At church the Sunday before we left for Africa we sang the song God of Justice by Tim Hughes:
"Jesus, You have called us
Freely we've received now freely we will give
We must go, live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken, we must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action, we must go
Fill us up, send us out."
How appropriate! It is exactly how Bill and I have been trying to live our lives and we were GOING! I raised my hands and asked God to "fill us up and send us out!!!"
We had both read blogs, seen pictures, videos, etc (well ok maybe more me than him, but I'd sent him links :). I thought I had an idea what to expect. Ha! There is just nothing that can replace going, seeing, touching, daily holding hands with orphans, endlessly hugging a 15 year old who saw her parents murdered by the LRA, praying over a very ill 15 year old in prison, kissing the face of the sweetest shyest 8 year old orphan at a transition home...
Here is what none of us expected: to be served. We were going to serve them. James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." They cooked nice meals for us, did our laundry, sang songs for us, and gave their best. It was so very humbling. They also know a thing or two about praise. They treasure every day. They have so much joy in the midst of sadness. They may not have much, but they have God and they cling to his promises! We could learn a thing or two.
So a little about the blog name. I was trying to figure out a name that could sum up our past, present, and future. I have not been able to stop singing that Tim Hughes song. Standing beside the broken seems to be a theme in our lives. We do so when we talk to a stranger who is having a bad day, when we support fellow Christians going through hardships, when we feed the homeless downtown, and when we travel to Africa and love on orphans and prisoners. It also helps when we realize we are all broken and need Christ. Thank you Lord for your sacrifice for us!
We plan to chronicle our experiences in Africa, back here in Indy, and wherever the Lord leads us. We have been moved to action and can no longer sit still. "Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12