Visons of Responsibility, Pain, Tears

first-year-igo-studentsDear God, You said to whom much is given shall much be required. Surely I am more indebted to you than anyone else in the world! And Lord, this morning again you have allowed my eyes to see and my heart to feel the pain and emptiness of those in darkness, and those in tremendous poverty without you. You have made me responsible for what I have seen and heard. Why, after these thousands of years, is there still poverty and ignorance like this? Why are not more people catching the burden when the need is so blatantly obvious? Why was I placed in the most blessed of situations here on earth? My heart is full, Lord, and I am filled with shame and sadness at my own lifestyle, with pain and turmoil at the situation of our world, Your world, and at the same time I am filled with awe and wonder at You. Lord be in me, and lead me as I take these steps here at IGo, and make my commitment to working in Your field. As Isaiah said, I am a man of unclean lips, but You have rescued me, and called me out to turn my blessings into blessing others. Here am I, Lord. I will go and tell, I will leave family and home for your sake as you asked the disciples to do, if only You have a place for a sinner like me in Your plan for the nations. For the sake of Your Name . . . Amen. –Arlin

 

I feel at a loss knowing how to respond to what was shared today – at a loss because . . . . I feel angry – angry at the unfairness of a world were many have nothing and a few have it all. I feel guilty – guilty because I am part of the few, and have done so little for the many. I say I have given up comforts in order to be here at IGo. I have given up so little to be here. I still have plenty of clothes, three meals a day, a comfortable bed, water for showers, benefits of electricity, to name only a few of the comforts I enjoy. I feel helpless – helpless because I’m not sure what kind of response the Lord wants from me. I pray I will never be the same. I’m asking God to give me strength to carry out the response He has for me. –Katrina

 

It is obvious that the spirit that is behind the American lifestyle is not for me as a Christian. The question then comes to me is; how can I go back to my home and family and live a life that is useful in the building of the kingdom of God in the middle of such an affluent society. God made it very clear in the months prior to coming to IGo that he has a work for me to do in our local city of Lancaster. I think my attitude needs to be that of Paul in Philippians:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I know that God will give me the grace to walk with Him no matter where He places me.

It may not always be easy, but I am convinced it is possible. Already I know there are some things on my heart that I need to change when I return. –David

 

God, I want to serve You. I want to go where You want me to go. I want to reach out, to show Your love and mercy to the suffering, to help the prisoner of sin find true freedom.

Father, forgive us for our callousness. We often forget that real people suffer, that each person has a soul that needs You. Open our eyes.

Lord, here I am. I stand before You, human and weak. My list of faults and failures is depressing. But I believe You have given me a heart for these people; You want me to be part of Your plan. Here I am. Send me. –Jessica

 

I see a girl smiling . . . . Yet it is an empty smile. A smile stemming from a heart that has not known the depth of her Father’s love.

I see two street vendors laughing . . . . Yet it is a hollow laugh. Laughter devoid of genuine joy because They do not know the Author of Life.

I see a young woman begging . . . . For money to feed the fragile son in her arms. Yet in her eyes, she begs for something much more – for a taste of the Bread of Life.

I see a boy bowing . . . . Bowing to a lifeless god while another stands nearby watching, heart breaking, longing to restore his soul.

In the pale face of a starving mother who gives her morsels to her children,
In the sunken eyes of a dying child lying alone in an African hut,
In the helpless cry of a small babe raised to be sacrificed to a stone idol,
In the deformed body of a crippled girl begging for food in the streets of Bankok,
In the tortured gaze of a once beautiful lady selling herself in order to live,
In the feeble weeping of an old woman burying her only son in the Sahara sands,
In the hopeless eyes of a soul passing from life to eternal death, I see Jesus. –Beth

 

How can I explain what I’ve felt? My heart was pounding I was breathing hard. I was just plain disgusted at how I have lived my life until now. What a waste, spending my money, on food I did not need, clothes I did not need, playing around with the guys on x-box, or whatever. I am ready to go. What Isaiah said stuck out like crazy. Here am I, SEND ME. I long for that willingness. I want to dedicate my life to affecting the 10/40 Window. I want a vision, I need a vision. –Josh

 

Lord, give me a vision for the people of the world! Not just a feeling of sadness because they’re going to hell, but a burning, crying pain in my heart that won’t allow me to sit still any longer. I’ve heard so much the past two weeks, and the need I have in my own heart to have a vision for the lost has been impressed upon me. My eyes have been blinded! I’ve been so cold! When I don’t receive a small earthly pleasure, like a bowl of ice cream, I’ve complained, thinking that I deserve it. Yet there are so many children right now who are starving, and would love to eat just one bite of food.

I’ve been caught up in myself. I’ve known there is a world that is lost, but I’ve been so calloused to it. Lord, help me to see the nations and the lost through Your eyes. I feel helpless to try and catch a vision on my own, and sometimes the responsibility that comes with having Your vision is overwhelming. Lead me, Lord! Help me to hear the cries of the children, the agony of the nations, and give me grace to do something about it.” Amen. –Christine

 

Jesus – I don’t know what to do with the way I feel. My heart is pulsating from emotion to emotion. I don’t know whether to feel angry or guilty. I keep going from shame to hope. But I’m overwhelmed. How can anyone ever hope to make any difference in this world? What can I do to bring peace in anyone’s life? It feels so wrong to be in Thailand eating three full meals a day, sleeping in a comfortable bed, and having access to showers, and paying someone to do my laundry. Not to mention my blessing of a loving family. Sometimes I feel like a wimp. I think I can’t survive a few days of heat, and I complain about the cold showers, and I think about buying more clothes. God, this can’t be the way you intend for us to live. Why can I have so much, and someone else have so little? I don’t think I can ever go back to living a normal life. God, I want this vision, I don’t want to live a mediocre life. I want to be here for you to use. But with vision comes tears, pain, and helplessness. God, I come to the end of myself, there is absolutely nothing in me, by myself, that is worth taking to the world. It is YOU, please use me! –Kelly

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