fuel to the flame in my soul. But for me, it just wasn’t enough to learn about the global problem of orphaned children, I wanted to DO something. I wanted to CHANGE the lives of these children. I wanted them to know the LOVE and FREEDOM that Christ offers.

I had been searching and praying for an opportunity to serve and volunteer in an orphanage overseas for the past year. I knew the Lord was calling me to go, but I wasn’t sure when or how. But the Lord was faithful and opened that door to my sister and I at Passion 2011 in Fort Worth. They had something called the RightNow Campaign that placed believers with a heart for missions with an organization that fit their passions. We were given the information for Journey117 and made contact with them immediately. Once I found out that they had a trip in December to Ethiopia that would be focused on serving orphans and visiting orphanages, I knew that I was called to go. So, I applied!

Since the day I applied to go, the Lord has been revealing to me His heart for the orphans. I had the verse 1 John 3:17, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” written in sharpie on my wrist for a good month. My constant prayer is that I would never close my heart to a brother or sister in need. That my heart would break for what breaks the Lord’s, and that I would be filled with passion that moves me to compassion. I love how our study book Get Uncomfortable defines compassion as suffering alongside someone and then doing something about it. Passion isn’t enough. My heart for orphans and Africa isn’t enough. God is calling me to compassion. And in December 2011, I will have the opportunity to live life with orphaned children in Ethiopia. I will see their joy and laughter. But, I will also experience their hurt and pain from loss and rejection. I can only imagine how the Lord will use my time in Ethiopia, but I cannot think of a cause more worthy of my life’s dedication than to the advocacy of orphans.

Breanna A. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.

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