There are times in our lives, when confronted with particularly emotional events, we tend to respond in ways that might not be typical. I know on my first visit to Romania twenty years ago, I was confronted with children in situations that were deplorable. My response was deep sorrow and tears of grief because there was nothing more in that moment I could offer. But it also stirred something within me. I had this need to respond. We do have choices in our responses in this life. We can choose to ignore and repress those things that challenge us, or we can choose to dive in over our heads simply trusting God for something greater. That is how I have felt most of the time in regards to the ministry of Remember the Children. At times I feel like I am in over my head, but I know deep down that by trusting God, He will provide a way where I might see the situation as impossible.
I still find myself at times standing in the midst of something that challenges my emotions deeply. Last year as we were delivering the Boxes of Hope to a certain place, (I choose not to disclose the location), I was dumbfounded as the entire staff of this institution appeared to be inebriated. The people who had been entrusted to provide care for the children were quite honestly incapable of doing so, and not only that, the director of this place stood before us and addressed the young people with some of the most devaluing speech I have ever heard. As he got to the end of his presentation, I found the words to switch things up, and as I spoke I used the Christmas story, the coming of Christ to this world, to express to these children that they were loved and valued.
It is into this world that I continue to go and continue to the best of my abilities to bring a message of hope through our actions of love to a world that desperately needs to hear it. It is into this world that we have helped birth House of Hope, planted churches, and instilled into the lives of local leaders a message of hope that we challenge them regularly to share with the people to which God has entrusted them.
My friend Serena shares the same passion with me. I have grown to admire this young lady for her zeal to not only serve God with her life to the deepest depths of her ability, but to use her youthful years to continue to be trained, and to use her talents to continue to share a message of hope. Honestly, I see her as one who has given her life to share with the children of Romania that they are valued, that there is something more, that their lives can have meaning and purpose through an encounter with Jesus.
I have had the privilege of helping Serena use her voice to accomplish something greater for these children in Romania. She said to me a little over two years ago:
“Andy, I don’t have much money, but I have a voice.”
This has led to the production of the musical EP’s, Giant Heart and Riptide. The songs all come from Serena’s heart and she sings with great passion and emotion.
We just finished up a two week tour of eleven states in fourteen days. We did our best. We told the story and we invited people to respond. They did generously. But there is still more work to do. I invite you to join Serena and me on this journey. You can make a difference as well.
Is God calling you to something greater?
Is there a simple talent you have that might be used to expand the Kingdom of God to this hurting world? Let your life be a light. May we model the reply of Isaiah in chapter six, verse eight, when he responds, “here I am, send me.”
Copies of Giant Heart and Riptide are available through our office. $11 for one or $19 for two, shipping included.
Written by: Andy Baker, Executive Director