Tag Archives: Awareness

From Spiritual Wilderness to a Life of Compassion

6 Jul

Blog post by Alex E., Team India 2012

The stories of the Old Testament are, unfortunately, sometimes viewed as just that; stories with no relevance for where we find ourselves in the world today. But God’s Word speaks powerful truths into our lives, even through these childhood stories. I have always been fascinated by the story of Moses and the Exodus, a man chosen by God to do the impossible. Little did I know that over the years God would reveal to me that He still does just that.

We’ve all seen the pictures of baby Moses being placed into a basket by his mother and sent down the Nile River. He is brought in by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised as a prince in the splendors of Egypt. But he never forgets his heritage is tied to the Israelites, who are enslaved in Egypt. An unfortunate event sends him from the grand palaces and into the wilderness for 40 years. That, however, is where God meets with him and places an incredible calling on his life. He will return to his former home and deliver God’s people from bondage.

I like to believe that as Moses recounted his life, as he penned the book of Exodus, he stood in awe at the hand of God in his life. I’m praying at this moment that as I recount my own story, I would be amazed at God’s guiding hand in my own life. I don’t know who my birth mother was or why she left me at a hospital in Korea after my birth. But I do know that, by God’s incredible grace, I was rescued and brought into absurd luxury by my adoptive parents. I have been given opportunities to succeed that millions of orphans around the world could never dream of.

But just like Moses, mistakes in my life led me into a spiritual wilderness. I was lost, I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but was never even sure about that. Then, just as Moses had an unexpected encounter with God, I found myself in the same place, and no, I have never seen a burning bush. But about a year ago I read an article about a girl that had also been adopted. In it, she said that she knew she had been rescued for a reason, and that reason was to live her life to rescue others. I don’t know what about that caught my attention, but I started wrestling with deep questions about my life. What was my story? Why was it that story? What did God want me to do? Was I living for the wrong reasons?

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My Friend, Manuel

4 Jul

Blog post by Anna R., Team India 2012

I was around 8 years old when I realized not everyone lived surrounded by a large family and loving parents. I met a little boy around my age who didn’t have a mommy. His dad brought him and his older sister to live with some extended family in the small town in Mexico where we lived at the time. His dad had to work in the city and was not able to care for them so they stayed with family and went to school in town. It was a very foreign concept for me. I could not imagine not having my mom make flour tortillas for me, make large breakfasts of my favorite foods on Saturday mornings, have my clothes laid out for me on a school day, or not being there when I had a nightmare or was feeling sick.

I became very good friends with Manuel all through elementary school. He was a normal kid; we had fun at recess and he integrated to the town with ease but even at that early age I could see in his eyes a somewhat hidden sadness, which I always attributed to that fact that he would never see his mom again. Now that I’m older, I appreciate the many other things parents do and provide to their children: teaching by example, nurture, protection, unconditional love etc. and while preparing for this trip, I dearly remember my good friend Manuel.

I heard about Journey 117 at one of my “Dinner Club” outings. I, along with a group of coworkers, get together around once a month to go to dinner at a new (non-chain) restaurant. We try different and ethnic foods and in conversation, I mentioned that I would love to go on a short-term missionary trip. Diane said her daughter has gone on several trips and she forwarded me some info regarding her daughter’s trip last year with Journey 117.  Once I read about the organization’s mission, the hardest part was deciding which country to serve in.

I’m anxiously waiting for my India trip. I can’t wait to learn and experience a more direct way of serving the orphan and the widow. I have a heart to serve others especially through church programs with children and youth but this will be a whole new level of service. I am exited about what I can do to help some of these children and share the love and care that I am so blessed to have. Most of all, I am ready to learn from them and draw from their strength and courage.

Anna resides in Wisconsin and will be serving with Journey117 in July on Team India. 

He Had Other Plans

30 Jun

Blog post by Mark M., Team India 2012

It started for me in December of 1996. As my sister and I watched a news program about the orphan crisis in Romania, I felt God tugging at my heart. By September 1997, I had contacted a missions’ agency, raised support, and was in Romania working at an orphanage and also at a local school coaching boys and girls and basketball. After my first year in Romania, I prayed that God would allow me to stay another, but He had other plans. God sent me to Seminary in Jackson, MS. There, while taking classes, I worked in the inner-city of Jackson with the impoverished children and teens there. Again, upon graduating Seminary, I asked the Lord to let me stay. Again, He had other plans.

I would get married shortly after leaving seminary, and my wife and I would end up fostering 27 children. Today, my own son is 14, and I would like him to see what the life of an orphan is like. I want his heart to break for their condition, to see how blessed he is to have a family, and to live in America.

I am excited about what God has in store.

 Mark resides in Pennsylvania and will be serving with Journey117 in July on Team India.