In eighth grade, my life was completely changed when I went to Ethiopia to adopt my sister Havyn. Before that, I knew poverty existed. I had heard about it and seen pictures, I even had four adopted siblings, but once I saw these precious children first hand, I could no longer pretend that poverty didn't exist. As I held their small hungry bodies in my arms and whispered in their ear that Jesus loves them, I knew that there was no way I could leave that place unchanged. I couldn't just go home and forget about them, so I prayed a really dangerous prayer that day in Ethiopia, I prayed that God would use me and that He would break my heart.
He did just that.
I left there with a piece of my heart missing and I could not get those children off my mind. One of my favorite verses comes from Proverbs 24:12. It tells is, "Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know and hold us responsible to act." Now that I knew, I could no longer just go on living like I used to. I had to do something about what I had seen.
As as 14 year old, I didn't think I had much to give, but I've learned that God doesn't care about how much you have, instead He cares about your heart. I may not have had much, but I was willing to give up the little that I did have for His glory, and He used that and multiplied it.
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”- John 6:9
Most of you know the story of how Jesus fed the 5,000. A young boy had some food that he was willing to share. Although it wasn't much, God blessed it and used it to feed so many more people that it was originally planned for. That's what God did with me. As I started my freshman year of high school, I began eating a simple bowl of cheap soup like I had seen the kids in Ethiopia eat. I would pray for the children as I ate it, and I would donate that $2.00 that I would have had to pay for lunch at school. Like the boy in the story, people were doubtful. They would make fun of me as I stood by the microwave every day heating up my small bowl of soup, but there were also those that were interested. They would ask questions, giving me the opportunity to tell them about what the Lord was doing in my life, and some of them even agreed to join me.
As I realized that there were other people who were willing to help, I couldn't help but think how cool it would be if we could get people from all over the world to join us for just one day, for just one lunch. So, we began spreading the word through blogs, Facebook and newspapers, and we couldn't believe the response. On February 3rd, my 100th day of eating soup, we raised over $6,000 dollars, because a bunch of people were willing to give up their lunch to make a difference.
Three years later, God continues to answer the prayer I prayed in Ethiopia. He has continued to break me and use me. My family now serves as missionaries in Guatemala at Village of Hope. Daily God continues show me the need and allow me the opportunity to do what I can do with the little I have. So I ask, will you join me in making a difference in the lives of the Guatemalans this February 3rd?
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