On a Barf Bag

Wendy and "That Little Chicken"

Wendy and "That Little Chicken"

I am sitting on a plane coming home from Ecuador, and since I don’t have a computer with me, I am writing my thoughts on the barf bag.

You see, out of the blue, about an hour from my home, tears sprung from my eyes as I began to reflect on my recent experiences.  I am referring to not only my experiences in Ecuador, but also my experiences leading up to this trip.

Ecuador Vision trip 09 056

Honestly, the thoughts that keep floating through my head are mixed with images of children in poverty from all my recent trips.  This includes Kenya, India and Ecuador.  I keep asking myself what I am supposed to do. Why does God keep allowing me to see these things?

Ecuador Vision trip 09 129

On my way to Ecuador I was reading this book by Francis Chan called “Crazy Love”.   It’s a book that has challenged me.  Am I willing to risk it all to follow Christ?  I must admit that here in America I am pretty comfortable and I don’t often have to make very many sacrifices to follow Jesus.  Not like other Christians in this world.  The premise of this book is that when we say yes to Jesus, we take up a life that is uncomfortable.  We say yes to things that others may consider crazy, like giving up income to help the needy.

Ecuador Vision trip 09 259

Then while in Ecuador, I met an Indian pastor who lives high up in the Andes, and after his conversion to Christ, he was persecuted by his own community.  He then sought to share Jesus and had his life threatened over and over.  Yet, even while he and his family were threatened, he continued to share the love of Christ.  Now, his church has a Compassion project and over 400 children attend this project.

Being a Christian requires obedience, bravery, and sacrifice.  Often in America we live comfortably.  We move from church to church when we are unhappy.  We complain when the economy tanks, gas prices go up and the government isn’t doing what we want.  Are Christians in the United States truly the light of the world?  Are we making a difference?  Why is it that 10% of all church goers give 80% to the church budget while the other 80% give only 10% to the church budget?  What is going on with the 80%?

Tonight, as the tears stream down my face and drip on this barf bag, I am reminded of the Big Loving God that divinely appoints each one of us to do His work on earth simply because He delights in us.  I cry because I know He still loves me in my weakness.  He still loves me in my lack of commitment and sacrifice.  He continues to gently remind me to be thankful for all things.  He allows me to meet girls like Wendy and her chicken who waits to be sponsored, and precious Karin in India who rejoices in life even though she lives in the smallest home I have ever seen.  I think of Hannah, my sponsored child in Africa, who recently wrote me a letter asking me to pray for her because people in her village don’t have enough water, and I think of David who recently relapsed on meth and needs to know that Jesus still loves him in his addiction.  I think about the seven pastors and their spouses that I traveled to Ecuador with, and their big hearts and desire and passion to minister.  I am overwhelmed with God that He allowed me to have such sweet fellowship this week.  Mostly, I am aware that God simply loves me and He knows my needs.  I praise Him, I praise Him, I praise Him.  I praise Him for each child I have met, for my family, for my home, for my health, my children’s health, for my husband, for Compassion, for my church and for this barf bag.  Without it I could not write down my thoughts and remember how I felt in this moment.  There may be a time I need to read this and remind myself of God’s great big Love. Ecuador Vision trip 09 381

One Comment on “On a Barf Bag

  1. I stopped here last night because I was flat worn out after a long…long day. It was a good place to end and a better place to begin today.

    After spending just a bit of time with you…I’m reminded why I instantly was drawn to you, Patricia. You’re genuine. Your heart is so big it shows. You c a r e about those around you and God is using you as a steady work of encouragement in the lives of those you spend time with…from your family, to all-too-brief meetings w/Compassion kids.

    I’m thankful for you, for this spot of encouragement, for how you’re loving others in the midst of your sometimes too-comfortable American daily grind. You shine, friend. Christ in you shines….

    Love you.

    {& tell Stephen I said “hi” & I miss his emails lookin’ for you :). It’s been too long since I checked in. 1,000 reasons for that, but I think it won’t be so long next time 🙂 )

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