“The soul is healed by being with children.” -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
In just a week I’ll be with a HopeHouse Orphanage Mission Team, leaving for Ukraine (July 3-14). Almost half of our group is returning from last year’s trip. In 11 days we will see between 1,000 and 1,500 orphaned children in 8 different orphanages.
I’ve got my packing list together and am so excited to see those kids and have the chance to share love, hope, and joy with them. But on the other hand, I’m working to prepare myself for what is undoubtedly one of the most emotional times of my year.
It’s hard to leave my wife and baby girls behind for almost two weeks. It’s hard to see firsthand the injustice of hundreds and thousands of children abandoned and living with no hope. And it’s hard to say goodbye to them after only a few short hours.
However, I must come face-to-face with injustice in order to change it. I must stare it in the eyes and tell it to its face that it does not have the last word. I must go to the darkest places on earth, because that is where Jesus found me, and shine the light of hope and eternal love. I must tell these children that they are valuable, that they are loved more than they can even imagine, and that they are not alone.
That’s the beauty of these trips– the hope which changes them also changes me. This is why so many people come back from an Orphanage Mission Trip and put in their deposit to go next year. As we work to spread the love of Christ, we unexpectedly find ourselves standing in it, reminded that we are valuable, we are loved more than we can imagine, and we are not alone.
Please pray for us as we prepare to embark, for safety and health, of course, but also that we would be open to the change which God desires for the orphans of Ukraine and for our very own hearts.