When I was 21 years old I traveled to Belize to participate in my first mission trip.
It was there that God broke my heart. He broke it into a million pieces and then in exchange he gave me his heart.
His heart for the orphans.
It was during one of the projects we were working on, that a little boy, attached himself to me. He followed me around, sat on my lap, and stayed by my side the whole day. He didn’t speak much, but his smile made my heart melt. I was later told that he did not have his own home and parents, instead he stayed several different places, with his aunts and uncles, neighbors, etc. during the week.
My heart shattered.
It was then that my mind and world was opened up to the millions of orphans all around the world.
I had been living blind to the problems so many children faced.
I decided when I left Belize, I will one day adopt.
When I was 17 years old my Pappy died.
I remember the day as though it was yesterday. He had been sick for two years and we all knew the day was coming. It does not matter how prepared you are though, when you lose someone you love it is always painful. I went to my mamaw’s home after school, I arrived just as the funeral home was taking my pappy’s body away. I walked to the back bedroom, my grandparent’s bedroom, where my pappy had laid for months. There was my strong and beautiful mamaw. Her face was distraught. She was in pain. She had just lost the love of her life. I felt helpless. She laid on her bed, for what seemed like hours and wailed. I could feel her pain.
When we lost my pappy, we lost a part of my mamaw as well. They were a unit. It was always mamaw and pappy. They were together all the time. Then we all had to watch helplessly as my mamaw tried to navigate a new world. One that didn’t involve my Pappy.
Married for 51 years.
I saw first hand the struggle a widow has.
The pain and heartache living without the one you love.
The uncertainty of the future.
The loneliness, even if you are standing in the same room as someone else.
My favorite book in the bible is James.
It’s only fitting that one of my favorite verses takes residency inside of this chapter.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
If you read a verse before this one it says:
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless James 1:26
Worthless religion. Even if you consider yourself religious, but you don’t be careful what you say? That’s worthless.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that James follows with the religion our God does accept. Because we can be a christian and say that we love God’s people. We can be a christian and say that we will take care of those in need. But actions are stronger than words. Actions show what is truly in your heart, while words just show what you want others to see. We make excuses for why we don’t possess God’s heart for people.
It’s to expensive.
I’m to busy.
Someone else will do it.
I know because I have made those excuses.
As christians, we need to die to ourselves every single day. We need to ask God for his heart. Because our hearts? They are selfish and flawed.
Taking care of widows and orphans.
God shows us his heart right there in this verse.
He shows us how pure and simple Christianity can and should be.
Take care of the widows and orphans.
I’m going to say it one more time.
Take care of the widows and orphans.
The ones who have no control over their circumstances. They didn’t ask to be in the situations they are in. They are the most vulnerable. Filled with heartache and pain many of us cannot understand.
How? How do we take care of the widows and orphans? It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as donating or educating. It can be as big as fostering or adopting.
It can be as easy as bringing a widow a meal. It can be joining a team to fix up her home.
There is not one way to do what God asks. Find your way.
We are in the middle of adopting a little boy from Vietnam. As many of you know, adoption is expensive. Ben and I decided we were not going to let finances be an issue with this adoption. We would work our behinds off and trust in God to provide a way to bring our son home.
When I came across Both Hands, I was ecstatic! Both Hands is an adoption fundraiser. I am sure many of you have run a 5k race or participated in some other sponsorship fundraiser. That is exactly what Both Hands is. Except instead of running a 5k race, we gather a team together and fix up a widow’s home. That is one hand.
Then Ben and I, along with our team members, send out sponsorship letters to ask for sponsorship while we work on this project. The funds go towards our adoption to bring home our son to his forever family. The other hand.
What an amazing and beautiful project to be a part of.
What a way to truly be in God’s heart.
Taking care of the Widow and Orphan.
God has led us to a Widow, whose home needs some TLC. We are excited to serve her!
If you are interested, we would LOVE for you to consider being a part of our team!
If you feel like you want to sponsor Ben and I while we work on her home, you can donate here!
Sometimes a need can seem so big, and we are only one person. You may be thinking what can I do? The truth is you can do a lot!
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. – Augustine
Love has the hands to help others.
Until next time,