Monday, March 15, 2010

The Face of Blessing

My heart was wrecked this week.

God has been stirring me so violently that I feel I might explode. It isn't just this week, it's been the last several months. For about a year I have felt this deep nudging toward simplicity. If you know me in real life you might find that peculiar, because you know we do live simply. I find it strange too. For weeks, I've felt an extreme urgency to cut unnecessary expenses, create aggressive payoff loan strategies, and donned a new, money-tightening mindset.


Don't know.

Naturally, all of those principles are good in practice, especially in a tough economy...but the economic climate isn't driving this. God is.

I'm just going with the flow.

Last week, I was glued to this community as I experienced Kenya through the eyes of fellow bloggers. I am not exaggerating when I say their trip changed my life. All of the sudden the voices of simplicity started making sense. My eyes were open wide to a reality that thousands of Kenyans are living.

The Compassion Bloggers were advocating for hundreds of Kenyan children that needed sponsoring and the awareness they brought was impossible to turn from. Ben and I were compelled to do our part and searched through countless faces for the newest extension of our family. A few minutes in, my ever-discerning husband said, "This is morbid. We're not picking out a new pair of shoes...this is a life. Let's just sponsor the longest waiting."

And so we did.

Baraka is his name. Nine years old. His name means blessing in Swahili. His picture came in the mail, today, and my heart swelled with love. He probably wasn't chosen for his seriousness. He lacks the irresistibly captive smile that advertises often and hardship is etched on his face.

It was about this time, last year, that we first received Ty's ultrasound pictures. We proudly displayed them on the fridge. Countless times I'd wander by, looking for excuses to catch a glimpse of our son. Today, I found myself doing the same. When I look at sweet Baraka, I see another adopted son. A son who lives a world away. A son I'll likely never meet.

As God continues to expand my heart and family, I wonder, Lord what do you have next?

If you haven't read the Blogger diaries from Compassion's Kenya trip, go now. Allow God to rip your heart open and enlarge your worldview.

"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me."
Matthew 18:5


  1. my cousin spent a month in Kenya last fall....and you are right the stories that you will hear from someone that has spent time there will change you forever!
    Good for you for helping...every little bit helps!!
    We are so very very lucky....


  2. Oh Rebekah, he is precious. I to have been thinking of simplicity. I had always thought we had very little until we just moved. I couldnt believe that our meager means filled up a seventeen foot Uhaul truck as well as a large trailer. I told myself that even though I was gaining more didnt mean I wanted to gain more stuff. It sounds silly, but I have always just felt like less was more.
    My heart was also stirred durring the compassion blogging trip. I want to follow in your suit and find me a precious child to help.

    Love ya,

  3. We have sponsored a boy through Compassion for 5 years now and it has been a very rewarding experience for us. We love receiving his letters and drawings and we too have his picture on our fridge. Last year we felt called again to sponsor. We are now sponsoring a boy from Rwanda through World Vision. His picture is also on our fridge. We have felt called to do this and to do more. We are now in the process of adopting from Rwanda and are looking forward to the day we get to meet our new son. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I don't know how to exactly say this. You have helped me hear God's voice. I can tell when He is talking to me now. I read your blog and was always hearing you say the Lord told you this or that and I never really "got" it before. I get it now. I can hear Him. I know when he speaks to me. I had a message last week that I didn't know what it meant but I kept it in mind. When the time came, I knew it and followed through and it brought others happiness. I now know his voice. I just want to thank you for being so open to share your relationship with Him. I am just getting back to Him and getting close again and I want to thank you for nudging me there, even if you didn't know you were doing it.

  5. i think that is the BEST way to choose a child that I have EVER heard.

    i bet he's gorgeous :)

  6. I love my Compassion Children. The little boy we sponsor calls me his "American Mama" and the little girl calls me Tia Kelley, I love it!

  7. This is precious.

    We don't have an adopted child yet but it might be time. =)

  8. Andrew and I had a very similar experience last week and also went to the "longest waiting" option... I love how you put things into such wonderful words!

  9. Our hearts were stirred also, looking at the pic and reading those words. Great post.

  10. What a wonderful thing to do for that child! God Bless!