"I have long dreaded the thought of getting to the end of life and regretting that I allowed my own timidity or other people's expectations to determine the course of my life. I decided that several of my beliefs should determine the course of my life...I believe that the Creator, has an epic script into which my minute presence has been written." - Steve Saint
On Sunday night, I watched this You Tube video. These photos were taken recently on the other side of the world where a civil war has broken out between two ethnic groups. These are real pictures...real people...real destruction...real tragedy...real evil...real sorrow.
As the video played, tears rolled down the cheeks of a young woman who has lived there. Her children call this home, and they are soon to return. How would you prepare a four year old for these images?
Mathiang was with us watching the horror. He has lived it...except in Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of children escaping by foot to save their own lives. Walking across three countries to safety. What the images on the You Tube video must have caused him to remember... His own story is gut-wrenching. He lost three sisters and three brothers in the War in Sudan in which over 2 million people were killed. Two million people! But we, here in protected America, never heard about it on the news. Two million people - wiped off the face of the earth. Slaughtered in a few short years, but this was not newsworthy.
Do we realize how sheltered we are from the rest of the world? Our posh lives and self indulgence numb us to the pain we choose not to see. Why?
While we are having our hair colored, checking e-mail or Facebook, buying new decor for our over sized house - do we even stop to think about what is happening in the rest of the world? How far are we willing to extend our reality? Honestly, now that we are in the adoption process, my mind travels the globe often. My heart has been softened to pray for those beyond the scope of our nation.
Tonight as we were driving home, we passed an "Emergency Pet Clinic." Newly constructed with very modern appeal. (I wish I'd taken a picture.) I suppose veterinarians work there 24/7 in case there is a pet emergency. While passing the clinic, these images passed through my mind.
A nurse on our team taking a woman's blood pressure and the pharmacy...
In Ghana, West Africa, where Overcomer is waiting, the hospitals are extremely scarce. These two photos were taken on a mission trip there. You are seeing the traveling hospital and pharmacy. Some people walked for three days to be seen by a doctor. THREE DAYS OF WALKING and we quibble if our appointment here is 10 minutes overdue! These clinics were held outside, under trees and open pavilions. Ghanaian doctors traveled to remote villages in order to give the needed care. Many of these people had not seen a doctor for over three years, because their only method of transportation is their feet. The hospital we visited in Ghana was open to the elements (no mosquito nets, screens, or windows). It was unsanitary - even in the operating room. The hospital pharmacy contained bottles labeled with masking tape on the shelf. As for private rooms, there were none. Twenty or so people to a room. Words can not describe the conditions.
Medical care is unavailable for the majority of people in third world countries. Nothing for diseases that could be cured with a vaccination, proper treatment, or medication. Yet, we have an emergency room to take our dogs and cats. We care for our animals more than God's precious children. Animals over living, breathing people. Is this reflective of the heart of God?
Years ago in Jamaica I became ill while on a mission trip. A nurse on our team sought a thermometer to check my fever. Ladies and gentlemen, there was ONE thermometer for a village of 250 people. ONE! Not a doctor or clinic within 60 miles.
Americans are frustrated over the expected changes in our reliable, available, affordable (but we complain) medical care here in our country. Wake up and look beyond our borders, beyond the oceans. Open our eyes Lord! Help us realize! Help us show your mercy and love!
Jesus answered by telling a story. "There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
"A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I'll pay you on my way back.'
"What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?"
"The one who treated him kindly," the religion scholar responded.
Jesus said, "Go and do the same."
Luke 10:30-37 MSG
If this parable had been written about you, which character would you be upon meeting the Samaritan (Guatemalan, Jamaican, Ghanaian, Ethiopian,...) in need? Would you be the good Samaritan, the one whom Jesus refers to as the one who "became a neighbor to the man." Aren't we supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves? What can you do to be a blessing to others? What can I?
Please know as I've typed this my heart has been convicted. My heavy typing finger is pointing back at me.
We are a family who loves Jesus. We have followed him to the faraway land of Ghana, West Africa. We know He led us here for His purpose - for His name to be great among the nations. (Psalm 46:10) We are here for His glory alone.
By sharing a glimpse into our lives through our posts we give this permanent disclaimer: Nothing written here is to exalt ourselves. We desire for everything we do, say, think, write, or share to be for God's glory alone. We know this life is not about us, and do not ever wish to make it so. We are not trying to share our "experience." We are not trying to pose for pictures. We are not trying to make you think we are doing something we are not. We are broken, imperfect people made complete through the grace of Christ. There is nothing special about us - except the Lord we follow. We want all glory, honor, and praise to go to whom it is due - Jesus.
Sometimes we may write things that are hard to read. It's not our purpose to offend anyone or impose guilt. Life in Ghana is vastly different from life in America. Sometimes when you read about the struggles of your fellow brother, we hope you are propelled to pray. This blog is our avenue to share how God is revealing more of His heart to us. In the process, God allows us to see deeper into our own. It gets ugly sometimes. We are humbled that He has allowed us to be hands and feet of His work. For this, we rejoice in God's boundless grace.
If you accept the terms of this blog - please feel free to read and enjoy. It's not about us.
"But as for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except for the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through him, and I have been crucified to the world." - Galatians 6:14
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