Today I was reading Wide Awake by Erwin McManus. I mention this book a lot and you are probably thinking, “haven’t you been reading that SAME book all semester?” Yes, I have and I still have 2 chapters left! I’m not slow, I am just . . . thorough.
I am currently on a chapter entitled “Enjoy.” Erwin challenges the reader to think of a moment in life where they were truly happy and thought “I could do this the rest of my life.” The first thing that popped into my head was an event that happened only a week before I left Uganda. Jill and I had gone to visit the kids at Sozo International only to find that one of the little girls was sick in bed. The second I saw her, nurse/mother instincts kicked in and I knew I had to make sure she was ok. The first thing I did was check her pulse. It was fast but faint. Her body was hot and covered in sweat. We ended up taking her to the clinic to make sure that she didn’t have malaria. I remember holding her the whole time and thinking “I just want this little girl to feel better and know that she is loved.” After we brought her back to her home and returned to ours, I couldn’t help but think that THIS is what I am meant to do.
Living a life of your dreams involves a lot more than just dreaming. Yes, in order to live this life, you must have dreams but without taking a step to create, you have nothing. I want to create. That flat out sums it up.
I sat in class today thinking about what I think is important for an organization. The things I came up with were Holistic care, Ownership by the community, Prevention, and Education. It definitely is no coincidence that the first letter of each idea spells HOPE. Since I was already paying tons of attention in class, I decided to break apart what each of those meant.
Holistic care – meeting physical, emotional, social, and SPIRITUAL needs. Many times we try to meet only a spiritual need and forget that the people are starving. James 2:14-26 totally sums this up. I love verses 15-16 where it says, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”
Ownership – This one has so many different meanings to me. Ownership of their community, of their futures, of their country, of their orphans, ect. One thing that missionaries have done that sincerely breaks my heart is westernizing non western cultures. We are called to make disciples, not Americans. It is my goal to introduce Christ, healthcare, and education in a community but not change their culture.
I also hate creating dependency. A successful organization and community needs to be self sustainable. In order for this to happen, the organization needs to take ownership of their community. They have see their needs and be willing to do something about them. I am not about hand outs, but hand ups.
Prevention – The number one killer of children in Africa is preventable diseases. It is amazing what simple things like clean water and proper sanitation systems can do to prevent diseases. It is also important to know what steps to take in order to prevent things like diarrhea from leading to death.
Education – This does not just mean schooling. This includes learning about sanitation, health, and most importantly, Jesus.
What this all means? I think I have an idea but at this point, you know about as much as I do. I know that I was born to dream and to create and I am so excited to see how that turns out. I am still in the dreaming stage and could use a lot more prayer in this. I’ll keep y’all updated. For now I am calling this “The Mercy Project.”