September 29, 2009

A Room With a View - St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands

My little blogspot seems to have unfolded into all the things happening in my life i.e. my passion for decorating, celebrating birthdays, cooking, my travels, or just life in general. I follow other blogs that seem to have the same passions that I share, and through them I have found my way to these amazing places Be Hands and Feet and The Journey. They are woman living in Uganda as missionaries and reading their story has stirred within me something that had become dormant. One thing that I hold very dear to my heart and don't seem to talk about is God. Between finishing school and the working world I did mission work, so reading their blog was like being back on the mission field. I felt their struggles because I to have held the hand of a dying child; I also felt their joys of knowing that you are serving a God that is always by your side and works miracles through you. Last night I was looking through some photos from my time in missions, and I started reflecting on life. I have forgotten so much of what I learned living that simple life, and I am stunned at how easy the world can lure us into running circles in this rat race. It's hard to keep "your heart set on things above," and sometimes I feel that it was easier being a Christian while serving the poor in foreign countries than serving Him here at home. But home is where God has me right now, so home is where I have to strive to be a good Christian.
When I finished college I knew in my heart that doing mission work was exactly where I needed to be and the doors began flying open. I was scared, but could not ignore the burning desire to just GO. I want to share with you a story of one of my mission trips to the beautiful island of St. Vincent. I hope to never forget these moments:

We went to St. Vincent to set up a mission base to send other missionaries within our company to serve there long term. We saw so much on our trip, and I knew on the first day that God needed us here. We spent a few days at an abandoned children's hospital and the kids there captured my heart. Aids and other diseases ran rapid on the island leaving many children without a family and no where to go. Walking through that hospital and visiting with the kids you could see how much they needed love. The medical help was important but they really just needed to be loved, to know that they were not alone in this big scary world. I poured out all I had, playing with them, rocking and kissing them to sleep, and just being present with them in that moment letting them know that they were important. The girls loved fixing my hair, and the little boys would climb all over me, and I laughed the whole time. Upon leaving one of the little girls through herself on the ground and said "mommy don't leave me." I was in shock, she called me mommy, and my heart hurt. I had only know these kids for a few days and the love we shared was so real, the love they needed was even more real. Jesus used me to show His children that He loved them, suffered with them, counted every hair on their heads, and wiped every tear they shed. Tears welled in my eyes as we drove off.... she called me mommy. God had brought us here for such an obvious reason and his plan was unfolding right before my eyes. I knew their was a good chance I would never see these children again but my heart still carries them all. "We may not be able to see God, but when we love one another, He lives in us and His love is made complete in us.... We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:12
I am happy to report that after our trip FMC set up a mission base in St. Vincent from 2002-2006, for four years missionaries served in that wonderful place, but the harvest is great and labors are few. 

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