I come today to simply share some of the realities of missionaries. I want to share some of my secret struggles and battles that wage within. I would ask you to imagine this story as I speak.
Think of a life that every time you stepped out of your compound you saw poverty. Think about the possibility that often right outside your gate there are people waiting to speak to you to share their needs and struggles. Looking at these broken people and simply seeing what you could do. It is an often tale of people we know that come because a mother is broken because she has no food to feed her children or a young girl tells you her and her family have not eaten in two days. This is just outside our gate and what is seen or experienced day to day.
I so often go back and forth in my heart – I must do something, I can’t do something – and what can I do? You go back and forth inside, often you just harden your heart so you don’t feel the weight of it and then when you spend time with God and your stone heart becomes flesh again and you try to find a balance. You can’t close your eyes when God is trying to hold them open. You try to ignore the things you see, but in reality you can’t forget.
How can you not notice when you ride down to the Village of Jeremiah and the children you see on the road almost always have on the same clothes? The ones with broken or ripped clothes they wear almost as if it was their uniform. How often the girls from the soccer program come because they need money for food or school fees or my wife is telling them to go to school to make something of their lives, but their parents want them to work. No future or hope. Or I go to the clinic and see the pain and desperation in the eyes of people and there is someone just wondering how they are going to pay the bill. Trying to help when you can but sometimes by the 3rd week of the month you are budgeting what is left then something else comes and you just consider the cost and just simplify your menu and only have meat a couple of times in the week.
Sometimes you give to those that are hurt and other times you give till it hurts.
I wish I always gave till it hurt, but sometimes I just don’t. How do I balance love and budget when sometimes the people in the clinic cannot pay and you see the debt of patients increasing and the budget is not enough to cover it? How do I choose what to do? How often we try to help but sometimes have to leave some helpless.
Would you help us to do more as we press in to make a difference here in Burundi? You can become a part of the work here by signing up to give $10 a month in our Hope Arising campaign or coming to volunteer with us here in Burundi or with our USA team.