Thursday, January 26, 2012

Faces In Another Land

"But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
   you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
   you are the helper of the fatherless."
Psalm 10:17-18

There is so much that goes on in my heart throughout the day. I am overwhelmed with a love for a Country that I have never been too. I don't know much about their culture. I don’t speak their language. I only have 1 true African friend. (I love you Jackie!)
Although one of my husband's best friend is a refugee from Sudan.
However, I am completely overwhelmed with this people and their land.

Is that weird?

I think it would have to be. Or it could just be a God-thing.

I am reading two books right now. "No Longer A Slumdog" by K.P. Yohannan. (WOW!)
Also, reading and rereading “Kisses from Katie.” Between these two books my mind is constantly thinking of everything other than the easy and simple life of America.

When I read that Katie is pulling jiggers out of malnourshied and emaciated children, I think, “I can to do that.” When she picks up a child out of the slum and brings them home for a month, feeds them, bathes them and nurtures them back to health, I think, “I can do that.” When I read that K.P., founder of Gospel for Asia, I'm overwhlemed with story after story of how he rescued children straight from the mouth of death. He gave them hope and now they are healthy, beauiful, thriving children. It's so the Lord.

I don’t know. My mind is a crazy place these days.

When I have these thoughts, I ask myself and the Lord, “Am I fooling myself. Am I living a fairytale dream in my mind? I mean, who wants to sell everything they own and move to a land they know nothing about and pull jiggers out of AIDS children and scrape dead skin off their bodies and hold them and love them and tell them about Jesus?"

Welcome to my mind.

Many times at night, I sit on the computer and I read stories. I read blogs and I look at pictures. (I know...) Here are some that I think are special and I want to share with you my thoughts as I look at these precious faces. Maybe you can relate. Or maybe this will show you, that yes,
I have flown out to the coo-coos nest. (Hopefully the Lord’s coo-coo nest!)

Here is Pauline. Isn’t she beautiful?

When I look at her, I see pure beauty.
Is that strange?
What we define as beauty here in America is, well, don’t even get me started.
Sure her skin is weathered. She didn’t just come from the salon and get a $145.00 cut with color. She probably hasn’t seen $145.00 in the last 10 years of her life. Vacation? Not even a word in her vocabulary. Paulina, 91, is among the growing number of elderly Africans who have no adult support. She is taking care of her 16 grandchildren. All 12 of her children died of AIDS.
Life is so different in Africa.
She is beautiful to me and I love her.

If you saw this picture in a magazine, would you wonder why she is crying?

 Or would you quickly turn the page because “you just cant look”.
I stare into her eyes and I wonder what her life is like.
Does she have a bed?
When was the last time she ate?
How many times has she been abused?
Does she have anyone to tell her she is loved?
These are the questions I ask myself as I am pleading with Jesus…

I’m assuming this is not a fun-Friday-night-sleepover as Hannah
might think it is when she looks at this picture.

Do you know that when children in orphanages wake up together in the morning,
they get on their knees and pray for “forever families” for each other?
Yes, they pray for each other to find families. I find that joyful yet heartbreaking all at once.

Do you remember what it was like as a child to eat your lunch by yourself on the play ground?

Probably not because most of us had many friends to eat with and that made us comfortable. Do you know that most children, when they get food, will go off by themselves and eat at a distance because they are in fear that someone will come and steal their food? They rather eat alone and thus protect their food. In many cases, older children in orphanages will take the food from the younger children preventing them from getting their full meal and plunging them deeper into starvation.

Other times, they simply do not get to eat because there is no food to eat.

SIMPLY. no. food. to. eat.

Although they don’t have much, some children don’t have anything: they still manage to sing and play with the biggest smiles EVER, laugh louder and longer and sing with all their hearts.

It’s very humbling to me. You would think it would be the exact opposite but they are kids.
Just like my kids.
Just like yours.
They love to play. They love to jump. They love to wrestle.
They are people just like us.

A personal reminder I whisper to myself daily.

"The first question the priest... and the Levite asked was,
'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?'
But the Good Samaritan... reversed the question:,
'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

 "I see the faces of these precious children and my heart goes out to them.
I like to think that one person can make a difference,
even if it is only one child at a time."
Ms. M.L. (Bridge of Hope sponsor)

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do only a little." Edmund Burke

"The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis,
but rather the feeling of being unwanted." Mother Teresa

There is a part of me that thinks I "have it all figured out".
Man, that is a scary place to be. (And not very Biblical)

Here is what I want our family to do.
(I hate the sound of that but it really is my heart)

I want to move to Africa.
Adopt a village.
Drill a well (water is LIFE).
Build a church and a school.
Teach farming.
Grow food
and love LOVE L.O.V.E. the people.

Am I crazy?

(Coo-coo.... Coo-coo)

Will you pray with me?

My heart is with a people I have never met.
I love them with a love I can not explain.

These are my thoughts.

This is what I do in my free time.
I sit and pray over faces just like these.
They all have stories.
They all have feelings.
They all have a desire to be loved.
Nobody should have to ever live the way some of these sweet faces live today.

"I want to lift them up. When I go to villages, even different places,
I see people who are without food even.
I groan within me.
And I think, 'How can I help them come out of all this poverty
and oppression and this kind of problem?'
That is my burden."
Niran John Das (missionary from India)

I guess I have a burden too.


  1. I have been following you for a while but I haven't commented yet. I just wanted to say that you are encouraging me. More than you might ever know. The Lord has placed that same burden on my heart for Uganda. I have never been. I don't know anyone from Africa. But my heart is there. And I can't explain it. But I'm glad i'm not alone. I feel strongly that God has called my husband and I to adopt someday, but while we are waiting I have been praying about what we can do to help others and to help orphans.

    I think about Africa all day. Like you, I read other blogs, google pictures, and pray for this country that somehow has my heart. And I night, I have the most real dreams that I am there. I'm praying that one day I will get to go. Until then, you are not coo-coo (or at least we are coo-coo together!!) and I am and will be praying!

    As a side note, Kisses from Katie made me wanna hop on a plane and go help somehow the whole time I was reading!

  2. Oh, Robin
    I am in tears over what you have written...your heart is so open and your desire to help is so great. God has filled you with a passion that is a blessing to others already and will be I am sure in the future. It is so unsettling...BLESS YOU for what you are doing now and for writing and opening the minds and hearts of others including me and Joel (I read it to my hubby too)

  3. Robin
    Your request at Linnys today touched my heart deeply. I just want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be...I am always available at The Knee Team..hugs to you Robin and my God wrap his loving arms around your heart and bring peace to your mind.