Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One week later...

I woke up this morning and realized that it has been one whole week already since I left Sierra Leone. This week has flown by...perhaps because I was in a jet lag fog until Friday! Or perhaps because life seems so much easier here. Seriously, it doesn't take hours for every meal, or hours to drive across town!

It was so sweet to go back to church yesterday and today and be reminded of how much I love the kids and people at Crossroads. I got so many hugs and "welcome backs" that I felt like a celebrity for a moment. I so love each of the children that come to Kidz Crossing with their smiles and tears! They are so precious. I love it when they laugh and when they sing about Jesus. I had so much fun with them this weekend, and I was so glad to be back with them.

I have spent the last week processing what happened during those two weeks in Freetown. The pain of seeing children, whose smiles are still very like the little ones I know here, and not be able to help them. To give what was promised to them or to change their circumstances. I pray that each of those little ones caught a glimpse of God's love for them as we interacted with them. I have to believe that we were able to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and at least for a few hours they knew they were loved by him. And really, they were Jesus to me. I look back over pictures and video and I see him...whatever we do for the least of these! So, although I don't understand the plan that God is working out in them, I believe that there is hope. That this is not the end of the story! We continue to pray for them and work towards the goal of providing each of them a place where they will be fed, loved, educated, and given hope. By God's grace it will be so!

Today, I know that there are several children living in the building we worked so hard to get ready. That those we left behind to continue the work have had the joy of welcoming little ones into the home and into their hearts. I am sad to have missed those moments but confident that there will be a time for me to go back again and see it with my own eyes. And until then, I will pray that each of them grow and flourish in this new place! Welcome home.

It is a marvelous thing to serve a God who loves everyone. (This was our lesson in the elementary room this morning) A God who loves everyone wants us to show love for everyone too...and that's a terrifying idea. That means that we need to love those who do the unthinkable too. How hard it is to see people like those exploiting these children for money and gain in Sierra Leone with God's heart. A heart that holds justice and compassion in perfect balance. That understands the deepest motivations of the heart and the causes of those motivations and doesn't excuse them for a moment, but continues to woo them towards himself. What a crazy love! One I cannot seem to come to grips with these days. That our God, who's kingdom is continuing to grow on earth, wants all to come to him. ALL!! So I am working on praying for those who seem like enemies, and loving my neighbors, no matter who they are, and living in the tension between righteous anger and mercy.

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