The first time someone questioned me on this I was somewhat taken off guard. I was very offended and I almost couldn't respond to their questioning. Thankfully God gave me the graceful words to answer the question. Little did I know that this would be the first of many conversations where others would question David or I on why our daughter is in Ethiopia serving.
As I have thought about this questioning and as we have talked about it I think I have come to some understanding of why these questions come. I think that people in our society can't imagine that a teenage girl would genuinely give up her life of luxury to go and serve the poor. They can't wrap their minds around the fact that someone like Megan would chose to leave from her family and care for children who are hurting, hungry, and alone half way around the world. They don't expect someone at her age to truly be following Christ. The more I have thought about this the more I realize that people can't justify that someone much younger than they are would do this. Maybe on some level it makes them feel guilty? If someone is forced to go and serve then that is one thing but if she has chosen to follow God and serve Him that is hard for them to wrap their head around.
Just to be very clear Megan came to us last spring and shared that she felt that God wanted her to give Him this next year of her life to serve in Ethiopia. If you have been a reader of this blog you know that my heart look a long time to get on board with my 17 year old daughter being half way around the world. It was not what I would have chosen for her yet if God was calling her I would not stand in the way. Megan has chosen to give this year to serve Him in Ethiopia and as her mom I couldn't be more excited for her (I knew I would get there.....it just took a few sleepless nights in the spring).
I know that Megan is exactly where she should be. It is a joy to talk with her and hear about the neat ways that God has already used her in these first 10 days. She has shared a few stories with our family about some of the home visits that she has gone on and I can tell she is right where she should be. She has been able to help meet some of the physical needs of children that she has visited and as a family it has been exciting to hear.
A few nights ago at bedtime our family was talking about some of the needs that Megan has already been able to meet. We then had devotions and our normal prayer time. As Garrett started to pray I started to weep. My sons and daughter have been the children that Megan is caring for. They know the pain of hunger that I have never felt. They remember how dark nights were when their family couldn't afford oil for their lamp. They know that when sickness comes that death follows because there is no medical care. When they pray for Megan as she is caring for the least of these in Ethiopia it is different than when I pray for her. It is real to them on a level that it will never be real to me.
Garrett prayed, "God, Help Megan to love all of the children there. Help her to give them food and clean water. Help her to have fun with them..........." and he continued ending with, "God, help them to not see Megan but help them to see You."
Our sweet Megan is not in Ethiopia because we have sent her. She is not there because she was required by us to go. She is there to be the hands and feet of our Jesus-To love on the ones that are so forgotten by our busy world. I pray that as people hear the stories of Megan that they will be challenged to be more like Jesus. As they question why any 17 year old girl would go that they would question their own heart.
My hope is that Megan would not only change the lives of those half way around the world but that she would change the hearts of those right here in our community. That as she chases after God in a way that others see they would be drawn closer to Him. That they would trust His plans for them. I am praying that we all will step out of our comfort to follow Him and be willing to journey where ever He is calling us.
I am so thankful that you are chasing after Him. I am so thankful that I am being changed in the process. I feel so blessed and humbled to be your mom. I pray that God would use you to do things more amazing than you could begin to imagine as you serve Him. I love that you are willing to trust Him even if that means hand washing your clothes.... :) Praying that tomorrow as school starts there that you have an amazing day loving on those He has called you to love. I hope that just like Garrett prayed that they would see Jesus. I love you and miss you more than you know- I would rather you be there in God's will rather than here with me out of His will. Hugs, kisses and lots of LOVE, Mom