As I start out on this journey I have had many people ask me difficult questions. While I know that all of them are in concern and love I find myself wondering the same things.
All of these concerns steam around the idea of me having 7 kids in a home where I am the only primary caregiver. I will not argue, that is an outrageous amount to take on. It is not a task (or idea) that I take lightly. However, I do see where their doubts creep in.
Honestly, can I care for 7 children on my own? Of course I intend to hire nannies but that is something that financially isn’t an option at this point. Perhaps someday, but not now, when I have $1,900.oo to budget and make last for as long as possible, payroll is the last thing on my mind.
Over the last few days as I have settled in I have been reminded of what my true vision for this project is. Children in this home is the very least of what I intend to do with my work here. I chose to make this a home for children because that is what my heart desires. I want to be surrounded by my babies, because that is what I love. At the same time I know that my real work here is for the people in the community around me.
My real work consists in providing HIV tests, free of charge for anyone who comes in need. My real work is in providing those people with vitamins, nutritional supplements and education classes. My real job is to do everything in my power to share hope. My work is to encourage those I come in contact with, to convince them that life is worth living, no matter how short or difficult it may be. My passion is to teach the people who come to me that they are worth my time and energy. Their culture may say give up and wait to die, I am here to show them that there is so much more than that. My real job is to love this community. To sit and talk to them when they need someone to listen. To know their names when they come to me for help. That is what I am here for.
A long time ago God placed a passion for babies in my heart. He allowed a longing for children, he created it! Originally I set out to build a home for children in need. As I search my heart and listen to the council of those around me I am coming to realize that once again, God is bigger than the plans that I have created.
He gave me a passion, allowed me to live it and now He is teaching me to let Him lead, even when I don’t want to.
I know in my heart of hearts God is bringing me the babies I have longed for. Already He has lent me one, Friday I have a meeting with the family of another. However, it’s possible I put my ideas into play before I let Him guide me to the place He wants.
Maybe God wants me to have only 2 children, and spend the rest of my energy on other things. Maybe He will bless me with 5 and give me the strength to still pour into my other work. I can’t see the future and no matter how much I want to plan, it’s not my place. It’s a lesson I will continue to learn for the rest of my life, but I’m ready to embrace it!
God knows the family He is building for me, for this house. He also knows what He has placed on my heart. If 7 babies and an additional full time job of running the outside project of Espwa Berlancia is His plan, then I trust that He will provide. If He is choosing to bless me in ways that are not according to my plans I will surrender.
This week we administered our very first HIV test here at the Espwa Berlancia headquarters. The results were negative. The quiver of nervousness that I felt while waiting those 10 long minutes is indescribable. When the negative results appeared I was filled with relief, but it was marked with a sense of urgency. This little boy’s test didn’t change his life at all. He will go one as he did before, learning to crawl, walk and thrive.
I know that it is very likely that soon I will encounter a different result. On that day I will have no choice but to rely fully on the fact that God finds me worth of being here for such a moment as this.
The outside work of Espwa Berlancia is moving to the front of my mind. This is not to say that God will not bring babies to my family, but I am learning that this may be my dream, not His. He will grant me the desires He has given, while at the same time He will guide me in the direction He has ordained.
My goal in this work is to be entirely honest with all of my supporters. Never to “trick” you into thinking I am doing something that I am not. For that reason I think that it is only fair to let you know that there is a good chance that this may not develop into what we originally thought. However, I know that God brought me here, He designed my heart for this place and He knows exactly what He will do with this willing heart.
Only time will tell. Maybe they are my plans, maybe they are His. Maybe He planted desires that will be more than any of us could have ever dreamed. Only patience, and God will reveal what amazing things will grow out of this willing and open heart.
“I am not the boss, you are not the boss, Jesus is the boss!”
Boss my heart.