Monday, April 28, 2014

Passion, Conviction & Doubt Whispers

A few weeks ago I announced I would be joining a team in China to serve in an orphanage. The decision was a surprise to me and everyone else. In a matter of a few minutes, in the time it took my husband to pick up a pizza, God worked in me to say YES to Him. He equipped me to blind myself to my usual "comfort zone issues." You see, I have never went camping. The idea of the hardship of camping and the yuckiness of roughing it outweighs the potential beauty of nature I might encounter. I also abhor stickiness, smelly stuff and general ick. Yet when called to go to serve I didn't hesitate. I didn't think about those things. What went through my mind? I needed to God to grow me more. He has asks me to do hard things and has blessed me. I have seen tangible proof of God's work in my life. It hasn't always been rainbows and unicorns. There have been significant costs. I gave up a lot of freedom in this lifetime. What is the cost of freedom? The cost of my freedom from the eternal flames of hell was Jesus giving His life in the most horrific way. I can NEVER repay the debt. I am not trying to earn my way to heaven. It has already been paid for at a great cost. Jesus has asked us to be His hands and feet. To love and help those who cannot help themselves.

This little boy lives in China. For reasons which cannot be made public, he will never be eligible for adoption. He will never know the love of a family. The only opportunity for children like this little boy and even the nannies to ever know of God's love is for the Gospel in real life action lived out to come to them. I first read about his story here and it was just one more confirmation God was calling me to go.

Lately doubt has been clouding my thoughts. I have let the craziness of life distract me from putting on the full armor of God and I have been vulnerable. The area I have been attacked is whether or not I should self-fund this mission trip. Every penny it seems, when a person fund-raises, whether it be for an adoption, mission trip or charity event is scrutinized. Some discernment when donating to such causes is responsible. A person should  make sure money is being used for what it is supposed to be. Charities need to be transparent. There is a fine line, however between discernment and judgement. Judgement should be left to God. Some how though, when it comes to donations, it's acceptable to judge the recipient.  I've seen adoptive families judged for eating out or driving a reliable vehicle. I've heard whispers about church leaders who drive cars which are too luxurious. Judgment which typically comes with out having all the facts. It's beyond painful for those who are attacked.
This week I wanted to give up. To withdraw my spot on the team and hold my application fee over until I could fund the trip, perhaps in a few years, on my own. I thought about a personal loan or a credit card. I realized then I would be robbing God and those chosen to be blessed in my journey. I would be robbing God of his glory. I would be taking the easy way out by giving up.

Journeys like adoptions and mission trips and ministry all have one huge component. They cost money. Raising money is sometimes part of the faith journey. To rely completely on God and to do some hard work.  I propose to do the hard work. I am planning two fund raising yard sales this summer. I taking individual and family portraits with all proceeds directly going towards my trip.
I am not asking you to fund ME. I am asking you to share in the blessing of what God plans to do with this trip. I am asking you to come along, in the comfort of your own home to share in God's amazing plan of bringing LOVE to those who don't yet know it. I am allowing you to share in the blessings. I am NOT giving up! 
That little boy is worth it. The people I will meet and serve are worth it. Pray for me and my "armor" to with stand those fiery darts. Pray for me and those who will support my efforts. Pray for my ears to be deafened to those judgmental whispers and self doubt. To quote a dear friend Jane, pray for those waiting to see "God with skin,"

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