“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves for the rights of all who are destitute.” – Proverbs 31:8-9
When I was 19 I prayed that God would show me what to do with my life. To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting such a clear answer. Well, at least not one like this. Six years later and He’s taken me overseas and into villages. He’s taken me to dance in the dust in Zimbabwe and rock babies in the Philippines. He’s taken me on long bus rides and even longer plane rides. He’s faithful, this God of ours. And when He calls us to things- He completes them.
I got my answer to that prayer pretty soon after I asked it. Not through a booming voice or through strikes of lightening but in a small whisper through His word. I went to a Christmas conference with my college ministry and it was there that I heard the staggering statistics about orphans for the first time. It was through hearing the need of orphans and reading His word, that God started giving me my answer. I started noticing all of the times God talked about the fatherless in His word and it moved me. Not to tears, but more to a questioning of myself. If God cared so much about the fatherless, that He made a point to mention them over and over again in his word, why didn’t I care about them? I felt extremely apathetic to this crisis and I didn’t know how my major of journalism and my love for photography could fit into this. So I prayed some more.
Sometime during that semester, all of the pieces started fitting together. He showed me that I could use journalism and photography to speak up for the kids who can’t speak up for themselves. He showed me that I could tell their story, and their dreams and remind Christians of our call to the orphan.
Throughout the years I’ve been so faithless. I’ve doubted God’s provision and often wondered how any of this would come together. All the while He has been faithful, opening doors and providing in ways that I could have never even imagined. He’s taken run-on sentences and out of focus pictures, and all my weak skills and He’s done exactly what He has called me to – tell the story of the orphan.
One of the clearest ways I’ve seen His provision in this is through Him opening the door for me to work with Restoration Hope. When I moved back to the states from South Africa and needed a part time job while I was in grad school. On my first day of school I went into the career center, and the woman on staff there (who happens to be a dear friend now) asked me, “What’s your dream job?” I told her about returning from South Africa, and wanting to use journalism and PR for an orphan ministry. She proceeded to tell me about Restoration Hope, an organization that “just so happened” to work in South Africa. I was floored by the fact that there was an organization in Jackson, MS that worked with orphans in the country that I just came from. A week later I met up with Jason and Brandy Hester, the founders of Restoration Hope, and they told me more about their organization and mentioned that they had started praying that month for someone to help with communications.
Isn’t God awesome?
Today, I head to South Africa and, Lord willing, I’ll be writing on this blog to tell you about the ways God is working in Sweetwaters, South Africa. I would appreciate your prayers during my time there.