I posted this yesterday on facebook and it received so many responses from people saying they needed to hear it, that I thought I would also post here…with some additional thoughts below it:
friends...there are so many debates going around right now within adoption and ministry community that it's really getting disheartening. If I really took to heart everything I was reading I would come to the conclusion that everything we have done in the last 4 years has been terrible, I trafficked my boys, and I probably destroyed several countries because I blew some bubbles with some kids out in the dirt. Some thoughts... 1) There is no one size fits all mission program...it depends on the country, the people, and the community. 2) Books are books and are someone's thoughts and opinions..read them...but it's not gospel. Unless it IS the gospel. 3) What's right for me and my family may not be right for you. My experience is my experience. Yours is yours. Let's learn from each other. 4) Everyone is constantly learning and changing and rethinking things. How about in LOVE sharing what you have learned to help new ministries or families in adoption instead of pouring judgment out.
and may I say that I realize that trafficking does happen..and I abhor it just as God does.. but we cannot stop doing the things God calls us to do because there are evil people. Instead..we do those things we are called to do while fighting evil. Does that make sense??
Now…as I keep thinking about this…I also want to add is that we have to be careful not to lump every adoptive parent, every agency, every ministry into one big pile and paint with very big broad strokes.
I am seeing people becoming frozen and not doing anything because once you start researching you feel every thing is considered wrong ..and then you have no idea what to do.
That is not helping!! So…what do we do??
Pray..asking God to lead you and to shut doors you are not supposed to go through (and then listen and wait for His answers!) Be diligent, do your homework, ask questions, choose agencies or ministries you support wisely.
If God leads you to a short term mission trip..then DO IT. There are many ways to do these and do them right. Don’t make it all about you. Don’t make it all about what you bring. Blend in as much as possible. Be respectful. Ask the in country staff how you can help. Listen to them. Go to share love and to be a friend to people. Make the people more important than any project.
I read a quote one time and I don’t even remember where…about whether to give money or to go on the trip. The person’s response was “love is much better given in person” I big puffy heart love that.
From Greg and I’s first short term mission trip launched our adoptions, a ministry in Zambia supporting a school and many other things within a village (that is still going on with different people leading it), and now Project HOPEFUL Awassa.
Have we learned things? Yes, looking back there are many things that we should have done differently. Many things we do differently now because of those lessons learned.
But you know, I don’t think God responds with “well, you screwed that up—done with you now. Way to mess up my entire work in that country. Guess I will move on to the next one”
Also..there are many books, blogs, websites, facebook posts flying around out there right now. Many from people I respect. By all means, read them, glean from them, and learn. But remember…it’s a person. Who is just as much a mortal person as you and I. Another person who does not have it figured all out. It’s a person’s opinion and thoughts coming from their experiences. Someone else could right a completely different book or post from their experience.
And..I also want to say…that Project HOPEFUL Awassa’s biggest supporters are adoptive families—those in process and those with their children home. Giving their time, energies, and money helping families to not have to make heart wrenching choices.
And that is beautiful.