I've been reading a book lately that's absolutely breaking my heart.
This book tells the story of Maria who walks the streets of a slum in Uganda to beg for food every day.
It's the story of Rose and Brenda, orphans that were abandoned and left to grow up in an orphanage.
It's the story of David and Bashir who were abducted, sold as slaves and forced to kill as child soldiers.
And it's the story of a petite, Caucasian twenty-something young woman who left her home in wealthy Brentwood, Tennessee to live in Uganda, East Africa to serve the poor, forsaken children there. (By the way, I lived in the neighboring town to Brentwood for almost a decade and had the privilege of meeting Katie on a few occasions.)
This young woman is relentless in her love and passion for these forgotten children. She is relentless in her pursuit to live out the Gospel of Christ.
Katie's words are enlightening.
"Adoption is wonderful and beautiful and the greatest blessing I have ever experienced. Adoption is also difficult and painful. Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is the Gospel in my living room."Her words are convicting.
"I know I cannot walk into a village and tell a child that Jesus loves her. She cannot comprehend that because, chances are, she has never been loved. I have to feed her, clothe her, care for her, and love her unconditionally as I tell her that I love her. Once she can understand and see my love, I can begin to tell her about a Savior who loves her even more. That is the truth for these children - that they are loved, that they are valuable, that they will not be left as orphans but that they have a plan and a hope for the future."Her words are heart-breaking.
"The truth is that there are children like this all over the world, sick, starving, dying, unloved, and uncared for. The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left. This is the Truth."Last night these words brought tears to my eyes that streamed down my face. What are we doing? Are we playing church? While we fight over who will lead worship next Sunday and where our next women's retreat should be held and how our new church buildings should be designed, people around the country and the world are dying.
What am I going to do about that? What are you going to do about that? What are we going to do about that?