Thursday, February 03, 2011

Here I Am, Lord!

Be careful what you pray for...we've probably all heard that before, but I'm understanding more about the power of this prayer.

At Thanksgiving, I read an editorial in the Seattle Times that talked about being thankful as not being enough. The writer said we have to do something--another challenge to the many others I had already encountered during the past year. It all started when I read The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision. I had heard his passionate message at a Women of Faith gathering.

We have to do something about poverty and injustice in our world--not just talk about it. So I started praying the Here-I-am-Lord, send-me prayer. How can I help? What can I do?

Randy and I have been sponsoring children in Brazil for more than twenty years--but somehow, it doesn't seem like enough.

Then one day before Thanksgiving, Kennedy Muricho, a young pastor from Kenya, introduced himself via Facebook.

"I saw your Facebook page, and I wanted to meet you," he wrote.

I answered him, always amazed at how small our world is, how connected we are because of the Internet.

"You are an answer to my prayers, Mum," he emailed back. And suddenly, I had an adopted "son" in Kenya. Not just a "son", but a small village of children, too! Ken is caring for 19 orphans, ages 3-18 who have lost their parents because of AIDS. They live in a two-room building, where Ken says the conditions are "kind of congested."

He sent me a picture, and now these children are real. They're on the wall on my bulletin board at home, not just anonymous faces on cards asking for sponsors. Their pictures say more than any words could.

On some level, we all know the needs of the poor are enormous--beyond anything we can comprehend when we've hardly ever been wanting in our country. I can't remember a time when I was hungry...I mean really hungry. But when we read books such as The Hole in Our Gospel, we have to ask the hard questions. What can I do, Lord? I want to--no, I must do more!

Sometimes, I feel like helping Ken and his kids is way beyond my means. I'm only one person, but I'm convinced even one person can make a difference.

Then I remember a quote the agency we've been supporting placed on their correspondence: To the world you might be one person, but to one person, you just might be the world.

Dear Jesus, help me be the world to Pastor Ken and his kids in Kenya!

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