Granted, she said it quite a bit ago, and her yearly digits were smaller, but it shocked me all the same. It seems a sense of entitlement flows steady and fast through the veins of my children. I’m not proud of it. I’m just stating the facts. The day she said it was the day my eyes opened wide to the reality of the path my American Babies were walking. It needed redirection.
I read World Magazine faithfully. I love that magazine. It often covers news that no one, I really mean no one else is covering. And the news that everyone is covering….Well, it just gives a different perspective. Isn’t that what America is all about, the freedom to see it all from a different perspective. My dedication to a new issue’s arrival peaked the curiosities of resident children. Thus, they began to pick it up and read.
In the kitchen, assembling lunch, she assisted me in various directed ways. We were chatting and in the midst of our discussions she commented, “Mom, people don’t really live like those pictures in the magazine. That’s all just staged for the picture right?” I had to stop and clarify what she was saying and indeed I had heard her correctly.
This incredibly blessed, American born, healthy girl had convinced herself that folks don’t live that way. Those photographs of cardboard box homes, babies with bellies swollen from malnourishment and shoeless feet from lack of resources…. well, she convinced herself it all staged to pull at her heartstrings. In her mind, at the end of the photo shoot, they went home to dwellings much like the one she called home. I immediately had a pow-wow with her Daddy.
It didn’t require a lot of prayer, or even thought, to decide we would find a place to serve and just go. The original plan included one child and one Dad but as we mined deeper into the hearts of her siblings we found similar veins of entitlement and our trip became a family affair.
So, June 25th we’ll load our Party of 5! onto a plane for the Dominican Republic. Working alongside missionaries who live there we will serve. The local church has a dirt floor and the walls are crumbling. The native pastor’s home has electrical wires dangling dangerously from his walls and we know what to do about that. We have bought up shoes and plan to teach Sunday School. We’re preparing our hearts and our minds with resources like Foreign to Familiar written by Sarah A. Lanier. It’s helping us better understand other cultures so we can be good guests in their country.
We’re hard workers and we plan to push ourselves and serve well. I’m praying children’s hearts are changed, eyes opened wide to see the world the way their God sees it. I’m praying for a life changing trip. I’m praying our hearts are forever moved so the next time we see the depravity on the glossy pages of a magazine we will immediately be drawn to prayer. That those prayers include asking God how we can be the hands and feet to those in need.
Oh, how I’d appreciate your company down here on my knees. You could pray for our team as we travel. Our group is full of families, like us, learning to serve together. The photo below shows all the teams serving this summer from our home church. We’re the Yellow Team and we’re 23 members in all! We will be traveling at the end of June and we thank you so much for encouraging us as you lift us up to our heavenly father.
Blessings to you all!