Man, has it really been almost a month since I’ve written anything? I guess it has. I’ve been extremely busy as of late. I started grad school last month and that’s been kicking my butt…in a good way though. I’m learning almost more than I can handle…but that’s okay. I’ll take that!
That isn’t what I want to talk about today. No, what I want to talk about I’ve been carrying with me for 3 months now. It’s been a huge burden–but in a good sense.
Tomorrow marks 3 months that I’ve been back from Southeast Asia. For those new to my blog or who missed the updates, I was able to travel to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Vietnam to document some missionary work from late May to late June.
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again – I went over there with the intention of only capturing video, not expecting to really come back feeling how I do.
My heart aches for the orphans I saw. My heart aches for a culture who needs the love of Jesus. Even if you’re not a believer, they need people willing to either donate monetarily to help with their “poverty” (I hate using that word) situation, or they need people willing to visit them, love on them, and show them people care…or both.
Some of you may be thinking Ah, I’m sure someone else will donate. I love what people are doing, but I can’t afford it. Or something like Meh, missionary work isn’t for me. Great stuff, but I just don’t have the time. And quite frankly, I don’t judge you for that. Those used to be my thoughts. I used to think someone else would donate if I didn’t. I used to think someone else would go if I didn’t. But what if every single person shared those same thoughts and never took any action? I’m no mathematician or rocket scientist, but I’d figure nothing would get done.
As I shared before, the most impactful moment for me was when we visited an orphanage about 45 minutes from Chiang Rai, Thailand. Attapon, a 74-year-old Chinese man, who moved to Thailand some 30+ years ago, houses 40 or more orphans on his property. He feeds them, loves them, teaches them, cares for them, raises them…all the while, expecting nothing in return.
I can’t stop thinking about him and those children. I’m not going to sit here and say they all seemed so happy and everything was glitter and gold. I’m sure they’re aware that their parents aren’t around. I know they feel that void in their hearts. But what I do know is what I felt and experienced when they smiled, when they laughed, when they embraced the missionaries there with us. I felt a burden in my heart. A burden to share their story. A burden to do something more besides sit behind my keyboard and tell you this right now.
I want to go back so badly. I think about them almost every day. I’ve been back in the states 91 days now. I’ve probably thought about them 85 or so of those days (don’t judge me, I’ve been busy).
So what can you do? You can pray for them, you can visit them, you can donate money… there are many options available to you.
If you’re scared of raising money, let me share with you how Sean and I went from having only $1,200 six days before we needed all of our money in to over $9,000 by the time our money was due.
It was a Thursday and I was sitting in my living room doubting if I was even supposed to go to Southeast Asia. We were one week away from needing over $9,000 (for both of us) and here we were, with only $1,200. I remember talking to Vanessa on the phone (she directed the trip and works at Go To Nations, the organization we went with) and telling her about my doubt, my worries, and my lack of faith. I remember her words like she were speaking to me right now. She said, “There’s an old hymn that says God is an on-time God. It’s still true. He’ll be on time. He may even be early.”
Well, he was 2 days early. By Tuesday (we’re talking 4 days later!!!), we had over $8,400 donated, with more coming in for over a week. Luckily, we only needed around $4,000 that Thursday to book our airfare, so we had a little leeway with the rest of the funds.
Let’s just say my faith was tested and I failed. But from that moment on, my faith has been stronger than it’s ever been.
All that to say, if you have a heart for missions and want to go…then go! Don’t say I don’t have time or I have so many more excuses right now for why I can’t go. If you don’t have time today, you won’t have time tomorrow or six years from now.
Lastly, the conversion rate in most other countries, especially Southeast Asia works in our (those in the West) favor. For instance, the 4th day there six of us went to the street market and purchased enough food for six adults for less than 200 Thai Baht, which converts to just over $6 USD.
"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light." — John Keith Falconer
For more information on how to get involved, please, please, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below with your thoughts or questions.