I am on the edge of something that demands my attention. Have you been there? The edge is an uncomfortable place. It requires a leap of faith or backing up, because living there isn’t a viable option. When I was asked to prayerfully consider taking a trip with a select few on a vision trip to visit Touch A Life’s Care Center in Ghana, my heart leapt at the opportunity. This would be something that would fulfill a 13 year dream: going to Africa and searching out a calling I’d felt at 16 years old. However, my reality told a different story.
Due to recent changes in our family’s dynamic, my team leader insisted I seriously consider raising support for my travel expenses, which was the LAST thing I wanted to do. She shared something that TAL’s Co-Founder Pam Cope had said to her in the beginning conversations:
“You just need to get your feet back on African soil and watch what God shows you there. He provides big time. Just go, you’ll see.”
With these words on replay in my head, constantly shuffling through my day, I strategically began sharing my story. I told of my hopes and insecurities, and I watched God multiply my simple ask. Before I knew it, the funds were raised, I was on a plane, and my feet landed on African soil. I breathed Ghanaian air, listened to Ghanaian noises, fell in love with the Ghanaian time, the people; I fell in love with myself and the clarity I had there.
In America, again, I am waiting for things to come into focus, continually asking God what, when, where, HOW? I’m bringing my open heart, hands open to give and receive as I wait for him to reveal his plan. I don’t know how it will happen, I don’t know what will develop, but I know my heart will NOT rest until I’m there.
As I’ve slowly reacclimated back home I’ve realized a few things:
God meets us with abundance when our hands are open to receive AND give that gift away. I realized that I left a piece of my heart in Ghana that I can’t get back. There’s work there I can’t walk away from or ignore. What felt like a great divide prior to going doesn’t feel all that great any longer. A standard Starbucks drink per day can pay for an education sponsorship. Not all that much separates us. We all have the same needs. Meeting them isn’t the challenge—it’s putting the face and the story together that changes our hearts.
I realized I have a responsibility to these kids as well as to MY kids in America. It’s my job to share, to open my mouth and speak for the kids without a voice. I can’t stay quiet. I can’t unknow or unsee their faces, unlearn their stories. Our family has two biological children, and what I know is that the TAL kids feel like my own kids; they hug the same, smile the same, play the same, learn the same. We aren’t all that different. I can’t take any of them home with me, but I can continue to support the work and efforts there, to make Ghana better, one person at a time. I can get my feet back on African soil as often as possible. I can tell the Touch A Life story link to Our Story page. I can keep asking God what my role is and to reveal himself to me through this work.
This is just the beginning. Would you consider giving? Going? Learning more at TouchALifekids.org . When hard things wreck us, there’s a beauty that rises from the wreckage, a remaking. Lean into it. The way out is through.
Visit TouchALifeKids.org/Give to find out more about how you can make a difference in the lives of these children.