Recently this phrase came to my mind again. I wasn't shopping for a new home. I had the great privilege of attending a conference for Vision Trust in September. The conference focused on the plight of orphans around the world, our responsibility to care for them and what Vision Trust is doing to follow God's command to care for these orphans. As I listened to the testimonies of several children involved in the program, my heart broke and celebrated. It broke for the hardship that these young children had to endure and celebrated at the way God was working in their lives through the staff of Vision Trust and the donations of many people around the world. I couldn't help but relate their stories to my own and had to ask the question "what if?".
What if I had been born in another location? I did nothing to earn being born into life in the U.S. I am simply here because this is where my parents lived. But what if I had been born in Africa? Or Guatemala? Or the Dominican Republic? What would my life look like? As one of the girls shared her story of being orphaned and then placed in the custody of her grandparents, my heart broke. She was abused greatly by her grandfather. My Mom left when I was younger and my Dad raised us. For three years we lived with my grandparents. They showered us with unconditional love and care during those years. What if I had different grandparents? What if my Dad had run off and not taken on the responsibility to care for my sister and I? What if I didn't know where my next meal was coming from? What if...what if...what if....?
Location, location, location. I am who I am today partly because of WHERE I was born. This is nothing I earned. It is not to my credit. I am not more special because I live here in the U.S. But because I do, I have so many more privileges than most of the world. As I thought about this, I couldn't help but feel an even greater call to help the orphans around the world. God has called us to do this in His Word (James 1:27). He knew some of us would have more than others and has asked us to care for those in need.
Last Sunday was Orphan Sunday. If anyone is interested in learning more about Vision Trust, check out their website at www.visiontrust.org. Sponsoring children through them has been an incredible blessing to our family. Brent went on a missions trip a few years ago with Emily that was life changing. This is an organization that not only wants to share God's love, teach them and provide for their basic needs, but enable them to succeed on their own and become independent at some point from the support of others. They teach these children to be leaders in their community. There are many good organizations out there who do great work for the poor and the orphans of this world. Take some time to think about your own location....how would life be different for you if you weren't here in the U.S.....and ask God if He would have you be a part of caring for the orphans of the world. You will be blessed greatly.