Thursday, May 19, 2011

Here Am I

I got to spend a few days last week at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Louisville.  Almost 2,000 people in one place with hearts to live out the calling of James 1:27 to care for the orphan in their distress.  I had the privilege of listening to story after story of how people's lives had been wrecked, changed and influenced by choosing to take a step of faith. 

It's funny how I didn't hear many stories of how people had been caring for orphans all their lives, but rather they had been going through their days pursuing what they thought was a full life and God got ahold of them and radically redirected their paths.  That sounds a little familiar to me. :)

I heard stories of people adopting HIV+ children from Ethiopia in the midst of great criticism.  Carolyn Twietmeyer shared how she went to Ethiopia because the daughter she was in process of adopting was very ill and literally on the brink of death.  This little girl desperately needed a blood transfusion but in Ethiopia they don't give out "good blood" to people with HIV because they don't want to waste it on people who are dying.  Turns out this adoptive mom was a match for her little girl.  While she was there nursing her little girl back to health, she found out that her soon to be daughter had two other siblings living on their own in Ethiopia.  Long story short, all three siblings are now adopted and living together here in the States. Check out what this amazing family is doing to fight the stigma of HIV+ children HERE

I heard stories of churches in cities across America banding together to take in every single child in their local foster care system.  Their goal is that when a child enters the foster care system that the first call that is placed is to a local church with an active group of foster families who are ready to take in children.  It's so encouraging to see the Church rising up to do what we have been called to do.  Is it scary?  Yes.  Does it require sacrifice? Absolutely.  But, what is life really if not the laying down of our own lives for others?

I heard a pro football player share about how God moved in his heart and he and his wife have now adopted around 8-10 kids...I think they have 4 biological as well.  He is using his influence with his teammates to create adoption funds for families who cannot afford to adopt. 

There was so much love represented in that room of people.  So much sacrifice.  So much joy.  So much passion.  This is the beauty of what happens when God transforms our hearts to beat as His does.  The cost doesn't seem steep anymore...sacrifice becomes the very thing we chase after because it draws us close to the heart of God.  As we watch these precious little lives being transformed before our eyes, we are reminded that God has done that very thing for us. 

Psalm 40:1-3 says: "I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."

There are around 150 million or so orphans in the world today stuck in the slimy pit of abandonment, abuse, disease, loneliness and worthlessness. Their hearts are broken.  Many feel hopeless. And God's answer for them is you.  It's me.  It's people willing to break out of their comfort, their financial security, their routine, their safety, and engage with the children who are crying out to be seen. 

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” - Isaiah 6:8

I am so often guilty of not uttering those words - "Send Me!".  I sit back because it seems others are doing the work and meeting the needs.  But God knows that us saying "Send Me" is just as much about what He wants and needs to do in our own lives as it is about how He wants to use us in the lives of His little ones who are broken and hurting.  "Send Me" should be the cry of my heart because it will lead me into deeper knowledge of who God is and fullness of life.

I pray for a release from selfishness, fear and comfort for us.  I pray that we will start asking God what He wants us to do for His children who have been discarded like trash, who are suffering because of circumstances out of their control.  As we say "Here am I.  Send me!" may our confidence rest in the God who heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.


  1. HERE. AM. I.




    beautiful post, as always. sent it to several of whom is struggling with criticism of her adoption of an HIV positive little one.

    love, g

  2. I'm that friend! Thanks G for sending me here, and thanks Amy for writing that encouragement and call! Our adoption is at such a bureaucratic standstill that between that, and the criticism we've received, I'm quite heart broken these days.


  3. I've been pondering that verse from Isaiah today and even mentioned this same verse to a friend, this is a confirmation from God.

    Great post!!

  4. Tova,
    I have so much respect for your family for adopting a child with HIV. Most of the time, doing what is right and being obedient to what God asks of us is never easy. You are living out the cost that is involved with tapping in to the heart of God and I have to believe that He will reward you for your perseverance. Praying for encouragement for you and your sweet little one who is stuck in red tape. Our God is greater! Hang in there...