Tag Archives: India

I Took One Step, God Multiplied it to 9,000 Miles

13 Jul

Blog post by Sarah O., Team India 2012

Sometimes I feel like I don’t really have a Story. Like, with a capital “S”. I just have a story, with a little “s”. I’ve had no great adversity, no real struggle, no dramatic motivating factors. I was never really outgoing, never really smartest or fastest or best at anything in particular. I was just a quiet child, younger of two, with an ordinary upbringing and four loving parents (divorce can sometimes be a blessing). When I was about twelve, I decided that was all there was to me: just sort of an indoor girl who didn’t like confrontation. It wasn’t until I was maybe around 17 that I finally decided that if I was going to sit around and wait for an external factor to make my life meaningful, I was going to be waiting forever. My life is what it is, and I have plenty to be grateful and proud of. How many punch lines my story had was ultimately irrelevant—it wasn’t about what I brought to the table, but what God was going to do with it.

Everything I have in my heart for orphans comes from God. I’ve never been truly abandoned, never been truly hungry, never been truly alone, and I cannot fathom what that must feel like. My life has been blessed. I don’t see any possible way for me to ever be content with what I have when I know someone somewhere has appallingly less and I can do something about it. My desire is to bring some good into the world, to put more in than I take out of it. How can anyone not want to pick up another human being who’s fallen down?

Every human being deserves a normal childhood where they don’t have a care in the world, and I want to be a part of an organization like World Orphans that helps to alleviate some of their hardships, provide for them their basic needs, and let them have back a few precious moments of carefree childhood. Children are the future. Maybe there is literally nothing that can ever be done to change the hearts of the greedy, the perverse, the corrupted, the selfish, the angry, the brutal, the ignorant. But what we can do – what everyone can do – is help to raise a new generation that cares, sympathizes, helps, heals, creates, and selflessly loves.

Why the orphan? Because someday the orphan will be the adult. Someday the orphan will be building the future. Someday, every child that is taken care of now will hopefully in turn take care of another. Every child has the ability to put some good into the world, if they are given the chance to reach their future.

Continue reading

Advertisements

To See Them Smile

10 Jul

Blog post by Lauren Y., Team India 2012

I can’t believe I’m leaving for India in a little over one month! Two years ago when God laid the kids in India on my heart, I never imagined I’d actually be able to go make a difference in their lives. I feel so completely blessed to have this opportunity.

Ever since 8th grade, I’ve attended mission trips with my church or school. Usually these trips involved working with kids in some way. I always got such joy out of playing with them, loving on them, and seeing them smile.

I realized that I am most happy and content with my life when I’m helping someone else to be happy. My mom helped me realize this fact when I came home from helping with VBS just beaming and filled with stories. She said, “You might want to consider studying to become a teacher!” So that’s exactly what I did. As an Education major, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different kinds of kids. I realized that I’m often drawn to those who come from difficult backgrounds or are less fortunate than many. I feel as though so often these types of kids are neglected or overlooked.

This is why I’m so drawn to India. Often times I think people are either unaware of the amount of kids living in the streets, or they don’t know what to do about it. I know I can’t fix the situation these kids are in, but I can at least let them know how much they’re loved and give them hope for the future. When I was looking for organizations going on mission trips to India and I came across Journey 117, I was so drawn to what they were trying to do. Loving on kids, just as God loves us, learning about what God would have us do to give justice to the oppressed, and enlightening others on the topic of injustice in the world.

People often ask me, “Why India?” And honestly, I don’t have a definite answer. All I know is that God has given me a passion for the country and its people. For about 2 years, I have been praying for an opportunity to go, and finally God has said, “Yes!” I can’t wait. Although I am so nervous and anxious, I am so excited that this trip could be the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life!

Lauren resides in North Carolina and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team India.  

I’m Merely a Vessel

7 Jul

Blog post by Christina D., Team India 2012

Ever since a young age, my heart had an interest in those who are orphaned. As a 12 year old, I apparently had found nothing else more interesting than returning home from school to plop on the couch and watch TLC’s show Adoption Stories.  Something about the reality of seeing children in America and various parts of the world who were never cradled by their birth mother and father was gut wrenching for me, and also the long process for couples to finally meet with their adopted child. My heart was stirred. I wanted to have every single orphaned child from infant to teen in my home. I wanted to scoop them up and hug them, love them and be their new mom….at age12. Hmmm not a realistic dream for a 12 year old, but what I did know from that point, is that one day I wanted to adopt children of my own. As I saw it at the time, why would I be selfish enough to bring more children in the world when there are so many in need of a home and so few who choose to adopt. This is where my heart for the fatherless began.

Throughout the years, God only continued to provoke my heart to compassion for orphan children. I was able to serve one day in high school in an orphanage in Guadalupe, Mexico and it amazed me how loving they were despite their circumstances and how eager they were to be loved in return. Living in the border city of El Paso, Texas during college opened my eyes to the poverty and orphanages just across the border in Juarez, Mexico. This stirred my heart even more.

My view today, at 25, is still the same. I wholeheartedly desire to adopt at least one of my children someday. Till then, it does not by any means, mean that my passionate, God given heart for the orphaned has to refrain from acting now. My love and yearning heart for orphans has burned inside me and while that is great, that is just where it stayed, inside me. Which leads me to my journey to India. I cannot even begin to explain how eager I am to serve the Lord in this way with my team and to finally put actions to my God given desire. I do not want to continue to let time waste away while I yearningly stand back. I want to understand the burdens of this culture and how God is at work there; to know their needs and how we can meet them.

I am filled with satisfaction knowing that it is God’s desire and His compassionate heart and love for the fatherless that fills me. His business of caring for the needy is reflected in scripture in Psalm 10:18, “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.” And my personal favorite James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”  This is the Lord’s passion given to me, His heart! I’m merely a vessel that has been given a great opportunity. I can’t say I know how or what God is going to lead me to do in the future, I hope to always serve the Fatherless in any capacity. Right now I know that this is the next step in uncovering more of His heart as a Father for these children. This is my journey.

Christina resides in Texas and will be serving with Journey117 in July on Team India. 

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?

Continue reading

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. 

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. Continue reading