“Are you heading back to India anytime soon?” I was asked.
“I do, I actually leave tomorrow.” I giggled. These sentences were exchanged with an old friend/coach whom I hadn’t seen in a few years. And as it shows, traveling to India is something that has just become a part of me.
You see, a few weeks ago I traveled to India for the 8th time. This was my 9th international trip going to spend time with amazing children and their caregivers. As I had conversations with people prior to the trip, asking when or why I was going, it was easy to slip into the mindset of “This is just what I do. I travel to India, Russia, and Kenya. I work for The Boaz Project. I care for orphans. No big deal.”
But I paused to truly question why do I do this? Many would consider eight trips more than sufficient (judging from the response I typically receive after telling people). I’m sure no one would tell me that I “haven’t gone enough” if I were to stop. In fact, many might applaud and say “job well done.”
But the question still lingered over my head, “why do I continue to go?” As I reflected on the plane ride, there were only two reasons. The first is this:
I never want a life where I am not involved in orphan care.
Being 23 years old, it’s easy (in fact encouraged) to sit and dream of all the things I can do with my life. I could go back to school, I can go get a great paying job and work my way up in the company, I can plan for a future family, etc. But when I think of all these things, they are all fall short. If I could build my perfect life but be required to give up being involved in orphan care, it would be empty and meaningless and I wouldn’t want it. I don’t want a life in which I am too busy to take trips to visit these beautiful children. I don’t want a life where caring and advocating for orphans is not one of my top priorities.
If there’s ever a day that I have to stop taking trips, that will be the day that my heart completely shatters.
I say all of this knowing that orphan care and advocacy is not all rainbows and butterflies. In fact, most days have involved a deep pit of hard emotions and confusion as well as indescribable joy and the deepest sensation of peace and belonging.
But I know this to be true: no matter the pain of the emotions, no matter the physical toll of travel and new environments, I will always choose to show up for these orphans.
I also go back because this is where I watch miracles happen and God move in amazing ways.
I have seen incredible things happen that can only be done by God. I have seen families form. I have seen children who have come from unimaginable trauma begin to heal and become adults who lead and give back to their community. I have seen mountains be moved to meet the needs of an orphan.
I never want to miss out on seeing God perform these miracles. I may never hear God audibly speak or watch water physically part, but I can see real miracles happening for the orphan everyday by being involved in orphan care.
I understand that not everyone can go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in caring for orphans in some way. And being involved–even in a little way–means living a life much more meaningful than living a life focused on self.
“Doing small things with great love,”
The Boaz Project, Inc.