If you are like me you often wonder if what you do on a daily basis ever makes a difference in the life of another. I may sound like a broken record but it is so important to me now that I am a bit older and raising four kiddos. I feel more than ever like being a Mom is the most important job on the planet and it is through the love and parenting of the children God has entrusted to me that I am being nudged to seek out other children in need. Today I had the honor of visiting my fifth grade son’s classroom and sharing our Ethiopia Mission Trip experience with 60 kids. It was so refreshing and felt like such and honor to have the attention of 10-11 year olds who will someday be grown-ups striving to make their difference and their mark on the world. Our kids attend a Spanish Immersion public school and we love the message that becoming bilingual sends. So far it has been such a gift to our three boys as they are being encouraged to become global thinkers and who knows, but by the time Ava reaches grade school we chuckle about having her attend the Chinese immersion so we can travel with our kids and have them be our tour guides reaching out to children all around the world. What a dream that would be huh?
I was able to provide the class with a bit of history into our family story of how adoption was placed on our hearts and that through the adoption of our daughter from Ethiopia we have been broken for the many children left behind. We have fallen in love with a culture and a people who smile from ear and ear and love anything you do to help and honor them. It was just so cool to speak to young people and provide them with first hand insight into what the lives of children are like in other parts of the world. It seems as important as math or science for our children to become aware of the plight of children who struggle for a meal, who do not always have the right to an education and who sometimes grow up without a parent due to disease and lack of medical care. After sharing the photos of all that we experienced in Ethiopia I had time for questions. Let me just say that their questions were precious and so heartfelt. “Do they ever get to take showers?” “Why do girls have to walk to get water?” “Why is it that they do not have shoes?” I stood there answering questions and feeling like God was right there beside me in the room. You see God is calling me and perhaps calling you to do more. Take baby steps. Do whatever it is He has placed on your heart and as my friend and Ethiopia team leader, Kari Gibson says, “Do it Afraid.” I am no expert but I can tell you that God is nudging me to pass it on. He is calling me to share more, show more and go more. He is urging me to use the opportunity that I shared with my 10 year old son in Ethiopia to encourage and inspire other people and other families, even other children.
In addition, I was able to talk briefly about the children we sponsor and what sponsorship of a child means. It was so much fun to talk about my two sons in Ethiopia who have rocked our hearts. As the Momma to three bio boys, I can tell you that raising them up to follow Jesus with loving and compassionate hearts feels tough on a daily basis, but it is that challenge that imparts our family to want to reach out to other children, throughout the world. All children deserve the love and nurturing that it takes to grow up and becoming healthy thriving adults. All children deserve love, touch, education, sustenance and the opportunity to know that God loves them no matter what their circumstances. Sponsorship changes lives and has brought great awareness, joy and blessings to our family. Here are our two dear boys who live in Ethiopia and are now attending school:
Is your heart open to God’s calling? Is He nudging you? What is He saying and where is He directing you to dig in? Even if it sometimes feels crazy. Maybe your kids are still young. Maybe you do not feel like you have the time or the finances to make something happen. I know that feeling well. We all do, but I sit here typing with a giant smile on my face because sometimes when I have had the most angst and questions… well that is exactly when God is BEST at stepping in, grabbing the reigns and galloping you right to the very places He knows you are supposed to be. It could be a classroom of kids, an Orphan Care meeting. A foster care informational session, the streets of your own hometown, an orphanage in Haiti or to the trash dump area of Addis Ababa. Children need us and God needs us to work hard to change lives One Child at a time.