We have had this sweet young boy living in our home since last Friday and I have not even been able to post about it. Mainly, because I have had to spend some time trying to gather my thoughts about the whole situation. I have been speechless. Tony would not agree with that statement!
This young boy's name is Moses and he is 13 years old. He lives in an orphanage in Liberia and has come to America to have surgery on his crippled hand. Our church brought him here to help, but I don't think God brought him here strictly to have his hand fixed. So, the big question - What is God doing? And, the bigger question - What am I supposed to do?
My first instinct is to adopt him and bring him to America. I think that is everyone's first instinct. Whenever someone finds out he is staying with us, their immediate question (or statement) is - You are going to adopt him, right? You can't send him back! As if that would solve all of his problems. The truth is, it would probably cause a whole new set of problems. It's not like the teenagers in America have no problems. If anything, as a whole, our teenagers seem to lack the joy and peace that I keep hearing the people back in Liberia have. They are completely dependent on God for every need and they are truly thankful for all they have. Even if it seems like so little to us. Moses reminds me of that when I listen to him pray. He thanks God for everything. He thanks God for water. I can't remember the last time I thanked God for water, if ever.
His biggest need is probably an education. He will need that so he will be able to support himself in the future. At least, that is the big problem I can see. Unemployment. And, with a crippled arm, the chance of finding work goes down significantly. Maybe that is where God is calling us to help. Are we supposed to try to help fund educations for these kids?
So many questions. Are we supposed to try to adopt Moses? Are we supposed to try to adopt another child who is worse off? Are we supposed to move our family to Africa and serve in an orphanage? The questions are endless. I'm not sure where this is going, but I am excited to see where it leads. One thing I know - my life has changed. I don't know how, but the reality of the needs of people so far away from my world is sinking in. Looking at this child playing games in my living room and realizing he came from an orphanage in Africa is surreal.
I think it's too easy to look at the pictures of those suffering and think how sad, but then move my thoughts right into what am I making for dinner tonight? I think television has probably done this disservice to me. I can tell myself that I know what is real vs. imaginary, but I think too often I move very tragic events into the imaginary side as if it were a movie. And, I know I am just naturally selfish. I don't like to think of things that make me feel bad. Or, that I don't think I can do anything about. I like to be in control, and if I can't fix it, then I guess I can't do anything.
God has used Moses to change my thinking. He has shown me that it is not my job to fix anything. That is His job. But, He wants me to allow Him to work through me in some areas. And there is where my attitude is changing. Now, I am looking forward to seeing how and where God would be willing to use me.
As I read through Psalm 10 this morning, I kept thinking of the injustice of the poor and the orphans suffering while the corrupt people prosper. Sometimes I have the same questions as verse 1: "Why, O Lord, do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" I question why God is not doing something to help these people. But then, in verse 14, I am reminded: "But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless."
I am not going to question God. I know He is not abandoning His children, even though I can't figure out what He has planned. Psalm 10 ends with such encouragement in verses 17 and 18: "O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more."
My job is to just trust in the Lord and look for him to work in me and through me. I am excited to see what God has planned.