Saturday, January 24, 2009

knocking on the doors of our hearts

How would you respond if you heard a knock on your door and opened it to find a hungry child begging for food? I think all of us would respond the same way, we would immediately, open the door, invite them in and serve them hot food. Offering a hot bath and warm clothes. We would also call for help.

Those are all things we are blessed to be able to do in America. But what if your own cabinets were empty? What if your own children were already going throughout the village and begging or digging through garbage for food? What if there was no one to call for "help," and even if there were, no phone to call them on?

Below are beautifully heartbreaking photos taken by Tom Davis. He's asked those who support his ministry and work in Africa to share a few of his photos and invite our readers to visit his blog. Right now, his team is in Swaziland.

These photos (more can be found on Tom's Facebook profile) were taken in a village where Gogos (grandmas) have taken in the children without families and given them a place to be loved on, cared for and fed. Obviously, these women have very limited resources, but are doing all that they can to give these precious children a chance to live and be loved.

The need seems a bit overwhelming, doesn't it? I've heard about children starving in Africa for over 35 years now. It was almost too easy to push it out of my mind with the excuse of "They are so far away" and "What difference could I make anyway?"

True, Africa is far away, but thankfully there are so many people who have overcome that excuse, jumped on a plane (albeit endured a long trip) and chosen to do something about the millions of people who are suffering. Their selflessness and courage are wonderful, but, they can't do it alone. They need our support.

Tom Davis is one of those people who has chosen to bridge the distance and make a difference. We can too. Tom's ministries offer countless ways to help. Some big, some small.

I pray that one day I too can spend time in Africa serving those who have captured the very essence of the faith I profess, but fail so miserably to live out on a daily basis.

While I can go weeks without stopping to thank God for His abundant blessing within my life, these people rely on God for every single provision in their lives, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that they thank our Heavenly Father for even the smallest blessing. I have so much more to learn...

I can't imagine turning this precious little boy away hungry. Can you?
This little boy's foot is broken and he's lost feeling in it as well. We are so blessed to have swarms of doctors to choose from and pharmacies to purchase medical supplies.

This beautiful girl is named Nobile. Tom wrote about a girl by this name in his life changing book Red Letters: Living A Faith That Bleeds. If you haven't grabbed a copy yet (as I've written about it before), I highly suggest you do. Anyhow, I'm not sure if this is the same girl or not. But this precious girl is the head of her household and cares for her two younger siblings (photographed below.) Both of their parents died of AIDS.

Look at the joy on her face, amidst the burdens she's carrying. I pray the support Tom's team is able to raise will brings smiles to the younger children's faces and allow Nobile the opportunity to enjoy being a child again.

This sweet girl's eyes hit me at the core of my heart. I have a daughter close to her age. The thought of leaving Sara again an orphan is simply not an option. Our family is blessed with friends who have volunteered to raise our children in the event that both Geoff and I leave this world before they are grown. We have been blessed with resources to take care of their future financial needs. We also have incredible medical insurance and care to prevent an untimely death from diseases that others in the world die daily from.

Another day, and I'm humbled once again and more profoundly. God is GOOD. In the midst of suffering and seemingly hopeless situations, God is working. God is moving our hearts and aligning them with His to bring hope and life to those who desperately need it. He's giving us opportunities to push through our own excuses and stop wasting our days on things that only last awhile. He's calling us to invest our time and money into things that will withstand eternity, the very things that our Savior invested Himself in when He walked this earth among man.

I encourage you to join the adventure. You will NEVER regret your decision and you will NEVER be the same.

It's in allowing myself to see the need and feel the pain that define LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Sweet blessings,

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