My heart has been heavily burdened in the wake of the flood of headlines that reveal a world broken and groaning for redemption. With the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the unrest of the Middle East, the failure of the American government to protect the unborn, the confusion and racial tension popping up in various American cities, and the constant underlying problems regarding human trafficking, there is much to grieve.
And it’s easy to be pulled into despair, especially as I tend to my home and care for my boys, often feeling like I’m not contributing to the needs that surround me.
Prior to children and the commitment our family has made to medical school my finances and time were relatively free to give, and I was capable of going and trying to meet the needs that I saw, I could spend hours working with children in shelters, I could travel and live abroad, I could spend evenings on the streets looking for ways to meet the injustice and comfort those who faced it, we could sponsor multiple children who, without sponsorship, were often victims of human trafficking.
But now, my time is focused and invested in two littles, and our finances are limited by medical school and all that it brings.
And if I bought into the despair I could miss something beautiful and important.
While I may not be able to hop a flight to Nepal (not that I have any real skills to contribute), nor can we give money to every issue that happens, and I am not capable of even knowing where to begin to address the issues arising in Baltimore and the rest of the world, I am literally investing and serving the next generation in two little boys. And my boys, by God’s grace, will one day be men, and I have the honor of being the one who can teach them who Jesus is, and what it means to follow him. I get to teach them that value is inherent in being human and it is their responsibility to protect those who are weaker than them and to defend those who face injustice; regardless of race, gender, or location (within our without the womb, and within the borders of any country). I get to teach them that they have the capacity to lavish love and mercy on whomever they encounter. I get to teach them that truth is worth defending. I get to teach them to be the hands and feet of our great God. I get to teach them the heart of the gospel: the heart that stopped beating for the sake of a world desperately in need of God’s healing.
And though I cannot help every child who is at risk of exploitation; the two children that we do have the honor to sponsor get to go to school, have enough to eat, and learn about who Jesus is and his great love for them.
I cannot address nor invest in every human injustice. But I can obediently respond to the calling God has given me today, the injustices he has convicted me to address, and those people he has directly put into my path to love. And I can raise up two men who, God-willing, by the strength of Christ, defend the weak, speak the truth, and stand as leaders in the face of a world crumbling under the weight of sin.
Because Jesus says it’s worth leaving the 99 to go seek the one lamb, and I think we know who that one lamb is in each of our unique circumstances. By being obedient to the areas he has given us right now, be it coworkers, children, spouses, friends, family, neighbors, or residents of distant countries; if we are fully invested in the people we encounter speaking truth and investing our time and finances and hearts where God has portioned our calling, it may impact one life, and that would be enough. We aren’t called to save the world, that’s what Jesus says he came to do, we are called to be faithful with what little we are given, and as Elisabeth Elliot says,
I put myself gladly, fully, and forever at His disposal, and to whatever He says my answer is yes.
If child sponsorship is an area that you feel God may be convicting and calling you to respond, I highly recommend Compassion. Child sponsorship is one of the most effective ways to put an end to child poverty and prevent exploitation and trafficking, and Compassion is among the highest ranked charities. Compassion is unique as a charity, it is centered on sharing the gospel while meeting basic needs, they focus on each child as an individual, committed to working alongside the local churches, and they aim to safeguard children from abuse and exploitation. Sponsorship through Compassion is $38/month and includes: medical checkups, food, health and hygiene training, educational assistance, and Christian mentorship.