Earlier this month, I shared this post on the MercyFound blog, a great place for those interested in caring for God's children throughout the world. However, in case you missed it, I wanted to share it here as well.
The past year was such an amazing adventure.
God provided the means for me to travel to Africa not once but twice in 2012,
once to Uganda in July and once to Malawi in October.
And while these trips were full of memorable moments, the most memorable moment I had was when I held an orphan for the very first time.
That sounds funny, I suppose.
I have several friends who were adopted or have adopted, and I've hugged them and loved their little ones.
But I'd never before help a child with no one to call her own.
She was in an orphanage with all of her survival needs met, but she was still missing one very important necessity in this roller coaster called life: a family of her own.
She looked up at me, and I stared into her beautiful brown eyes, stroked her dark, curly hair and prayed for her family to come for her soon.
I was changed by that experience,
and I can see her little face in my mind today like it's been carved there in stone.
And while I believe God has a family for her, waiting somewhere to hold her tight and kiss her good night, I also believe that God wanted me to love on her in that place at that moment.
Visiting orphans is life changing and important.
We can't adopt them all, but we can go and show them the love of a family, even if it's only for a brief time.
There are so many great opportunities to go and be the hands and feet of Christ to little ones waiting on families across the world.
God may have called you to adopt domestically or internationally, and you may have your littles home with you at this very moment.
Or maybe you're not sure WHAT God wants from you or how He wants to use you.
Sometimes the answers come through taking action, from trying something new, or from stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Maybe you're looking for a opportunity to teach your children about the importance of serving others.
Perhaps you are searching for a meaningful way to spend your summer.
Or He may be calling you to simply be an advocate, and I can tell you from personal experience that my voice for the orphans was turned up a notch after I went and held and saw for myself.
It's as though people took my words and my heart more seriously once they knew that I'd been,
and I came home with a much better understanding of the needs that weigh heavy on the hearts of orphans.
And while the opportunities to serve here at home are limitless, I want to share with you some opportunities to serve orphans around the world.
If you're feeling called to go, here are some great ways to do just that:
Compassion International- Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda
Simply clink on the links above for more information.
The opportunities are limitless.
You will bless others and be blessed more than can know.
And the little ones are waiting for someone just like you.