This morning, I spent quite a bit of time editing through sponsor update cards. We send these cards to sponsors giving them updated information about the child(ren) they sponsor. Gathering updates for each child is quite an undertaking: A staff or team member partners with a translator in our orphanages and ministry locations and sits with each and every sponsored child gathering updated information and pictures to share with their sponsors. The information and pictures are then brought back to the USA where our sponsorship coordinator, Sarah Addy, compiles the information and pictures into well worded cards for the sponsors. My job, as editor, is to read through the cards and edit the mistakes or typos before the cards are printed and sent on their way to the refrigerators or tabletops of compassionate sponsors…many of whom are you!
What I can't get over is how this editing process effects me. My plan today was to spend a couple hours editing and then move on to other items needing my attention. I finished the editing and just can't seem to get the faces and the stories out of my mind. Stories like…
* Kout who lost his brother and sister this year because their family didn't have enough medicine.
* Lawoon whose parents are both away working in Thailand. He hasn't seen or heard from them in seven months. The angry look on his face conveys more than mere words ever could.
* Mao Seo who dreams of becoming a doctor but believes that only men can become doctors. I fear her dream will quickly fade.
* Na who lost his twin sister this year and barely keeps his composure during his interview. He can often be found sharing his food from our school's feeding program, with other children in the village because he doesn't want anyone to feel hungry.
* Noun…a sweet girl who wants to be a construction worker when she grows up because construction workers always have rice.
The stories and faces go on and on. Sometimes leading the organization of LightBridge means I can get lost in the challenges of leadership: Carefully working through issues in our locations; thinking and praying through our plans and our missiology as an organization; sharing with donors about ways to support our ongoing work; reporting and planning with our Board of Directors; keeping tabs on our finances and how best to use them; leading our small team of staff and indigenous workers…. All of those things have to happen and are happening. But sometimes, like today, I hit a block in my work. It's a block where the humanity of it all jolts my heart and flings me back to the realization of why we do what we do. Like a rubber band released from it's tension-filled stance, I'm jolted to look straight into the flesh and blood of it all. The faces. The pictures. The stories. They level me afresh.
~My heart grieves for the kids who have lost siblings this year. Those siblings should have had access to the medicine that could have saved their young lives.
~My soul grieves for the kids whose parents are absent for months at a time. Those kids shouldn't have to fend for themselves in a place so harsh and dangerous.
~My mind recoils to hear sweet little girls hoping to be construction workers when they grow up. These girls should be able to dream of more than only hard manual labor as a way to have rice to eat.
~My emotions twist to hear of kids sharing the only meal they get in our feeding program with others that are hungry. I want for there to be enough for all of them, not just a few…
Today, I'm stopping to linger on these faces. I'm lingering on their stories. And while I linger, I'm asking the Lord to work in powerful ways in the lives of these children. I'm asking Him to reveal more of Himself to them. I'm asking Him to meet their needs TODAY. And I'm asking Him to use this jolt in new ways in my heart. I'm trusting His heart for all of these kids. Would you join me in lingering and praying today? Perhaps take a minute to read one of the sponsor cards above and pray over a specific child. Or maybe take a few minutes, right now, to pray over the children in our orphanages and village school.
Thank you for praying with us. Your prayers matter and are having an impact both now and for eternity!