Thursday, March 17, 2011

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you," says the Lord. ~Jeremiah 29:11

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. he brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." ~Genesis 50:20

From the moment we drove up to the FIRS Orphanage, the tears began to well up in me as our team received a warm welcome from the boys at FIRS. They taped home-made posters on the gate and all over the guest house welcoming us to their home. I instantly felt at home before even having the opportunity to personally meet each boy. The huge smiles and hugs just kept coming. I was so overwhelmed by their love for us, especially those of us that they had never met before. That first day would only offer a glimpse of the joy and love of Jesus that each of these children carry in their hearts.

At 5:30 the following morning, my teammates and I joined the boys for their daily time of worship and praise. It didn't take long before I found myself weeping. I cannot begin to describe the deep love and passion I felt from these boys for Jesus. It was truly overwhelming. Through their song and praise, thankfulness to Jesus overflowed from their hearts and throughout that room.

As my teammates and I continued to spend time and work with the boys over the next few days, there was one thing that each boy was clear about, and that was that God had planned all along that this is where He wanted them to be. They were THANKFUL that God brought them to FIRS! When I have read Jeremiah 29:11 in the past, I would often take this passage to mean that my life would not be so full of hardships, that that things would always work out. After spending time with these boys, they have challenged me in how I view this passage. It is so evident that their value and worth is found in their relationship with the Lord. Their hope for a happier life is not found in things or events. Rather it is found in the life they are living for Jesus. Their joy comes from knowing that God loves them so much, and that He has a hope and a future for each of them. These boys have reminded me that Jeremiah 29:11 is more about seeking Him with all of our hearts, and embracing the life He has planned for us not just for our own benefit, but for the sake of what Christ died reach the lost in India and around the world.

When Joseph in Genesis reassures his brothers that even though their intention to sell him into slavery was for evil, but God intended to use the situation to save the people of his time, I am reminded of the boys at FIRS. These boys are willing to take up their cross and follow Jesus all the way. They don't see their lives as a misfortune. They see their lives as part of God's Master plan to reveal to others who Jesus is. For children that have very little according to the world's standards, they are far wealthier than many of us because they recognize the GIFT that has been given to them inspite of their circumstances.

After spending such a short time in India, I am already challenged not to live a materialistic and mediocre life for Jesus, but more than that I am challenged to embrace the challenges that have yet to come my way and seek God for his purpose and plan in any and all of it; to not throw in the towel when things get too difficult, but to lean on Jesus more than ever, determined to carry my cross for the sake of His Kingdom. I am challenged to surrender a life of comfortability in exchange for a life that is intentional about obeying and loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind, and loving my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:37-39). My prayer is that I would not allow the business of life here at home to distract me from living a life that is fully committed to following Him.

1 comment:

  1. So blessed to read your thoughts, Quyen. I am excited to see how God will continue to move in your life as you seek to serve Him. Love you. Barbara