Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thoughts, Reflections... Where Do I Even Begin?

It's been six full days since we returned home... from our family's very first missions immersion trip, to the Philippines! It has been an awesome experience for our family. We are utterly humbled by what God, in His grace and sovereignty, has allowed us to see... to feel... to experience... to be broken for.

Upon arriving home I busied myself with unpacking, laundering, stocking our fridge, catching up on work, paying bills... you know, those routine tasks that clamor for our daily attention. I hardly had time to digest, to process and to reconcile all the things that we have experienced on our trip.

But I'm fighting jet-lag, of course! So, in those quiet wee hours between midnight and dawn when sleep escapes me, I suddenly see images from our trip flash across my mind... and tears start to fall.

I realize that I've been changed.
God has changed me.
My heart is broken.
For the things that break His heart.

Where do I even begin to make sense of all these? I realize that it's been only six days... it will take some time, months or even longer, for me to fully reconcile things. But as I return to our comfortable home, to this comfortable place called North America... I am afraid that I will forget what I saw.

I don't want to forget...
I want to remember!

Beautiful Rochelle, the LDP student we now sponsor, is able to attain a university degree
because of the ministry of Compassion International.

Sweet Florianlyn, our Compassion sponsor child --- has hope for a brighter future
also because of the ministry of Compassion International.

Justin... who sleeps outside hubby's nephew's store each night.


Yohan's house. We sponsor Yohan for education through CEC88 Foundation.

Aleya's house. We also sponsor Aleya through CEC88 Foundation.

The countless street children...

Clyde, whom we sponsor through CEC88 Foundation. The black dots on his table are flies!



This little boy is scooping rainwater from the curb to drink!





The old man who scavenges garbage for a living.

The many, many, many shanties... and the people who live in them.

The sidewalk rice cake "bibingka" vendor who can't make ends meet. Hubby paid her 3X the selling price of her rice cakes... she was thrilled yet I know it would take much more than that to make a difference in her and her family's circumstances. 


I recently heard a song called I Saw What I Saw by Sara Groves... I think it beautifully describes what my heart feels right now.
I saw what I saw and I can't forget it. I heard what I heard and I can't go back. I know what I know and I can't deny it. Something on the road cut me to the soul.
Your pain has changed me. Your dream inspires. Your face a memory. Your hope a fire. Your courage asks me what I'm afraid of and what I know of love.
I say what I say with no hesitation. I have what I have and I'm giving it up. I do what I do with deep conviction. Something on the road cut me to the soul.
Your courage asks me what I am afraid of. Your courage asks me what I am made of. And what I know of love. And... what I know of God.
Here's a video so that you can have a listen to the song:
Please pause the playlist on the sidebar of this blog as you watch the video.



So... what do I know of God?

Well, He is good, always good. He is faithful. He is gracious. He is love. And, He is truly all that matters. Our family has experienced all these attributes of God during our three weeks in the Philippines.

Now that we are home, I rely even more on these God-attributes to get me through this new journey... of knowing, of being broken, of responding, of living! So that I do not forget.

By His grace, I will remember. I will respond... with even deeper conviction, with courage... because I know my God is all that He says He is!

Will you respond too... by giving hope, one child at a time?
Will you be the Jesus-difference? 
Will you sponsor a Compassion child today?

I have seen with my own eyes... the ministry of Compassion International. Your sponsorship dollars really do make a difference... they really do get to the grassroots level! Your letters really do positively impact these children. The staff at Compassion really do consider their work as ministry.

The difference truly is Jesus!!!

Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

8 comments:

  1. Aimee...

    Yes.

    Your words take me there.
    Your images drop me to my knees.
    Your heart take me to His.

    I can't thank you enough...
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is beautiful, Aimee.

    Thank you for sharing with us. My first trip was a year ago this month - to Peru - and reading your post brought it all right back.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You did a beautiful job putting your thoughts and emotions into words. I cried more than once! My first & only experience like this was in January. I traveled to Ethiopia and I will never be the same. I could SO relate to what you were saying. Keep that passion going and keep blogging/sharing about it, people need to hear!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This breaks my heart and convicts me all at the same time. Thanks for sharing your photos and voice behind the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, my sisters in Christ, for your words of encouragement. They spur me on as I continue to follow Jesus! God is good, all the time. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Aimee, that song/video plays a deep part in my life too. Our oldest daughter spent 6wks in Kenya last yr. She met LDP graduate Maureen. WE have been forever changed.

    Your pics speak volumes. Thank you for sharing. My heart breaks. My almost 14yr old sponsors from the Philippines. We also know some children through another organization that we met in 2009. They were/are from Philippines, Uganda, and Nepal. It all became real to us.

    As a family we have sponsored through Compassion since 2008. Compassion is changing/has changed our life.

    Praying for you!

    Oh and my daughter just started a blog and your girl and mine are sharing too!

    Sorry so long!

    Much love,
    Teena

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Teena!

    Yes, my girl just showed me your girl's blog just a couple of nights ago. Did you know they share the same first name? So cool!!! They are so close in age... I think they will become good friends.

    Thanks for dropping by today and for your encouraging words!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aimee, how amazing is that... God so cares about the little things. I can't explain to you how much your girl.. and mine connecting mean. Not many understand her love for Compassion.. (or mine for that matter).. her love for children. Even in our own church. NOW they have the same name... God makes me laugh...

    Alyssa has a friend who just started a blog. Claire. Claire is another girl in love with Compassion.

    Not explaining very well.

    So thankful to find YOU this week. Your pics touch me deep.

    Praying for you...

    keep sharing.

    much love,
    Teena

    ReplyDelete