The first time
I remember when I first heard about the Open Arms Foundation. I was sitting at church listening to Pastor Adam talking about the 2010 church missions and then he did it. He played the video.
I was moved to tears and I had this feeling wash over me: a feeling like I had to do something. But what? I couldn't go to Colombia, could I?
Weeks passed and I continued to think about the children I saw in the video: the young girls playing in the alley, the teenagers hanging out at a corner convenience store, the boys on the street. I thought about Adam's sermon about serving those most in need, about Jesus' saying "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.." (Matthew 25: 41-46). And that was it. I thought about it.
Around the same time, I saw Taken, a movie about human trafficking that haunts me to this day. Again, the same feeling: what can I do? Certainly I'm not to join the FBI and hunt down and prosecute traffickers. Right? It's just a movie. I can't really do anything here.
Trying to forget
And so I pushed it all out of my head. Except it kept coming back. I attended a local human trafficking seminar hosted by our church and I was shocked to learn of the staggering statistics about trafficking in the United States and even just in Ohio. But what could I do?
I kept thinking, "I have a husband, and a demanding job, and a volunteer gig with the Girl Scouts, and ideas about starting a family. Now is just not a good time."
As much as I tried to forget about everything I had seen and heard over the past months, the words 'trafficking,' 'children,' 'drugs,' 'sex,' kept slipping in and out of my head. And I kept pushing them to the back of my mind and filling the front with my life, my plans.
When plans don't go as planned
That didn't work. My life, my plans, were dramatically altered by an event too personal to discuss; but I will say that I had simply no choice but to listen to God. And when I listened, I heard Colombia.
And so I will go.
Saying yes to going
I am going to Medellin, Colombia on August 3, 2010. I will travel with a group of women from Eastside Vineyard Church on behalf of God to "work for, protect, and care for the street children who are abandoned, abused, and exploited."
As I learn more about the trip and listen to what God has planned for us, I will share it here in this space. I hope you'll read with interest and follow my journey.