Children At Risk: The Classroom.

” In my dream, the angel shrugged & said, If we fail this time, it will be a failure of imagination & then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand. “

Week 1: Why we’re here: A Framework for Action

It sounds benign enough, right?  A Framework for Action.  I don’t even remember what my expectations for the week were as our teacher, Janna Moats, introduced herself on Monday.  Perhaps I anticipated encouragement, or maybe a review of the character of God.  I most certainly did not expect to feel how I felt by Friday:

Mournful.

I didn’t recognize this feeling until yesterday afternoon during a one-on-one with my beautiful small group leader Lenneke, when unforseen tears made their way down my cheeks.  It was then that I remembered a part of a book I read this fall: The Dream Giver.  This book is about an ordinary man named Nobody who leaves his ordinary life in the land of familiar to pursue the dream given to him by the Dream Giver. (aka God)  At one point in his journey, the Dream Giver asks Nobody to give Him back the Dream.  Nobody was very upset about this, but after much thinking and whining he relinquished his Dream.  Then he started mourning, which is where I found myself yesterday.

Let’s re-wind six days to the first thought-shifting story that Janna shared with us.  She spoke of a television program she had recently seen about the high rate of Americans adopting Ethiopian Babies.  At the end of the program a young Ethiopian woman was shown bringing her tiny baby to an orphanage, she was obviously devastated and her words spoken through tears were “I don’t have money to feed my baby.”  We were given the impression that this is the reason many women choose to give up their children, and a common response from the developed world has been to take the babies and adopt them out to families who do have the means to feed them.  Janna challenged us by pointing out that the woman didn’t want to give away her baby, and that what she really truly needed was the resources to provide food, not an adoptive family.

Which would imply that what much of the world’s children need are not orphanages, but more creative solutions that address the issue of poverty.  Maybe this has always been obvious to you, but I cannot say the same of myself.  Which frustrated me, in the beginning, until Janna pointed out another truth: “God speaks to us in the language that we understand.”  I understood God when I felt Him pulling at my heart to work in orphanages, but I probably wouldn’t have understood Him if He had spoken to me about a different kind of solution.

Which brings me back to mourning.  I no longer feel certain of where God is leading me, and it makes me anxious and a little frustrated, if I’m honest.  I know that I know that I know that I want to pour myself out on behalf of children, but I’m not sure anymore what that is going to look like.  I feel like Nobody, giving up my dream to the Lord, even though I feel like I’ve only just recieved it.  Maybe God was being clear about me and an orphanage, or maybe He was just speaking my language.  Either way, it’s requiring me to trust Him even more intensely, and opening up my mind to think further outside “the box.”

The best part about Nobody’s dream, however, and hopefully my own, is that when God took it back He was only making it more His own.  And when He placed it once again in Nobody’s heart, it had grown bigger and more beautiful than he ever could have imagined it on his own.

3 thoughts on “Children At Risk: The Classroom.

  1. I’m sure that whatever the Lord has in store for you will be awesome! Regarding the plight of the Ethiopian mother, this is exactly the type of situation that Compassion works with…finding sponsors for children who have parent(s) to take care of them but not enough money to do so. And yes, just think of how many Ethiopian children 1 American couple could support rather than paying all the airfare and adoption costs, plus the higher standard of living costs of raising a child here. Of course, then the American family here wouldn’t have a child with them to enjoy. In Africa, though, there are many true orphans due to the AIDS epidemic. Teen Missions is dealing with this by having AIDS Orphans Rescue Units with some trained African adults staffing them to help teach the orphans some life skills such as gardening, etc. so the orphans are still living in their villages, but get some extra support from the Teen Missions outreach staff. In that way they are able to serve many more orphans than if they had to spend the money to build orphanage buildings to house them around the clock. See this website: http://www.aidsorphans.org/ Then there are also abandoned children living on the streets that need a home. So there is still a need for orphanages in some situations, I’d say. So, just keep seeking God’s will and direction for your life, dear one! Love you, Mom

  2. sorry your dream was been disrupted….but sooo excited how God is going to unfold an even more colorful, brilliant and life-giving dream and vision that will not only find solutions for the destitute but bring life-giving redemption and healing into your hands that brings joy to His heart and expands on the sparks of a dream He already birthed in you.

  3. I read the Dream Giver this summer. It was good. I’m glad you are willing to give it up to God and trust Him. I know He will use your heart for them in the best way as you let him. Love you sis!

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