What a day!! God was so good to us! The conference went wonderfully! God kept bringing people to the table in a steady stream, and we sold quite a few items (more than I was expecting!). We also made some really good connections with people and I'm excited to see if they follow up with us! While I could stop this post here with this update, I feel like I have much more to say.
I was just overwhelmed with emotions all morning. They brought all of the conference participants and anybody who was running a booth into the main sanctuary for the opening speaker. The speaker showed a video that made me cry. It was just picture after picture of orphans around the world. As the precious faces flashed by I saw more than just people. Each face was a child. A child who is forgotten, abandoned, unloved. A child with a heart, that has been pierced time and again with hurt and disappointment. These are the thoughts that were going through my head as I watched that video. And it left me feeling raw. Broken. Every so often, God always places me in the way of something that grabs me. I am thoroughly convinced that He does this to keep the flame in my heart going. Because each time, the fire is stoked and my burden weighs more heavily, reminding me of God's call to care for the orphans. A little later on, there was a mom with 3 kids in tow. She walked up to the poster we had set up next to the table and began to weep as she looked at the faces of the children. I nearly began crying right along with her but managed to hold it in! As I watched her clutch her son tight as the tears poured down her face I couldn't imagine a more beautiful image. I was watching a woman let God share His heart with her. In "Fields of the Fatherless," C. Thomas Davis says, "Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cy out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human." She was letting her heart be broken by what breaks God's!! That is so beautiful.
I do not let down my guard nearly enough to let my heart break for the world. For the people. For the children. I will purposely not watch a video on a blog that I know will make me cry. Because it hurts. Yet I need to open up. I need to let myself be moved. Let God change me to make myself more of a servant and more willing to go where He leads. I want to be broken by what breaks His heart. Will we as Christians let God break our hearts as He shows us the need?? As I watch the beautiful faces of children go by on the screen will I let it sink in that each one of them needs a family?? There's a choice to make. May my heart be broken and surrendered to what God will have me do to answer His call to care for these children!
Yet my spirits were lifted as, throughout the morning, I saw hope. Hope for these children who will be placed in families. Hope for the young couples who walked around with empty arms. God, in His beautiful plan, has already ordained precious children to be placed into these families whose hearts have been touched and broken by His call to care for the orphans!! That is hope.
I'm struggling with a good scripture to end this post with! My mind keeps turning back to my life verse, Jeremiah 29:11. You all must think I don't know any other scripture. But my heart is drawn to those words of life and hope. Hope for your life. Hope for my life. Hope for the lives of the children who are fatherless here, but who have a Father in Heaven who loves them more than I ever could.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.