As many of you know, the kids at our local foster/orphanage, and at most orphanages around Ukraine, have been at the government run (and mandatory) youth camps for the past 6 weeks.
During this time, renovations have been taking place on their dormitory from the fire that destroyed it just as school was ending. If you recall we gathered funds from many of our friends and supporters, and helped the kids initially with replacements of clothing and shoes. We put additional funds towards the finishing of the bedrooms, which is now finished!
Today I drove out to the school intending to just take some update photos, and to my surprised the kids were back – they just arrived yesterday. I was overwhelmed with love as they crowded around me, touching and hugging me like I was a furry zoo pet.
I almost began to weep. On the way over there God was stirring in my heart towards the unloved – just minutes before I found a drunk man outside our Cafe, passed out and baking in the hot Ukrainian sun. People were stepping over, and going around him. I saw him from the Cafe, and I had to do something.
I tried to drag him into a shaded area, but he was too heavy. Another guy saw me and hopped off his bike to help. We each grabbed an arm and were able to move him to a better spot. He was sweaty, disgusting, and lost. I got him some juice from the Cafe and I felt the voice of God speak to my heart:
“What kind of light will you be?”
Our cafe is called, “The Lighthouse Cafe”. We’ve decorated it with this theme, light dispelling darkness, I love this concept and believe the gospel does this very thing in each of us. It’s a great concept, but what does it ‘really’ mean to be light?
Every person who doesn’t know Jesus Christ, needs light. But what does it look like? I felt God speak to me – that my light, or rather my concept of what light for Christ IS, is a sterile, sanitary light. He doesn’t want me, or any of us to simply point the gospel of hope like we would a flashlight. The light that God wants doesn’t just point or instruct- it goes there. It gets dirty, it cares, is costs – doesn’t it? This is basic Christianity I realize, but love is pretty basic.
With the drunken mans sweat still stuck to my skin, I began to question my own heart and motives. I felt I bit like Peter perhaps after Jesus reconciles with him, “Peter do you love me?” I think this cafe will serve a good purpose, a Kingdom purpose, and we will build relationships, we will shine as followers of Jesus Christ. But what kind of light am I willing to be, am I ready to be? How I answer that question to a large degree will determine the eternal success or failure of our physical efforts.
It was with this heavy heart (but not discouraged!) I drove out to the kids school and was swarmed by the loving unloved. I felt God’s heart again, the Father’s heart. Even as I typed this now I find myself with misty eyes. I want to feel God’s heart, but I know it will cost me to keep it. I will need to be willing to get dirty more often – this is how we display the love of God, and become greater lights in a dark world.
We will be putting some remaining orphanage funds towards the kids return to school. They currently need school shoes (dress), clothes. We are also going to help them, Lord willing as able, to replace their TV and computer that was destroyed.
If you’d like to join us in donating this to the kid’s you can give online securely – click here
or go directly to:
We also just added a monthly gift option for anyone that would like to support our family and efforts more long term.