I Want Them to Hope Again

19 Jun

Blog post by Erin B., Team India 2012

Orphans are something that God placed on my heart about 7 years ago. I woke up from a dream crying. I was seeing a girl about 6 months old standing in a crib with her hands stretched up wanting someone to pick her up. She was inconsolable and desperate. I had the feeling that she had been crying for days and that nobody had picked her up or attended to her. My heart broke for children that are longing for love and have no one that loves or cares for them. I started praying for orphans on that day and have been ever since. My awareness for things pertaining to orphans was raised from that point on whenever I heard them talked about or found verses in the bible about them.

It wasn’t too much after that that I found the bible verse in James 1:27 that says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” The verse helped me confirm that it is definitely God’s heart to care about orphans. About 5 years ago, I was praying on the phone with my friend Sonia from Uruguay. Out of nowhere I just started crying and couldn’t even continue praying for a while. My friend asked if I was okay. I finally managed to choke out that God was really putting it on my heart to pray for India and I proceeded to pray for India for about the next 15 minutes. It seemed sort of weird to be praying for India when I really didn’t know very much about the country or have any specific reason to be praying for the country but it all makes since now considering that I will be going to India with World Orphans on a missions trip.

God’s tug on my heart to do something related to orphans has been greater and greater in the last couple of years. To be obedient, I started looking more for opportunities that had to do with orphans. About a year and a half ago, I did a Google search that said something like “Christian mission trips orphans.” World Orphans was the first site that I looked at. It definitely caught my attention and I really liked everything it said. I liked its purpose and that it was so focused on the orphan. At the time I was really busy with a program to become an elementary principal but I became friends with Lori Resmer on Facebook and started to watch the dates of upcoming mission trips. Since I’m an Elementary teacher, I needed the trip to be during my summer or winter break. The upcoming trip to India during summer seemed perfect and meant to be especially since I had prayed for India so many years ago.

God’s promise to us in John 14:18 says: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” Jesus promises to never leave or forsake us, to not leave us alone. He is always with us and orphans always matter to God. He hears and sees their plight. In Hosea 2, from the message version of the Bible, God says, “I’ll turn heartbreak valley into acres of hope.” I think that is God’s heart for the orphan; to turn their heartache into hope for the future that God has for them. Hosea 14 says “You’re our last hope. Is it not true that in you the orphan finds mercy?” God has special mercy for the orphan. Reaching orphans has a huge impact on society. Consider what God can do with small children from what he says in Isaiah 60:22 “A little one shall become a thousand and a small one a strong nation. I the Lord, will hasten it in its time.” Reaching orphans is a part of spreading the gospel.

Perhaps my heart for the orphan would not be complete without sharing a little bit about my growing up years. My dad worked a lot of hours and was usually very exhausted when arriving home. Sometimes I longed for more time with him or affection. My parents separated for 3 years during my junior high school days. That was a difficult time with a lot of heartache. Those experiences gave me more compassion for the orphan and an ability to relate to their pain, feeling alone, or an inability to change the situation you are in. I want orphans to know that God is with them in their toughest times as God has been there for me in my darkest moments. I want them to know that they are not alone and that there are others that are willing to be there to share their pain. I want them to hope again.

Erin resides in Oregon and will be serving with Journey117 in July on the India Team. 

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