Two years ago, I was oblivious to the fact that one out of every ten children in Ethiopia dies before their first birthday and one out of every six dies before the age of five. I didn't know that between 60-150 million kids live on the streets, and only 24% of households have access to safe drinking water. I had no idea that half the children there would never attend school, and 88% would not make it as far as secondary school, severely diminishing their chances of ever holding a job.
But now I know.
So what do I do with this knowledge? What do I do now that I know that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, sexual violence against women and female children is the worst anywhere in the world, over 1.2 million people are infected with HIV, and malaria kills 400 children a day?
For us the answer is everything we can. For us that means adopting again in the future, Lord willing. It means encouraging other families to adopt and supporting them when they do, it means sponsoring a child in another country, it means praying for those who hurt and go hungry, it means sacrificing of the plenty that we have to share it with those who have little, it means letting others know about the need and looking for ways to be actively involved.
I think we have a responsibility. God has given us so much. In fact, we're overwhelmed by His mercy! We don't deserve the families He has given us, the jobs, the food, the safety, the home, the church, the Bible or the time to study it. It's all mercy.
So if that good Giver of mercy dwells within me, won't I show mercy to others? Won't I love them? Won't I be sacrificial? Or will I choose to hide my head in the sand, ignoring the pain and suffering of so many while I enjoy a comfortable life?
Oh Lord, help us instead to be uncomfortable until we become extenders of the generous mercies you have richly showered us with.