Monday, June 22, 2009

South Africa!

“Fulfillment does not lie in comfort, ease, and following one’s inclinations, but precisely in allowing demand to be made upon you, in taking the harder path. Everything else turns out somehow boring, anyway. Only the man/woman who risks the fire, who recognizes a calling within himself/herself, a vocation, an ideal he/she must satisfy, who takes on real responsibility, will find fulfillment. As we have said it is not in taking, not on the path of comfort, that we become rich, but only in giving (Pope Benedict XVI).”

I want to be fulfilled. I want to see real change happen in my life and the lives of those around me. I believe that it is possible to see transformation in my life and in the lives of those around me. I have much hope that God is a transforming God and that my life will be involved in seeing lives changed for the better.

This past week, I started working at an orphanage and a school for at-risk youth. I will spend part of my time at the orphanage and part of my time at the School of Hope. Here is a picture of me holding two of the beautiful babies who are HIV positive and abandoned by their mothers.
At the School of Hope, students are coming from all different difficult home/growing up lives and poverty. These students are brilliant, lovely, and facing extremely stressful and traumatic upbringings. The students have the potential to do anything with their lives if they are able to overcome the obstacles and circumstances that they are facing to find their true identities and their gifting. As I continue my journey, you will be hearing and seeing more of the lives of these amazing students.

It can be overwhelming to face the complexity of their lives and problems on one hand and the simplicity of what can unravel the interweaving of problems. They have an interweaving of emotional, physical, and spiritual baggage. The most easily identified problem is the poverty that they are facing externally. However, the external poverty is mirrored and stems from the poverty that they face internally. The brokenness and poverty of growing up in broken homes, abuse, drug addiction, incest, and rape rips and destroys their souls and spirits. The simplicity of what can unravel them is love. Love covers a multitude of sins, love conquers death, and love is the antithesis of poverty and brokenness. I believe that in the anointing and power of the love of God, desperate places of peoples’ lives can be restored.

I believe that I will learn a lot and be challenged and transformed in my own life. I believe God will change certain mindsets and understandings that I have grown up with based upon my circumstances. God does not want anyone to live based off their circumstances. We are all called to live by faith and not by sight. I believe that I have in some ways relied so much on my circumstances that I have not understood or had faith that God is beyond anyone’s circumstance.