By Suanne Camfield
I was sitting at the biggest kitchen table I’d ever seen. Long and rectangular, it seated upwards of a dozen and every seat was full. I’d been invited by a senior leader of the non-profit I was working for and was excited, albeit a little nervous, to be there. As the food was being passed, our host asked everyone two questions:
1. What’s the best rollercoaster you’ve ever ridden?
2. What are you trusting God for right now?
I don’t remember my answer to number two (number one was easy, clearly The Magnum at Cedar Point), but I will never forget what he said as he stood at the head of the table. He said he was trusting God for changed lives. It was an answer I had never considered, but since then have often found myself repeating. Between little league games and laundry, work and writing, I aspire to be the kind of person who trusts God for changed lives.
Last year, I traveled to Ethiopia with a friend of mine who was adopting her second child. Two days into the trip, I hitched a ride outside the city limits with another American woman to visit Children's Heaven, a safe house of sorts dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned girls who had lost one or both parents to the AIDS epidemic. Our drive to Children’s Heaven was despairing to stay the least; the haven for these orphans resided in one of the poorest places I’ve ever seen.
When we arrived we were greeted by Hanna, the founder and director of Children’s Heaven. In 2004, Hanna began Children's Heaven with five girls. Today she provides basic necessities, after-school tutoring, mentoring, career training, medical services and biblical training to more than 81 girls who have lost one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS. Two hundred more are on the waiting list, hoping for their shot at a better life. (In case you didn't hear me, I said FIVE. Then I said TWO HUNDRED.) When we met the girls, who range from ages eleven to fourteen, I was struck by how beautiful they were. Not just because of their physical appearance, but because in the midst of brokenness, poverty and injustice, they were brimming with hope. Hope.
I knew immediately that Hanna and her staff at Children’s Heaven had trusted God for changed lives. I have been drawn to them since, keeping in frequent contact as we’ve become a sponsor for a young girl who is the recipient of Hanna’s faithfulness. My experience there reminds me how far reaching God’s grace is, what he’ll do when people trust him with the vision he’s placed on their hearts and to live out their influence in a way that changes lives. And when I get bogged down with all the busyness that life throws my way -- even in the midst of a season that beckons us to sit, soak and relax – I’m reminded to ask myself, “Suanne, what are you trusting God for?” I hope my answer, more often than not, will come back in the form that makes a difference.
So what are you trusting God for?
Suanne Camfield is a writer, speaker, publicist and the blog manager for FullFill. You can learn more about her experience with Children’s Heaven on her blog (www.suannecamfield.wordpress.com). To learn more about Children’s Heaven or to sponsor a child, visit www.childrensheaven.org