In awe of God’s Overflow
I was raised by parents who instilled in me a sense of ‘make disciples.’ We served locally and went on the annual short term trip every year. They drilled into me that to those who have been given much, much is required. Our family has been blessed and I believe that outreach – local, international, domestic – is required of us as Christians because simply being born in America is ‘being given much.’ I say all that because today, like always when serving in other countries, I realized just how overly blessed I am. Working in missions, I have seen the poor and the truly starving and nothing really catches me off guard anymore. Working in the medical field in America and having everything at my disposal and then coming here and not having simple things like a scalpel or heel cups to treat a kid with Sever’s disease – which is such a simple fix in America – was just frustrating and it really broke my heart a little bit. I know what it’s like to adapt to another culture. I know what it’s like to work through a translator. But to see a woman who has had ulcers on her legs for years and who the doctors have essentially given up on healing cry because my translator and I were willing to crawl down on the floor to clean her wounds and do just simple, simple, easy care and instruct her in Russian (well not me so much but my incredible translator) – just kind of blew my mind. They had one gauze cling so we had to ration it out and only 2 bandaids. At the end of the day, one of the nurses that works out in this rural clinic for a Ukrainian village of farmers asked how this was compared to America and my translator was so quick to say to me, “don’t tell her how much better it really is.” It actually made me tear up a bit to realize I take for granted grabbing a bandaid out of my cabinet or taking Advil for a headache when I’m not even living with daily arthritis pain from bending over hoeing potatoes all my life in a cold country. I guess my point is I feel like I’m pretty seasoned when it comes to mission and I know God always reveals a new way to say, “look what I’ve done for you. Look how I made your cup overflow. Look how when you obeyed me, left the medical field to do missions full time, I gave you an abundance. Now, what are you going to do with your much?” And I pray that my heart will always respond with ‘Here I am God, send me’.
I always love connecting with believers in other countries because I feel like you have this automatic connection. We may not have a thing in common except God but that’s the strongest bond. It has been so awesome just plugging in to Kherson Christian Church and meeting these guys but tonight was extra special. My friend Ghenna, who was in the US for Faith Promise last year (stay tuned – FP is coming up next month and will blow you away with God stories from around the world) invited me and a teammate for dinner with his family tonight. We just sat around and ate and ate and ate but had a really cool time of meeting his kids, looking at pictures and catching up. Such a simple thing really meant a lot to me that this family would fix us a feast and invite us over to hang out on a Monday night. No matter how much you travel, flying across the world and seeing a familiar face, always feels good.
That was today – tugging at the heart strings and ending the day with a sweet reunion.