I had the chance to catch up this week with someone I consider a very old friend. It was only after we got to reminiscing that we realized we had only know each other a year. WOW! How much things change in such a short period of time. Brandi and I met here in blogworld and our relationship was supposed to be one-dimensional: advocating for a village of 600 orphans in Ngariam, Uganda. Le and I were in the very beginning of our paperchase with our adoption, I was working like a fiend, Le and I were the back row Christians at church and my relationship with people and especially Jesus were on the back burner. I was lukewarm and it was the perfect temperature for me. I thought my life was perfect.
But the Lord knows me better than I know myself and He knows what I need. I'm not that perceptive.
I agreed to go meet a handful of women in Cincinnati in August of 2009 and those women helped change and our relationships became anything but one dimensional. I left Ohio and for the first time in a long time, I stopped running from my destiny, my true self and my God. I promised to be obedient whatever that would be. I blogged about that here. I came home with an even bigger determination to see Ngariam sponsored. And I had a new lease on who Jesus thought I was.
Westmoore Community Church signed up to sponsor 600 orphans and to date there are only 35 unsponsored. And Le and I slowly moved from the back row the front; not just at church but in our lives too. Advocating for not only our children but those of kids we had never met brought a vigor back into our relationship and changed our preconceived ideas for what we thought we wanted out of life. We were dreaming about making the trip to Uganda, setting aside money and checking things off our travel list. We were going to travel there and set the world on fire for Ngariam with just our two little candles.
And right now across the world in Ngariam, Uganda, a group of my fellow churchgoers are falling in love with a village that I have never seen. I'm here in Oklahoma, sitting at my desk. Their adventures are amazing, heart wrenching and all a part of what God wants them to experience. People have asked me all week if I am jealous or sad that I am not there with them. I am, but deep down I knew that I was never going to make this trip. Ngariam was on my heart so that passion could spread to someone else and those people could help ignite a bigger fire. My obedience was in just saying "yes God". "I will do it." "I will go where you send, even if that ISN'T Uganda". That's the thing about obedience. It doesn't require argument. Just action.
When our team gets back, their passion will spread and those 35 unsponsored kids will find sponsors and an entire congregation will slowly be set aflame for orphans, poverty, sex trafficking and injustice.
I'm just one candle, but together, we're building a bonfire.
If you want to read an AMAZING post from the spiritual leader on the trip to Ngariam, Sean Gutteridge, go here. Just have the tissues handy and be ready to have your candle lit.