No matter what form the Power of God assumes, it is a humbling thing to behold. Seeing the throngs of people, churches from across the nation, both Christian and secular organizations, and the strength and force of the solid infrastructure our U.S. government provides in the aftermath of Sandy is a beautiful example of God at work in our midst mending what is broken. I, as many of you are, pray for those devastated by these storms and praise God for using all of these efforts to care for the people along our East Coast. Thanks to these judicial, valiant, and quick actions, we can take solace in knowing that our infrastructure will be restored in due order. Of course, I am speaking of houses, subways, and material possession. Hearts and homes will need much more time, and the healing will come only in the loving arms of our Savior.
When we experience short-term crisis, including severe ones God—even as He tends our wounds and restores our hearts—desires that we give thanks, and remember those who live their entire lives oppressed by the engine of evil that seeks to rob the very Glory God planted in each of us. This is why the Scriptures are pepper-sprayed with the command to care for the least of these, especially the widows and abandoned orphans—the ones born into the winds of chaos and destruction and who have never known the power of governmental infrastructure, local churches, and other organizations banding together to protect them.
As I prepare to go to the East Coast in just a few days, I draw comfort that God grieves in all our suffering. I feel a deep sorrow for all the loss, and at the same time, know I am entering Holy Ground to participate in it in any way He invites and allows me/us to. Pondering our loss close to home, I find myself wondering, “What would it, I, we, be like if this sort of crisis—or worse—is ALL I/we had ever known. What would I believe? Would I trust there was anyone who cared for me at all? Would I be able to find a reason that my life even mattered? Could I seek a God I couldn’t see, and Who seemed had never cared for or protected me?”
As I pray for our nation’s crisis, I also remember the least of the least, and try to imagine what is judicial even in such pain. As you know, we’ve been working hard on building the first high school ever in Darfur! Our children, who have worked hard for eight years now to finish primary and middle school, anxiously watching foundations being dug, bricks being made, and plans rolling out. There are rumors throughout the surrounding villages, “Will the Christians really do this? I know they taught those orphans to read, but a high school would make them more educated than most of our current leaders. Can this dream come true?”
Honestly, from here in the U.S., we’ve asked ourselves those same questions. At times, the task feels daunting…and then we remember, like stones from the river Jordon, all the rough water God has led us safely through thus far!
Recently, we wrote about one of our partners backing out after only meeting half of their $250,000 commitment. That left us with a tough choice to make. Having only sent $125,000 of the funds to break ground, we had to chose whether to send our workers home and withdraw support from the project until we had another partner, or plow ahead, taking funds from our general funding. For a small organization like MWP, it can be quite dangerous to deplete your general funding by such a large amount. Emergencies crop up in war zones with no warning. However, we’d promised our children they’d have their high school, and I knew if we stopped the construction they might fall into despair and under the influence of doubt so pervasive in the surrounding villages. Having given our word, we decided to move forward in faith in spite of our fear. We wired the $125,000 needed to purchase the next round of supplies.
The next week, we received a grant from an organization for guess what…$125,000!
A few days later, a fellow author and radio personality, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, of All Things Southern called me. She had recently read Passport through Darkness, and as a result decided to dedicate her annual fundraiser (Thirty Days of Thankfulness) toward our children’s high school! She is calling on ALL authors and bloggers to write about the high school, specifically asking their readers to offer thanksgiving this year by making the dream of orphans come true! So far, the list is amazing! And, isn’t it wonderful to see the authors who you love to read passionate about the same things you are!
- Randy Alcorn - website - facebook
- Shellie Rushing Tomlinson - facebook
- Becky Johnson – website - blog
- Melissa K. Norris - website - facebook
- Robin Patchen - facebook
- Kimberly Vargas - blog
- Anita Agers-Brooks - blog
- Rachel Hauck – website
- Nicole Seitz - website
- Joanna Harris - blog
- Julie Cantrell - website, blog, facebook
- Faye Bryant - website - facebook, blog
- Dena Dyer - website, facebook
- Kimberly L. Smith - website, facebook, blog
- Lisa Wingate - website, facebook, blog
- Judy Christie - website
Beth Webb Hart - website
Please click here to offer your thanksgiving offering, and make the dream of orphans come true!
Love, your sister along the journey,