Sunday, March 22, 2009

Workers in the Harvest Fields

Razdolnye Camp 08-Day One 021 

“Look at the nations and watch- and be utterly amazed.  For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”  Habakkuk 1: 5




Last week I had the privilege of being among the 200 people attending a summit for those working with orphans and children at risk in Eastern Europe.  The conference was primarily attended by Ukrainian & Russian nationals who are working in various spheres of influence in the Church and ministries.  It was a blessing to be at a conference where there were more nationals than “foreigners” (like me) who have caught a vision for the orphans; for truly it is when nationals catch a vision that change can really begin to happen.  Speaker after speaker gave words of encouragement and challenges about getting involved on behalf of the orphan, through both friendship and adoption.  We were reminded of our Biblical mandate to care for the orphans and the widows in this world as a true expression of our faith.

Visions were spoken about a Ukraine without orphanages as Christians rise up and take ownership of this problem.  A vision was also shared about seeing each orphan in Ukraine have a personal friend from the local church- and to see this happen in the next 5 years.  Such a big vision that it can sound pretty impossible!  Especially in a corrupt and bureaucracy laden country like Ukraine. 

And then I found the above verse from Habakkuk and I was reminded of the God we serve. A God that can move the mountains, a God that can bring families to the orphaned and healing to the broken. A God that still makes beauty from the ashes.  He only asks that we join with him in participation. He asks us to be his hands and feet. I am reminded of the famous words spoken to Esther when she was contemplating her role in the deliverance of her people. “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews [orphans] will arise from another place……and who knows but that you have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this?”  Esther 4: 14

The reality was that Esther didn’t have to participate- because God could accomplish his purpose without her. But he gave her an opportunity- and opportunity to take part in a bigger plan and to be used by God  to effect the lives of thousands—to change their destinies!  When I hear this story I am reminded that yes, I can stay silent, and God will continue to use others to fight on behalf of the fatherless—because it’s not dependent on me.  But I would hate to think what I would have missed if I stayed silent.


Debbie said...

Amen! I am eager to see how God uses you further, how He uses me and Garth, how He uses the Ukrainian Christians. I pray many, many will be involved because God has given them the opportunity--and they stepped out in faith.

Evie's Story said...

So glad for the ways God is CLEARLY using you there. So proud of you friend. And miss you terribly!
Have some quiet time with all the kids tucked in bed and want to give you a call and catch up....and then I think of the fact that even sweet YOU probably wouldnt really appreciate hearing from me at 4:00am. Miss being in the same time zone!

Emilie Clemmens said...

Wow, Karen. Thanks for sharing the story of Esther--I needed that. I'm going to go reread it right now. Love your website and am continually in awe of your work.

Wish you could see the kids. Audrey is 4 now! Her attitude would crack you up. Henry is my little angel with strawberry curls. My thoughts are with you.