As I boarded the plane on Dec. 26 to take our family to Uganda, I got a text from my sister that spoke directly to my heart and continued to be the theme during the entire trip and has continued to speak to my heart upon coming home.
Text from sister Shauna: I see mothers cry out for their adult children to love the things of God when they are adults...But their hearts are far from His heart...And I believe that's because they were taught comfort and self love...The mother (with good intentions) taught them that. So as you take your children into the uncomfortable and self sacrificing world of poverty, I believe you are showing them and teaching them the heart of God. With that said...Go with joy that you are following Jesus example into the very heart of God. Every "risk" and dollar spent is worth that! I love you!!!
I asked the Lord one day as we were preparing to go to a slum if that was really what we were supposed to do....I really didn't want to go unless it was the Spirit leading us and the Lord was wanting to show us something. It's hard to see, and my tendency is to protect my kids from the suffering that is so prevalent there. It was a hot day and some people get very excited to see us, especially the kids, and then there are some people that don't want us in their territory and they are very angry and full of hate and they make it clear that they don't want us around. As I asked the Lord to guide us that day, it became very clear that if I want to have a heart for the poor or if I want my kids to have a heart for the poor, we have to GO and meet people and give the label "poor" a name and a face and it becomes TOTALLY different. It gets into our hearts and makes you see and read with a different heart and different eyes.
Years ago, when I heard or read in God's Word about the "orphan" and His heart for the orphan...it really meant nothing to me...UNTIL I MET SOME "ORPHANS" personally, and learned their names and their faces and their stories. And when that happened it changed me. It made me understand they are beautiful children and needed love and a family and it wasn't just "sad" it was necessary to do something.