Monday, February 23, 2009


I just read the following this morning in the introduction to a book called Red Letters by Tom Davis. It says so clearly what I have been thinking and feeling for years now but have been to inarticulate (or too judgmental or too weak) to put down in words. So I'm just going to copy it right here. It is truth.

"An Apology...

The Christian church owes an apology to the almost fifty million individuals in our world currently infected with HIV/AIDS.

Those of us who claim to follow Christ's teachings should be ashamed for what little we've done to help the countless millions of women, children, and orphans who have died or are dying. Entire nations are going up in flames while we watch them burn.

Bono and the supporters of the ONE campaign are right to use words like "crisis" and "emergency" when talking about the situation in Africa. The continent is on fire with AIDS, and unless drastic action is taken, entire countries will be wiped off the face of the planet by this disease.

Sadly, the church has been slow to act in response to this crisis. Like the priest and the Levite of Jesus' parable, we have passed by the man on the side of the road, too busy or too "holy" to involve ourselves in lending a helping hand.

Africa is indeed on fire. But as we argue or fuss about how it started and who should be saved first, thousands more children are orphaned each day. Every hour, another one thousand children will die. Did you know that you are just a short plane ride away from a world where eight-year-old girls prostitute themselves for food?

The true state of emergency lies within the church- it lies within us. It's our problem. We can't leave Africa's children lying by the side of the road as we pass on by.

...History will judge our generation by how we responded to those in need. History will judge the church by how it responded. We have an opportunity to show the world what it truly means to be Christ-followers.

We can make a difference. We can change the world. When we lead with compassion, we can move from apology to action. And out of action springs hope- hope and life.

So, for our mistakes... I am sorry. But for our potential, for the impact you and I can have on a world in need... I am hopeful."

Please do not think that I write this from a place of "I'M doing something... what are YOU doing???" Not at all. Indeed if you know me even a little you know that my hesitation and reluctance at accepting this huge task have been embarrassing to me. I've been mortified to face the fact that I AM the one in Jesus' parable who has looked the other way and walked on by. Yes, in my heart I have cared, cared deeply. But guess what? Caring doesn't really help anyone. It's like loving someone but never telling them that you do- it simply doesn't count. The only thing that counts is doing something. And not just talking about how much you care. Demonstrating that care. Sacrificing my cushy life so that someone else might have life. Period.

Africa is our neighbor. And Jesus said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. He even said this was the second most important commandment, right after loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. We are failing at this command. We have to change. I have to change.

God- help me change. Help me to live simply so that others might simply live.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Paperwork Round 1 and a Question

Well... I just came from the FedEx office where I mailed a TON of paperwork to Gladney! I have been working out of this file box for 6 weeks now and had it all labeled in the three groups Gladney suggested... but I finished them all around the same time so I just mailed them ALL together! Is it weird that I felt a little attached to the paperwork? Like I was a little scared to let it go? Not scared that I didn't do it right, just like I enjoyed having it around as a reminder of what we are doing. Strange, huh? But off it goes and will be at the Gladney office at 10:30am tomorrow!

It's all starting to get very real and exciting to me. Not real in an "I'm freaking out again" kind of way- real in a very sweet and precious way. Like my heart is finally where it needs to be. I'm excited!!!

I've been praying a lot for my children's mother. I can't explain the connection I feel with her. I know that if she is still living she has a very deep ache in her heart knowing that she cannot raise her children. Just put yourself in those shoes for a moment. Knowing that you cannot raise your children- either because of your health, unimaginable poverty, or any circumstance at all. It must be the worst feeling in the world. When I try to put myself in that situation (which I cannot manage for more than a few seconds without crying) I know that my heart's deepest cry would be for someone to take care of my kids- to love them and feed them and clothe them and give them a home... and to above all let them know how deeply, achingly deeply they were loved by me. Are other mothers around the world any different? The luck of our birth put us in different and unfair circumstances, but I believe mothers are the same everywhere. We love our children and devote our very lives to them. We live for them. Ensuring that they are equipped to be all that they are meant to be is the very purpose for our existence. Imagine not being able to do that- what fear and what dread that must create. I feel a sisterhood- a kinship with this woman. I hope I am able to learn a lot of information about her so that I can pass that on to her/my children someday. I know they will one day want to know all they can about this woman who gave them life and then had to give them up. I already feel obligated to her- indebted to her. Like I need to be a better person for her. Her kids deserve to be loved and taken care of and cherished, and the person who deserves to be able to do that is HER. I will never forget that. But since she, my sister, cannot have that privilege, I must do my best to pick up where she will leave off. Her heart is crying out for someone, some family to come along and love her children and raise them since she cannot.

If not my family, then who?

Selam! G'day! Hello!