Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dad Doesn't Love Me

Once, I went on a trip with the youth of our church to a small village of indigenous people in an unreached part of Panama. I weighed my highest weight ever when we took that trip and it hindered me. I hurt my knees jumping rope with local kids and then couldn't help with any of the building/clearing/ cleaning aspects of the trip.

 God met me in such crazy ways during the times when I had to sit out. And He provided opportunities in it. I was able to help a local missionary improve on her guitar enough to lead worship. I saw God in His creation in ways I never had, because I spent so much time just sitting and watching. The thunderstorms were SO powerful- and a glimpse into the great power and might of God. The sunsets/sunrises were so pure (no colors from pollution) and the most beautiful I've ever seen. They reminded me of His untainted beauty. I had time to practice sharing Jesus in Spanish, singing in Spanish, and praying for our team, the missionaries, and the locals we were meeting. I believe God used that time that I had felt like I had nothing to give others to shape me in mighty ways.

One of the opportunities I had, was to teach some of the children (in Spanish) how God, Our Creator, can be known to us because of Jesus. One day, I was flipping through a small book about Jesus with some boys and said, "Daddy loves you. Yes?" and one of the boys said, "No. I have no Dad. He doesn't love me." It was common there for men to marry multiple women and leave them once they had several children. These boys did not know a Father who stays, who loves, and certainly not one who pursues them to draw them near to Himself. It was heartbreaking. All I knew to do was pray and cry. I cried out to God (in a broken mix of Spanish and English) asking Him to care for them. I begged Him to raise up boys in their generation who would experience His love in extravagant ways and be husbands and fathers who model it someday. And then I had to leave. It broke my heart. I have not forgotten them. I keep a picture nearby and pray for them and others like them often. It reminds me why we do what we do. And it reminds me that God never leaves us.
Praying I never forget they need Jesus
I really can't imagine spending my life any other way than helping local churches/believers worldwide to share His love daily. I never want to love my things so much that I buy more when I could give more. I never want to be consumed by fun and comfort and forget kids like these boys who have no one to love them and teach them of God who loves them with unfailing and unending love.

God's been reminding me lately of some of these glimpses He's allowed me to see and I feel encouraged to "stay wrecked". I don't want to fall back into my old lifestyle and forget. I want to remember. I want to take huge steps of faith to show His love worldwide. How could I do anything else now that I know His extravagant love other than to tell anyone I can? God's glory will go out to the ends of the Earth. He has promised that. And I LOVE that. I am so thankful for the way He sought me and the people He used to preach to me and teach me about His great love and salvation. I want to tell everyone here in my daily life and go wherever He leads! I want to trust Him and depend on Him fully and watch Him do His mighty and amazing work in the hearts of those who were once far from Him. In my daily living (my giving, my prayers, how I spend my time, etc.) and someday, in my dying, I pray that Christ may be glorified and His name known throughout the world.

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