Dec 23, 2012


I have spent the last 2 weeks in Africa and since i have been home i wake up every night and can't fall back to sleep.  Some may say jet lag.  Perhaps.

The question that keeps coming to mind is how can i sleep when i know tens of thousands of children are going to bed on a dirt floor with no mattress or blanket but yet mine are asleep warmly in their beds??  Why do my kids get 3 solid meals a day but yet many only receive one which resembles a snack?

(A family of 24 live under one roof with over half of them sleeping on the floor)

The simple answer is--I AM BLESSED!  But, how can i not feel incredibly raw about this all the time??

I know what the gospel says.  I can quote scriptures about the poor.  I know God commands us to love mercy and justice, to feed the poor and the orphaned..blah blah blah.  And if we simply throw money into an offering plate for missions it's blah blah blah.

In fact, i'm pretty sure Jesus is serious about all of this since he basically says to care for the least of these in nearly every book of the bible.  But yet there is a gray area of filtering my life through our culture and not through the gospel. 

Is it really God's vision for us to build bigger buildings and acquire more stuff because we are Americans when the bible says God is obsessed with social justice?  So often we are blessing blessed people here in America as we dream about bigger houses and nicer cars or bigger church buildings.

Is this God's vision for us?  If all we do is talk theology and think about the suffering, what good is it?  Jesus did not seek out the rich and powerful, but yet he hung out with the outcasts and undesirables.  Are they suppose to walk into our 10:30 services?  Our bigger buildings?  Or are we suppose to go to them?

My trip to Africa makes me tired of Christian rhetoric.  Jesus' community is the brokenhearted.  The ones with the hurts, habits & hang ups.  Are our visions lined up with Jesus' vision? 

God, please break our American hearts for what breaks yours and align our vision with yours...


  1. Praying for you... the going and coming is really hard on you. We, as Americans, do need to think more about how the rest of the world lives. How can we do that if we are there, and comfortable? Praying that the Lord gives you the answers you need. And, ... for the rest of us!!

  2. I completely understand these thoughts, as I have similar ones with Haiti. I wish we lived closer so we could chat about it over coffee. Btw, the photos are great.

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  4. Sheila, every single word you wrote resounded with me. We do need God to break our American hearts. I am as guilty as the rest. I have been known to say I need a bigger house, or a new this, or a new that, when the things I have are more than enough - far more. So many go without food while I complain that I am "not in the mood" for whatever food is in my fridge or pantry at the time. How would those people who have no food love to have the very food I am complaining about?! Wow! Sheila, thank you for the reminder about how we need to be thankful for every single one of God's blessings!

    The first international mission trip in which Rob and I participated, we learned about what it meant to really follow Christ as opposed to practicing a watered down American "brand" of Christianity. Those with the least often have the most faith. Praise God for those with the faith to trust God with every detail of their lives. I pray that I could be like one of those!

    May God richly bless you for your servant's heart!!

  5. I know I am going to be wrecked when we travel to get our boys. Praying God gives you direction and peace. How is your fundraising? Are you ready to travel?

    1. We are done with fundraising and we have half of our travel funds raised. Ready to travel??? As ready as we are going to get. :) :)