To anyone that has been following our little story, you know that a mission trip to Peru in June of 2011 changed my life and was the catalyst to our adoption. There were other events in our lives that God was using to nudge us in the direction of adoption, but after Peru, we went from “thinking about it” to “doing it”.
Well, I got an opportunity to go back to Peru with my church last month, and I couldn’t say no. Not only was I excited to see what God might do this time, one of the amazing byproducts of our adoption journey is becoming quasi-bilingual, and I couldn’t let that blessing go to waste!
When I returned, a lot of people, including my pastor, asked if God told me to bring home some more South American kids. He did not, but He did do a work my kids’ lives… and my life too.
While I was in Peru, our mission team got to share the gospel with about 1,000 kids. Each day, we would drive to a new neighborhood, invite everyone to the local park, share the gospel with singing, a drama, and a testimony, and then we would play games with the kids and adults afterwards. We were fortunate to see a number of people trust Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and I led my first Sunday School lesson in Spanish!
My heart breaks for these children. For whatever reason, God, in his infinite wisdom, put me in the United States of America, the son of good Christian parents, with tons of opportunity. For whatever reason, God put these kids in Peru, in the middle of a sandy desert, where they will live and struggle for the rest of their lives to make around $2,700 a year. I don’t know why. Why am I so special to have so much more? Why do I get such a larger blessing disproportional to these and others around the world that were born into far worse situations?
I fear these are questions I won’t have the answer for on this side of Heaven. Really I only have one question to which I need to be concerned: “What am I going to do about it?” That drove my wife and I to adopt two years ago, it drove me to go back to Peru three weeks ago, and it drives me to shame for my ungrateful heart.
I really am ungrateful, and it pains me to say. I fail to recognize how blessed I am, and only see the things God is not doing for me… as if He should work to glorify me. We sang a new praise chorus about a month ago in church. I don’t remember most of it, but I do remember one line: “We don’t want blessings, we want You.”
Wow. I have Him, living in my heart and His blessings too, but still I crave more… To quote a lot of great men in the Bible, “Woe, is me!” I am such a baby in my faith, and I don’t think I would fare nearly as well as Job if the same thing were to happen to me. Lately my prayer has been “God, I want to want You. I want to want only You. Please help me.” I don’t know if that’s the best thing to say, but it is honest, and I have to trust in one of my favorite verses:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, my kids were also interceding for me. Beth was good about communicating to them that I was going to tell people in Peru about Jesus during the week I was gone. Beth told me when I got home that they prayed each night for God to help me, our team, and Tia Lorena (Lauren, our missionary friend that we were helping) share Christ with the people in Peru. How amazing to think that a year ago, these were fatherless children and a few of the nameless people half a world away whom James 1:27 calls us to help, and today they are interceding for others on their home-continent that they may come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!
I have to admit, getting off the plane and hugging them after a week’s time was pretty great too!
Please continue to pray for Lauren in Peru. I got two snapshots (June, 2011 and June, 2013) of what God has done in that little area north of Lima, and I can say Lauren’s ministry is starting to get some momentum. Some of the people we shared Christ to the first time were actively ministering with us this time! However, as with anything that is done in the name of Christ, Satan just wants to attack more as it gains ground.
I also have to mention, Father’s day came and went while I was in Peru. I did get a chance to Skype with my kids, and Beth packed me some cards that they made me ahead of time. While it was sad to be away from them for my first Father’s day, I was doing the Father’s work, so it didn’t feel quite so bad!
At the dinnermesa,