Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Desire to Serve

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.  We will be judged by 'I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me.  I was homeless, and you took me in.'  -Mother Teresa

Let's suppose you were sitting in church one Sunday, any Sunday, listening to the sermon.  Perhaps you have to catch your mind from wandering every so often.  You're making a note in the back of your notebook as the service comes to a close, but you overhear the pastor as he shouts out one last announcement almost as an afterthought.  He says there is a bus outside, waiting to take whoever wants to go on a mission trip.

He does not tell you where you are going or when you will return.  You will need no money, no tickets.  All travel has been arranged for you.  You do not have time to go home and pack a bag.  You can not tie up loose ends at work, or say goodbye to your family.  To say yes, you simply have to board the bus.

Would you get on board?

This was a situation presented to me in a sermon this past Sunday and I haven't been able to get the scenario out of my head.

"Yes" can be a scary word.  It can open a lot of doors and take you a lot of places, but it can cause discomfort as well.  There's a level of trust involved and oftentimes we are slow to trust.

I think here I would have said YES.

It's well known to most of you that I have a huge desire to travel, to touch the world and make a difference.  More often than not I feel stifled in my hometown, pigeonholed by many of the comforts held so close by so many.  The desire to serve overwhelms me sometimes, a constant weight on my chest that reminds me that my heart craves something more.

Pascuala, Somotillo, Nicaragua
I long to be challenged, to go on an adventure and to learn to fully rely on the Lord for my needs.  No doubt, it would be the hardest thing I've ever done, getting on that bus.  But nothing about the idea turns my stomach.  While many of the people in my life might not understand why I said yes, I would hope they'd know how much I love and care for each of them.  I strive to live my life in such a way that if I was whisked off one day, there would be no doubt from anyone how I felt about their presence in my life.

I am currently searching for opportunities to serve overseas this summer.  My heart longs for the chance to hold and love on children who have no mothers.  I have seen the power a simple touch can have on another and I want to be the one to touch heads and hold hands.  I want to serve the least and the lost, and to me that doesn't just mean sending money somewhere once a month.  Presence is key, a willingness to share life. I want to alleviate suffering, to meet basic needs.  I want to be the hands and feet.

People often ask me why I don't invest my time in an organization here in the US; there is so much need here at home.  My answer - not everyone is called to go.  I have that desire, and I am capable.  What happens if no one goes?  What would have happened if Jesus stayed in his own hometown?

Pascuala, Somotillo, Nicaragua
It will not be easy.  An experience like the one I'm seeking, be it for a summer or for a lifetime, will challenge me every day.  Some days I think about how things could go and I don't feel strong enough, but I recognize that I am not the one who needs to be strong.  The Lord uses the weak and the small.

I am nervous, anxious, about how things could play out, but I'm also excited.  Currently I haven't found an NGO to serve with but I'm exploring some options.  I hope you will join me on this wonderful, life changing adventure.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Come visit!

I'm writing today over at 

Head over to read a bit about my recent trip to Nicaragua with Because We Care Ministries
and I'll be back here next week!