“My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we
certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever.
But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us,
and His love becomes complete in us—perfect love!”
1 John 4:11-12
Ever since I was a little girl, I was filled with wanderlust (a strong desire to travel and see the world). My father went on several mission trips to Mexico and I was always envious of his adventures. My dad promised me that he would take me with him one day on a mission trip to Mexico and I could not wait! It wasn’t until seventh grade that I was finally able to go on a mission trip, to San Luis, Mexico, that changed my life forever. As a seventh grader I was able to see life outside the little, white, american, bubble that I had been raised in. I can still remember pulling across the boarder into Mexico for the very first time and being a little unsure of what my dad had gotten us both in to.
After bumping down a few sand roads we found ourselves pulling through a large gate that led into a large fenced in area that held several large white buildings, several palm trees, a little courtyard, and a large playground. We had arrived at Bethel Orphanage, run by Caring Hearts Ministries. Even as a 13 year old I knew that this place was extraordinary. I no longer was worried about being somewhere new, my heart was at peace and I was elated.
The next morning I woke up to find the courtyard buzzing with the most beautiful little children hard at work, doing their morning chores. No complaining, no arguing, just doing what they needed to do. I walked over to them and several of them ran over to me. At that age all I knew how to say was, “hola” and they all giggled and said it back. Although I spoke hardly any Spanish, my relationship with these precious children began to grow.
When I wasn’t helping with our very large painting project I was able to simply hold the kids. Many of them fall asleep as soon as you hold them just so you’ll continue holding them. I fell deeply in love with that orphanage and with all of the children there. My first trip to San Luis, Mexico was seven years ago (WOAH) and I have visited the orphanage a total of ten times now and even still my heart is tied to it. These children mean the world to me and have taught me incredible lessons about the love of the Father.I love those children with all of my heart… but the Lord loves them infinitely more than I ever could. Jesus made this incredible promise to us and to those children when He said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) These kids may be orphaned by circumstance, but God has made them His children. How incredible is our God? Several years later I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Haiti with my youth group with a ministry called, Vision of Hope Ministry. Although I had seen poverty in Mexico, Haiti was a whole new experience. People live day by day wondering how they will survive, how they will feed their children, how they will make it to tomorrow.
I took my fourth trip to Haiti this summer and we had the opportunity to go into peoples homes and pray for them and then provide rice, beans, and cooking oil to them. When we asked what we could pray for they all wanted the same thing; to follow after Jesus more closely and to love Him more. Our team was able to provide food for these people for a few weeks, but the Lord provides every need for all who cry out to Him! These people know the Lord is faithful to provide and they know the simple truth of life that all we need is Jesus. We need Jesus desperately and scripture says, “From there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)
So I leave you with this, when we love Christ we love His people. When we love His people, we learn more of who He is. When we learn more of who He is, we fall more in love with Him.
To support Caring Hearts simply go to http://www.caringheartsmexico.org/
To support Vision of Hope Ministries go to http://www.vohmhaiti.org/