While scouring the pages of an online yardsale site, I came across a woman giving away some sample cans of formula. I got so excited as I thought that I could bring these along to the orphanage with me when we travel to adopt Elijah through the Ethiopian court system (no date yet).
My hopes were quickly deflated as she responded to me and said she wouldn’t give me the formula because she wanted it to go to “someone local, not anyone abroad.” There are few times when I’ve been left speechless in my life but this was surely one of them. All I could muster up was an angry fb post (I know, I know, not my most shining moment) and sobs.
I wasn’t sobbing because she told me no though. I was sobbing because this is a sentiment I’ve encountered a few times since we’ve begun this journey of adoption. This “we take care of our own first” mentality that has actually caused people to angrily question why we’ve chosen international adoption over domestic. As if one life is worth more than another, somehow.
Here’s what I would like you to know… We do take care of our own. And our own is the human race. These children from abroad are no different than the children who play next door. When God said we were to take care of orphans and widows, I am fairly certain He did not imply the charity was to stop when we get 500 feet from our own doorstep.
How His heart must break at the notion that one person is valued any more than another. It’s crazy really. God is no respecter of persons. Do you know why that is? Because He loves us ALL. The price He paid through Jesus to reconcile us to Himself cost Him dearly and yet, that isn’t the end of His love for each and every one of us. There is no amount He wouldn’t pay to have us in a relationship with Him! It was love that led Him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
And do you know what I’m learning? Real, genuine love costs us something. It is not satisfied to simply sit back and see injustice and pain and do nothing.
And so our path led us to do something about the orphan crisis. Because it is a crisis. In Ethiopia alone, there are some 4.6 MILLION orphans, some of whom live in a TRASH DUMP. A dump!!! I can not and will not ignore what is happening any longer. I am not satisfied to sit around while children die. And I will not allow myself to ignore global needs simply because I do not encounter them on a daily basis. There are needs everywhere & I pray that as long as we live and breathe that God would allow us to have a small impact on whatever need is in front of us, no matter how close in proximity the person is to us.
You see, we have a desire to see people’s lives changed for the better. It is why we have devoted our lives to sharing the message of Jesus Christ. Because He is worth it. Because people are worth it.
And so, the formula lady? Yeah, I never even responded to her. But God has already brought people through that situation who are donating even more than what she had to give because He sees needs and spurs people to meet them. So someone here is blessed with formula & so is Baby E’s orphanage. And that makes me happy!
My prayer today is that you would be moved to make a difference. Whether that means in the community you live in or in this global community we live in. There are so many needs, but if we each do something about just one, imagine the impact we could have on this World. And imagine how pleased God would be as we begin to put the needs of others over ourselves. I think that was the gist of His time on Earth, anyway.
The mission statement of our church sums it up quite nicely: “Love God, Love People, Serve the World.” I pray we all find our little corner of this World (whether that means your backyard or Baby E’s) and do just that!