It shattered my world – the image of a child digging in the sand for ants that he’d eat for dinner. Naked, gaunt and on all fours.
(source) For some reason, that image out of millions of images that I’ve seen over the years has profoundly and horrifically established itself in my mind as a benchmark. It was one of the first times that I seriously remember sinking into the understanding of desperation. Since then, in countless tearful stories, I have met adults and children alike with names and faces and real experiences that change me. Profoundly.
My introduction into extreme poverty, injustice, the orphan crisis, and the subsequent global orphan movement that is currently sweeping the world comes with a very personal set of emotions and memories that still move me. That’s something I hold on to, knowing that God grabs us and shows us things close to His heart in unique, deeply personal ways.
Today, my job (and that God-given heart for the vulnerable) has led me to connect, empower and work alongside men and women of God working in social justice, orphan care and world missions. This week, I got to meet with about 2,500 of them at Summit 9, probably the largest orphan care conference in the US.
Let me just say God is powerful, and I feel privileged to have been with an army of warriors for the kingdom there. It was a great few days connecting and learning about how God is directing many people to care for the most vulnerable all over the world.
I’m deeply encouraged at conferences like this when I see people who are responding to God’s call to care for the orphan. I believe He will continue moving in powerful ways as we serve individually for the “least of these.”
We all come to understand the world in different ways. But however it comes, we do have a place here together… and I believe that together, in our own unique ways, we can bring hope to a desperate world.