Later this week, Renaissance Man and I will be in Nashville attending Summit 9, an international conference sponsored by Christian Alliance for Orphans. It’s my first chance to participate and, quite honestly, I have mixed emotions.
- I’m excited about joining with … and learning from … other people and organizations who care about orphan
- I wonder if most of the sessions will be led by “normal” people like me — or ones whose language and everydayy demeanor is “over the top advocate for social justice.”
- I’m curious if God will use this conference to draw me even further out of my comfort zone. I have a feeling He might
- How will my spirit be affected by the global realities of children, orphans? Will my heart be crushed every single time I hear a story … or have my last 5+ years with Hope Unlimited for Children permanently changed my response?
For virtually my entire time with Hope Unlimited, I’ve struggled with guilt when hearing the stories of children abused, abandoned, prostituted … because my response is not a devastated spirit but rather a numb acceptance of the reality. What kind of heartless, hardened person hears stories like that and doesn’t react?
Only recently have I come to understand that numbness isn’t a bad thing; sometimes it’s how we are able to accept a horrific reality and then reach out to address the need. It’s how we turn from self-focus (I’m so sad) to other-focus (I’m here for you). Of course my heart breaks for children, and I’ve shed more than a few tears in private … but in the middle of the situation, my emotions and crushed spirit aren’t important. The only thing that matters is the child.
I’m still learning to embrace the numbness, even to be grateful for it. I now know it’s a God-thing; a way He allows me to remain strong and focused when the realities of a child’s situation would, in the past, have caused me to melt to my knees in agony … and rise from them in anger. I now know there’s a world of difference in being hardened and being fortified.
- God will prepare each person in attendance both to give and to receive much.
- God will protect and guide every detail … and the myriad of volunteers, speakers, exhibitors and attendees.
- Seeds sown at Summit will bear much fruit — for orphans, the Church, and God’s glory over decades to come.
Your prayers going before us — clearing the clutter from our minds — will help both of us hear exactly what God needs us to hear … to fortify our spirits … so we can better serve the little ones He loves.
|These children’s lives have all been transformed by God through the ministry of Hope Unlimited for Children. Their stories would break your heart.|