Yesterday I received a text from my husband. Attached was a picture of a child. Today I received another text, saying great program and great stories.
Not that rare, but these texts were different. You see Eric is traveling in Ethiopia with a group from Compassion International. This is not his first trip to Africa, but that doesn’t matter much. The pictures spoke volumes. Trips like this have the potential to change us. You see Eric and I have been sponsoring children through Compassion International for over 20 years. And we’ve been lucky and had the chance to meet all three of our children, now all out of the program. So today’s experiences are added into a whole array of other meaningful moments connected to how Compassion International is making a difference in the lives of young people around the world.
While Eric was in Africa, I was working in St. Paul, MN, preparing for graduation this weekend. Tomorrow and Sunday I will have the opportunity to witness over 120 ministry leaders receive their diplomas marking the final step in their journey at Luther Seminary. Students assembled will be from all sorts of places like Minnesota, Ohio, California, and Florida, and sent to similar places. A significant number, however, have come further than that. These students, mostly sent by their home churches, crossed continents and oceans to get here. They left families and supporting communities to follow their call. And now, after years of being separated from the ones they love, will be sent out to change the world. Some will return to their home countries immediately, others will make some stops along the way. But all of them will make a difference in one way of another.
As I hear the names of these student read and watch them walk forward, tears will come to my eyes. My heart will be filled to brim, and I will be without words. You see these leaders in ministry have changed me. They have brought the world to me – both it’s pains and it’s joys. And I see their communities, their families and friends, through them. And, like Eric, I will have traveled a long distance and been changed.
There is no way our family can thank these ministry leaders, near and far, for making an impact in our lives and ministry. You have changed our family and our calls. And we cannot see the world the same any more. Thank you!
Sara Groves song, sums it up best.