Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our Mexico Adventure

We've decided to go on a family mission trip this summer to Mexico. All four of us. We're really excited. There is a large group of families from our church and several other churches here that go every year for a week to a Mexican border town and do ministry at an orphanage there. Within the group, there is a medical team, a construction team, and two VBS teams. We're not sure exactly what our role will be within those teams, but it is likely that I will be helping to conduct a VBS for children out in the nearby villages and Joel will be doing that as well or helping with construction. Tonight we are attending a meeting about it, the first one with all of the committed team members, so we're sure to learn more. This has been a dream of mine and Joel's to go on a mission trip together and to be able to take our kids with us, and I'm thankful for how God has led us to be a part of this team at this time. Now, it's just a matter of watching God provide for all that is necessary for us to make the trip, and I look forward to seeing how He works in these next few months to get us ready for the trip, which will take place from late June to early July. There will be a lot for us to watch for! A lot of stretching and faith-building opportunities are already underway. I want so much to respond in trust and expectancy rather than in anxiousness, fear, and faithlessness.

I'm especially excited to be able to spend time with children who live in this orphanage. For a while now, I feel that God has been drawing my attention to the plight of those who do not have parents to care for them. Very recently, He's been teaching me, through various avenues, to see and have more of His heart for orphans. And while I would say yes today to the prospect of adopting a child into our family if God asked, I recognize that He's not asking me that today. I hope He does one day, I really do. But for now, for many reasons, I have to assume that isn't the direction we're headed. But there is definitely a tug on my heart for the orphans in the world, both near and far. And it's been a struggle of mine to understand why that desire is burning and growing in me and it seems like, at least at this point, adoption is not meant to be for us. It's definitely an issue that I struggle with regularly. But now that we've decided to go on this Mexico trip, I'm getting glimpses of some of the "why"s and understanding more and more that there are a lot of ways that I can be a part of living out God's heart for the orphaned. Though it often includes adoption, it goes so much further beyond that. I'm seeing that mirroring God's heart for the orphaned is something we're ALL called to, regardless of the varied, individual ways we are asked to flesh that out.

James tells us, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." Caring for the needs of those two groups of people is something that, in a way, authenticates our faith in Christ. I want that to be true of me - that it's obvious that I follow Christ because of my compassion for those in need. I wouldn't say my faith has been marked by that at all. I'd say I've mostly lived a self-centered existence. God has been challenging me to live differently and to get passionate about helping people in need. And I know this opportunity in Mexico will be just that: an opportunity to face and fight through my selfishness, in order to live out God's love for the children we encounter. And for me to embrace the change God wants to do in my heart and accept more of what He desires to create in me. And to have His heart for orphans.

It's a beautiful love. The same Love responsible for my own redemption and adoption into God's family. I want to know and reflect more of it.


Shannon said...

We are so excited you are coming on the trip ... it is wonderful! The kids are PRECIOUS!