I've been trying to think of what I would answer if someone were to ask, "Why are you doing this? Why do have to leave? Why not just stay here?". No one has asked that yet, but let me just answer that in case anyone is thinking it.
Since I've recently entered the blogosphere, I've been reading a few of the blogs out there. I've mentioned KissesFromKatie before, so last night I was reading her archived posts and came across one of my reasons. She basically put it into words for me. This, by the way, is just one of the many, MANY reasons "I want to be a missionary" (such a cliché phrase, but unpacking that phrase is a whole entire post unto itself, which I will leave to a later date). Katie, 21 year-old missionary in Uganda, writes:
I bet right now at this moment your heart is sad for her. Is it as sad as it would be if Angelina were your daughter? Angelina is God's daughter. His heart aches for this perfect, wonderfully made child of His. Her circumstances do not surprise Him, but I have no doubt that they grieve Him tremendously.
And it's not just children, because we are all children in His eyes. Grace is maybe 60 years old but looks to be pushing 100. She can't weigh more than 85 pounds. Grace is a mother to six children, but 4 have died of AIDS and the other two have deserted her for a better life. She lives in a 4 by 4 foot room that is pitch black, but she doesn't mind; in addition to being to weak to walk, Grace is blind. She NEVER has any visitors. At night her bones ache against the hard dirt floor and her feeble body shivers with cold. A cough racks her body and her stomach rumbles in hunger making sleep impossible.
Its sad, huh? How sad though? Sad enough that we want to do sometime about it? Sad enough that we will remember Grace tonight as we snuggle down into our beds or next month as we pay the bills? Maybe. But maybe not. Because it hurts, but it doesn't hurt that much. It doesn't hurt the way it would if Grace was your grandmother all alone there in the dark. It does for God. Because Grace is His."
Big A when he weighed 15 pounds, at 3 months old
Sigh. Tony and I prayed for that little girl last night, but she may already be dead by now. Maybe she's not. Maybe there is a happy ending to her story, we'd love that to be the case. But whether there is or isn't, knowing about stories like hers, having the opportunity to go and make a difference somewhere, and NOT going is just not an option anymore for us. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17. I can't stand before God someday and say, "Oh, but God, I didn't know!"
It just makes me sick to my stomach to think about that little girl, and the fact that I still live HERE. It makes me sick to my stomach that I have an extra 5 pounds around my waist and I whine about it as she withers away to nothing.
So really, the question is not, "Why go?", but, "Why not go?".