By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going (Hebrews 11:8 NIV).
You've been "there," haven't you? You've accepted a job offer that requires a move that you believe is necessary, but you are not sure all that it entails? You decided to get married and you've tried to prepare yourself, but you know that you don't really have a clue all that marriage means? You've decided to have children, but you realized that you don't know what you are doing, how much it will cost, and all that will change with your life? You've made a commitment that you intend to keep, but you have no idea what the challenges will be along the way? You've taken off on a trip and you've not really known where you were going?
At 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning, our team of 30 people boarded a small bus for the airport, headed out on a trip to bless the children of La Comunidad de Los Niños Sagrada Familia — The Community. The team knows they are headed toward Lima, Peru, but they really don't know where they are going and what lies ahead. They know they are going to help over 900 children in a special community of children, but they have no idea how much these children will grab their hearts. They know they will be teaching these children about Jesus, but don't have a clue how much fun they will have loving and playing and teaching these kids from newborn through high school age. They have seen pictures of this place and the faces of some of these children, but they don't know how it smells or how the aroma and dust of this place does more than permeate their clothing — it gets in your soul. They feel called to this special place, but they don't really know where they are going — not inside their hearts and not in their love for children. Like Abraham and Sarah, they are answering a voice inside themselves to go where God is calling them and The Community is part of that journey.
I know this because last year this is the trip Donna and I took. When we left to go to The Community for the first time, we had tried to learn as much as we could about where we were going and what we would be doing, but we really couldn't know. There was no way to understand because this place isn't just a place; it's children and the incredible and providential work of God and the movement of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of people to make an eternal difference in the lives of children. As Miguel, the founder and director of The Community told us in our orientation session last year, "This will be the happiest you have ever been to get lice and be so tired." He was right!
Even now — it is 5:00 on Saturday morning before we get to the airport — as I anticipate this year's trip, my heart yearns to be with those 3-6 year old little girls Donna and I met last year. They were our casa to teach, love, and know. Their names and faces come back to me ... they are a part of me.
I remember the nervousness I felt making the first long bus ride out to The Community where we were greeted by kiss after kiss after kiss as the children welcomed us. I remember the breakthrough with Alexandra that God used to penetrate past her broken heart and bring her back to life. I remember seeing Gladys, this mothering little girl older than the others, who snuggled up close to Donna every time I turned around. I remember Ruth and her mischievous smile and her need to be close and to be loved. I remember the little stinkers who were hard to deal with. I remember several sets of twins who were abandoned because two was too much for parents to handle. I remember the beautiful smiles of incredibly beautiful children forsaken by parents or whom death had separated from their parents, but who had found a home at The Community. They opened their hearts to us. I remember my legs cramping and shaking with 7 little girls asleep in my lap at the good bye party. And I remember Araceli crying inconsolably as we had to say good bye.
Yes, our 30 folks from ages 16 to 73 — part of the team of 98 — are going to teach, love, celebrate, and experience these children this year as they feel called to go. But, they don't really know where God is taking them. They have begun this journey, a journey of great personal expense, because they have heard the call of God and obeyed. And I can't wait to see what the Father is going to do through them, in them in Jesus name, for these children.
So I ask you:
- What has God called you to do?
- Where has God called you to go?
- When are you going to have the courage to take the risk and go?
I can't promise you answering that call will be easy or safe or inexpensive; but I do know that when you go, you will find that Jesus is there waiting for you and will work through you. His last words on earth were, "Go ... I will be with you always ... " (Matthew 28:20) even when you don't have a clue where you are going!
So say a prayer for us each day and listen for that voice inside you ... and when you hear, I hope you will go!