There was a time when I thought posting statistics and facts and cliques like “give up a latte a week” would convict people to give. My heart was only filled with compassion for the sweet little ones in my life, but I assumed the responsibility that was never mine.
Conviction comes from the Father, from His heart, from His love and in His scripture. Human to human trying to convict never works and it never will.
I want to share a story, however, because storytelling can change what we know of the world around us. A year and a half ago I wandered into Uganda unsure of what the future held for me, what it would mean to be back after heartaches and brokenness. Some sweet friends had sent funds and told me to do whatever was best and needed. I considered many options, but then I met two children who were not attending school. These children were precious, full of potential and lacking opportunity. Their mother was a hard worker, but the school fees just were not coming. So we reenrolled them into school and had enough funds to enroll two other little girls as well. In 2016 when I returned I came to their community to enroll them in school, instead of just the 4 we enrolled 8. A mere $150 changed the course of a child’s life, whispered to them that they are worth it all and that they will make a difference. I was met with stories of the Lord’s provision of how mothers had been praying for a sponsor and now look what He had done. I witnessed Jesus at work and answering prayers with the little offering that my friends had sent.
This year has been a little harder though, I have been more involved and that means watching as some children walk to school in uniforms while others stand with jerry cans and garden shovels waiting for their turn. My heart whispers one day your time will come and I want to shout those words, to tell them they are truth, see their deep brown eyes light up with hope and joy.
Oh, the injustices of poverty where children fight hard and parents fight harder. The darkness of the beast threatening families with every sunrise, every school term, and every illness. Poverty is longing to blow out their light, their fight, to suffocate them and whisper lies that there is no hope.
I want to stand on the tallest skyscraper in the western world and yell about where I have been and what I have witnessed. I want to tell them what potential and influential human souls are being crushed by injustices. I would tell the western world to stop seeking wealth and start living in harmony. I would tell them we never chose our corner of the world or who we are born to, that these are unearned and unjustified inequalities. But I am done wasting my breath on trying to convict because the heart of man is not mine to change or challenge.
Frankly, trying to convict people is exhausting. In place I chose to bring honesty, hope and the realness of these stories. They are not statistics or just names or hopeless dirty children with sad faces. They are bold and they are brave and they are the future of Uganda. These children possess more hope, love and potential than I can sum up in a few hundred words. They are brave souls waiting for their time to come, and when it does, the world will never be the same.
This year we are choosing to continue our walk alongside our 10 children and we pray that if there are more generous souls yearning to walk alongside these courageous hearts then Jesus will convict you. Conviction was never mine to use because on my own I am a sinner in need of an almighty Savior and I have no right in pointing fingers, but I do have a voice and I will tell stories of faithfulness and the glory of God in my little corner of the world. I will follow Jesus with my eyes on the miracle of the cross, even in the midst of heartbreak. I only hope that He returns or calls me home when my feet are dirty, hands are calloused and my heart in purely focused on serving those He leads me to.
These beautiful souls are waiting and I truthfully believe that one day their time will come.