Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thoughtful Weekend

I wonder if anyone ever reads this. Sometimes what seems like a good idea can totally turn around and hit you in the butt. I guess in a small way tho', this has been kinda therapeutic. Writing down my thoughts helps sort out my mind.

This past weekend my husband and I took 8 kids from our Youth Group to Strathmore for a youth conference. It's something we do every year. However this was the first time I've been able to go. The team behind the conference try to get the weekend as meaningful as possible for Jr. Highers (the age group allowed to go to this specific conference) while still attempting to make it meaningful for leaders as well. This year they did something different and had stations set up around a gym for the kids to go to. There was a prayer station, a "Dear God," station where the kids could write notes to God, a foot/hand washing station, a "Letters from God" station where the had scripture written all over a table and a "sin-giving" station where the kids could throw black paint against a white sheet of drywall symbolizing them giving their sins to God. It was really cool and very well done. Definately something that impacted both kids and leaders. But there was something else. Each year they take an offering. This year the money was going to a group called Childrens Hopechest. They showed a video clip and one of the leaders had been to Russia and seen first hand how the program worked. It all got me thinking about my own children. There are so many unwanted, uncared for, and needy children all over the world. What right do I have in bringing another child to life when there are so many others who could use my help and would die to have a mother's love? It all pulled at my heart strings and I started to cry. Does anyone have an answer? Why does God allow this to happen? Are not children innocent in His eyes? The video said that there are over 800,000 orphans in Russia today. When they turn 15 or 16 they are released from the orphanage and sent into the world to make it on their own and "survive". I don't remember exactly all the stats, but I remember that only 10% of those "released" make it and survive. Roughly 60% commit suicide, 30% turn to prostitution. It makes my heart ache. If this even makes your heart quiver a bit, there are many ways that you could help. Ask your church about sponsoring a child. I started sponsoring a child 10 years ago thru Compassion Canada. There are groups that sponsor thru World Vision. I encourage you to look for an organization that suits you. Be thorough in your search and find out exactly home much of a monthly donation goes straight to the child. Or if sponsoring isn't your thing, pray. It's amazing how a simple prayer can change a life.

May God be with you and your family this week!