Have you ever fallen in love with someone you've never met? I'm sure you probably have. How about 15,000 someones?
The summer of junior year and my senior year of high school was crazy. The summer of my junior year, the Lord was really preparing my heart for what was about to happen. God gave me the desire to serve. He gave me a love that I really can't explain for the sweet faces, young and old, across the world who are less fortunate than me. God gave me so much passion. God had a plan and Satan was going to do all he could to wreck that plan.
As senior year began, so did the frustrations. I was being hit from every side with things that were distracting me from the passion and the desire that God had placed in my heart to serve these people I had never met from the U.S. When I say "the passion and the desire" what I mean is, I was itching with excitement to serve God and serve these people. I could hardly sit still with pure joy and contentment at what God was doing in my life until I took my eyes off of Jesus and let the world distract me from HIS plan, HIS purpose, and knowing that HE is in control of ALL things. But God who marvelous in all He does, gave me scripture after scripture to remind me that what He was going to do was much bigger than what was happening around. He had it covered in more ways than one.
"They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and He delivered them from their distress."
Psalm 107:5-6 (NIV)
"For He satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things."
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled."
That was dealing with the work I was doing. Then He gave me scripture for my heart.
"The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.
The man declares,
'I am weary, o God;
I am weary and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be man.
I have not the understanding of man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.'
Who has gone up to have and come down?
Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands?
Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name and the name of his son?
Tell me if you know!
Every word of God is flawless;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in him."
Proverbs 30:1-5 ( v1-2 ESV. v 3-5 NIV.)
"But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me."
Though daily life raged on and the overall stress of senior year increased, God continued to remind me of His constant grace. He reminded me that His love for those that I so desperately wanted to serve topped any kind of love that I could express or experience. Every time I would read the statistics, I would become worried. Every 3 seconds someone dies of hunger. "Lord! What if that person didn't know you!" Then I would be at peace because one thing I do know, is that God works in ways that I cannot understand sometimes. Sometimes only looking back on a situation is the only way I can understand what God was doing. And God was definitely at work with my project.
When it came time to package, I was done. I was tired, everything that could've gone wrong (in my mind) did, and my teacher and other classmates were giving me a hard time so the sooner this was over, the better. I was also excited. People who donated time and money got to actually see the fruit of their money. 15,000 meals. 15,000 people. 15,000 souls who get to hear the Gospel! Yes! I may have gone into packaging day with the wrong attitude but God had a different plan.
During packaging day, I got to talk to other people who had been involved with CTW before and I became even more impressed with the organization. But God also burdened my heart for those 15,000 people. I fell in love that day with those people. I don't know their names, their faces, their circumstances but I know that God has plan for them and loves them immeasurably more than I could ever imagine (that's how He feels about us too!) so why shouldn't I love them. My heart is burdened in prayer for those sweet 15,000 faces. I pray that they are in good health and that those they love are in good health as well. But my heart's desire for those 15,000 gorgeous and handsome people is that they know God. That have a personal relationship with Him and trust Him with everything they have and everything that they are.
I fell in love with 15,000 people on April 13, 2013. Will you pray for them with me?
I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.