It is hard to believe that soon our time here in Latvia will be over. We are mid-way through our last week of camp! The mission in Latvia and at camp has been about her children- providing them with a safe haven if even for a week, surrounding them with love and joy, and planting the seed of Jesus in their hearts.
But little did I know how much these four weeks were going to affect me and the important lessons they would teach me. I’ve always thought myself to be aware and conscious of others’ needs and situations. I do not come from a rich home and I don’t consider myself to be super privileged. My parents have worked hard their whole lives to make ends meet, I’ve worked hard for the few things I have, I worked hard to be able to come on this mission trip! Yet I couldn’t fathom the extreme need of the children I would meet. My time here has taught me that not only should I be thankful for what I have, but also that I’m not doing enough.
Packing a few bags for local homeless people is great, but it’s not enough. Donating money to charities is great, but it’s not enough. Volunteering for a mission trip is great, but it’s not enough. I NEED to put forth my very best efforts to help others every single day. There are children in the states, in Latvia, and all over the world, that go without basic needs being met. Children that are bounced back and forth between homes, children that aren’t able to have two or three meals per day, children that freeze during winter, children that work to earn their food for the day rather than go to school.
I do not do nearly enough to help, to raise awareness, to advocate. Every time I spend extra money going to Starbucks, have an expensive meal, buy an unnecessary item, or spend frivolously, I am using what God has given me in the wrong way. God calls us to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the ones who don’t have clothes, look after the sick, and visit those in prison. I know that I have not done my best to do these things. I don’t always think of others when I am out shopping or buying a meal.
Serving in Latvia, spending time with the kids at camp, and hearing their stories has been a wake up call. I need to start collecting clothes, shoes, and other items from friends and family members, donate as much as possible of my own resources, live minimally so that I can help others as much as possible, educate others about the needs going on in the world, advocate for those who aren’t able to advocate for themselves. Though I’ve always wanted to help others, I feel as though I finally understand more about the reality some children are facing and a new fire has been lit.
I feel God placed me right where I needed to be to learn exactly what I needed to learn to challenge me in the exact way I need to be challenged to follow the plan He has for me.