i feel like God is "calling me out" these days and calling me into something much bigger than me. He's been asking the question: "Whose kingdom are you investing in, mine or yours?"
Psalm 82:3 "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
4Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
God is continuing to push me forward and not letting me sit still or quiet, which 1) totally moves me out of my comfort zone and 2) gets me really pumped for how he's changing my life and breaking my heart for the things that break His. So I'm presenting you with 2 next steps in my life and the opportunity to get involved in 2 bigger stories in His kingdom across the globe.
1) Surgery for the baby in Romania
I wrote this email about 10 days ago from Romania. It was about a little girl, whose name I've since learned is Maria. Here was the post I wrote from Romania:
"just this morning, a 6 month old baby girl was brought in with fluid on her brain. her parents left her at the hospital because they can't do anything with her. she needs a shunt put it in, a simple 40 minute procedure but they can't get the medical care for her so she likely will die soon unless they do. i put my hand on her little chest and she just sobbed and grabbed my hand tightly with her little fingers. i left the room in tears knowing there was literally nothing i could do to help this innocent baby who, in the states would have gotten surgery long ago. it doesn't seem fair.
so today i have been sweetly broken by these kids. their stories, their smiles, their tears, their lives have made their mark on my heart and i won't ever be the same. feeding a baby her bottle knowing that most of the time she feeds herself lying in a crib because there aren't enough hands to hold her. holding the tiny fingers of a little girl whose life might be taken from her because she can't get surgery. praying for Jesus to take a couple of these kids home because the way they're living is truly not living at all. my heart is broken for these beautiful little people. and i'm humbled by the work that Nann and her team are doing and the time they're putting in to find homes for these kids and caring for the ones who don't have homes. it is truly the heart of God."
I wrote in that email that "there was literally nothing I could do to help this innocent baby." It turns out God is still changing me. I've thought about sweet Maria daily since I got home. I've prayed for her and her little hands gripping mine and her innocent tears have made me no longer able to turn a blind eye. Her parents want her back. They brought her to the hospital because they were at their wit's end and knew it was better for her to either get help or die there than in their home. I want to get her back home. She needs a 40 minute procedure on her brain to drain the fluid and put a shunt in. It's a simple deal and she can go home. So we are going to get her surgery. That's what I feel called to do. God is changing me and teaching me that helping this one precious little girl is something I CAN do. It is tangible and it will save a life - a life that matters to him.
Because Maria has been on my heart since I got back and God is asking me to not sit here and "do nothing" about this, I am raising money to get her surgery. There is an urgency because her condition will ultimately kill her. The surgery is only $1000 and $300 was raised this weekend through one of our churches in the Presbytery!
2) My trip to Haiti in January
I have been presented with the opportunity to go and help lead a trip in Haiti with Operation HOPE! There will be about 30 on the team and we will be going to work with an American doctor there who is loving on the broken people of Montrouis, Haiti. I will be helping with this trip in order to see if we can bring a crew from this area later in the year on an IMPACT trip. So it's a scouting trip with an opportunity to serve the least of these in a country of broken people who I believe are close to the heart of our God. Haiti has been on my heart since the earthquake and I haven't known how to move forward in getting an IMPACT team on the ground or helping however we can... until I was presented with this opportunity. We will have a medical team working with earthquake victims as well as a community team working with orphans. I know this will change me as well - to see the extremely dire needs of those in Haiti and to be able to love them because that's what Christ would do. How do you come back the same? I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and feel like I can't pass it up. Because IMPACT paid for my Europe scouting trip, there is not money in the budget to this trip, but I feel called to go and feel like it's worth the investment, both for myself and for the future of IMPACT.
The cost for the entire Haiti trip is $1200. Again, if you want to write a tax-free donation, those checks can be made out to Operation HOPE. The money for this trip is also due in the next 2 weeks.
Here are the two ways which I feel like God is calling me out of my own kingdom and deeper into His and I'm simply inviting you into the story. I know many of you give to many other things, so don't feel obligated, just let me know if these are things you feel called to participate in. I'd love to include you!