Family movie night was here once again. I love it. Sitting around with my siblings and parents is the ideal way to end a long day. We chose to watch Star Wars episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. This wasn’t really uncommon, as my family loves Star Wars, but I watched this movie completely different than I did a couple years ago. For those of you who don’t know Star Wars episode 3, a guy named Anakin starts to go kinda crazy, can’t figure out who he wants to be, secretly has a pregnant wife, blah blah blah. Half way through the movie, he decides that he’s going to the Dark Side. He has to save Padme from certain death, and on top of that he isn’t becoming too fond of the Jedi Council. Anakin’s first mission as Darth Vader *insert Lord Vader music here* is to assist in wiping out all Jedi, young and old. I’ll cut to the chase, guys. He kills little Jedi children.
So there I sat, hand on chest. This guy, who knew these kids, became evil and killed them mercilessly. My heart broke for these children that never got a chance at life. I know that Star Wars isn’t real (my dad had to break that to me a couple of months ago), but the reality that this is actually happening around the world hit me. Children are being killed every day, without mercy! Children without voices, who don’t get to know what life is or experience the love God has for them. This is a real struggle!
One example of this struggle? Abortion. Children are being ripped from their mothers womb without any say in the matter. These babies need an advocate. They need people to stand up and fight.
Abortion isn’t the only form of abandonment that children around the world are facing. Let me share with you a quote from Katie Davis:
“The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.”
When I read this quote a couple years ago, it shook me. I began asking questions: What was I doing to help these kids? How was I going to get involved and bring hope? I was thirteen at the time, and knew my options could be limited, but I had to do something.
My first opportunity? I felt the call to sponsor a kid.
It was a bit crazy; a major step of faith. But through God’s grace, I adopted into my heart a sweet boy named Trong. He had cerebral palsy, and needed money for medical attention while his parents tried to find sturdy jobs. Inconsistent babysitting money provided this little boy with care. And once he didn’t need to be sponsored anymore, I began a sponsorship with a girl named Bezabish.
That same year, God called me to volunteer at Heartbeats International. It was an honor to serve at a center that is fighting hard to prevent abortion and teaching Psalm 127:3 (children are a gift from the Lord). Even though I was just organizing diapers and folding baby clothes, giving my time to support something that God was using to make an impact on the world was truly a blessing.
God is tugging on my heart to be an advocate for these children: the broken, the motherless, the sick, the abandoned, the abused. They need to know Jesus’ love. They need hope.
These things Gods called me to do are small and are not extravagant. I’m so excited and awed that God chose me and you to show love to His people. This has been a really humbling experience for me, and I am not at all proud of myself. I’m just overwhelmed with need and have recognized the call to “visit orphans and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27).
If you’re young and think that you have to wait to do things for God, just remember 1 Timothy 4:12:
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
(Photo courtesy of Amazima Ministries)