Monday, April 11, 2011

Through Their Eyes

In an age where information is literally everywhere, on the internet, Facebook, Twitter, Television, pretty much anywhere you can turn your head, the only privacy one has left is in their own head. Which, if I am being completely honest, is where I like to keep it. I have often heard from people that I don't post enough Blogs, FB status's or tweets about personal things, just scriptures and quotes. What can I say, I'm a words person, it's one of my two love languages. Words, scriptures, quotes, they encourage and inspire me, so I share what touches me; I like sharing them with others, in the hopes (not expectation) they might encourage others. Transparency is important to me, particularly in my walk with God, so there is nothing I won't share if I am asked, but if I am true to myself, I just won't always put it on the internet. 

This post however, is definitely transparent. It has taken months to write and countless conversations from my friends and loved ones.

God placed something on my heart, heavily, on my last mission trip to Africa. At first it was sort of a subtle whisper, in fact I could barely hear it despite my desperation in understanding why I was feeling this deep pull. At first I just began to pray, asking God, "why did you bring me here," and "what could I possibly do to make a difference?" As time passed, this "heavy" feeling kept weighing on me until I couldn't ignore it any longer. Then, God began dropping His mountain-sized hints, in some of the craziest ways. Honestly, I'm not sure how Moses kept his wits about him standing before a burning bush. I, myself, was spectacularly less calm and composed. At first I ignored, then I denied calling it "crazy" and finally, I threw in the towel. He's God. I'm just a girl. He has me beat by a HUGE technicality. So I threw crazy out of my vocabulary, began praying intently, and waited for God to move. Well, He moved.

I have always been drawn to stories, particularly true, real-life stories. Stories of struggle, joy, more so, triumph. In all my experiences, it has always been people's stories that have had the most impact on others.  So, when I looked into the eyes of the children in Africa, when I heard their stories, they impacted me greatly and I wanted to know more, and more importantly I wanted to share them with others. I feel we live in a world numb to statistics. I can tell you that there are 147,000,000 orphans, or that some 27,000 children die every day of starvation, or even 100,000 people live in an area of Eastern Africa where they search through a local trash dump for food and scraps to sell. But, if I show you a picture, tell you one particular child's story, it has a deeper impact; it's personal. I believe that is exactly what God wants, for them to be as personal to us as they are to Him. With that in mind, He has given me the idea to create a ministry called ThroughTheirEyes, with the vision that every face has a name, every name has a story, and every story has an impact. I will start in Ethiopia and perhaps some surrounding East African countries. 

In this new chapter of ministry/life God has called me to, the ministry and vision that God has given me has been adopted by the Board of Directors of a new non-profit missionary sending organization called Project World Mission (their website is under construction). This means I will be employed through Project World Mission and they will send and support me as a missionary to Africa! Project World Mission’s vision is to “Preach the Gospel, Of the Kingdom, To the World (Matthew 24:14).”
The Project World Mission ministry project that will be started in Africa will be the ministry and calling God placed on my life, called ThroughTheirEyes. In keeping with the vision statement of Project World Mission, the ministry project ThroughTheirEyes will seek to first and foremost proclaim the Gospel of Jesus to those in Ethiopia and the surrounding countries. In addition to this primary vision, the 6 to 12 month overseas assignment will also seek to develop other ministry partnerships by working alongside existing churches or orphanages, and/or working with other like-minded Christ-Followers in the area. In short, the focus will be on building relationships and potential future ministry partners, as well as telling the story of the people of Ethiopia/Africa to the body of Christ here in the United States. I trust that this will in turn result in advancing the gospel of God’s love to the Ethiopian people and surrounding areas. With God the possibilities of ministry are endless, and I look forward to what we can and will do with this international assignment.

I feel completely inadequate, but repeat (and quite frequently I might add) the first scripture that came to mind when God put this on my heart: For consider your calling, brothers, not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, 1 Corinthians 1:26-28. 

I'm a little scared too, if I am being honest. It's a faith-journey like none other for me, leaving home, fundraising and trusting every need for this calling will be met, but more important than my fleshly fears, I want to help. I want to make a difference. I want to be challenged and more than this "I " focus, want for THEM to know the love of Christ. I want for others to know the incredible grace that we as believers have been given. I want children who are orphaned to know His love, to have food in His name, to have clothes, medical care, and education, in His name. And this Hope, I deeply desire for everyone to know, has no price tag with which I can put on it. 

I don't have everything figured out, I don't know every step I will take, but this journey is about faith. I don't have to see, I just have to trust. And, God, I trust You.
I simply ask for encouragement and prayers through this journey, as I know this won't be easy. To quote Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer, "I don't need easy, I just need possible." There are a lot of unknowns in this, but one incredibly amazing, beautiful, known..with God, all things are possible. Matthew 9:26

No comments:

Post a Comment

Through Their Eyes

Munchkin Land Designs
Papers by Laura Deacetis