One of my earliest memories was of the early 80s when my mom would drive with me and my sisters to Queens, New York to visit with her cousin. I remember passing through 42nd Street in New York City and if anyone remembers what 42nd Street looked like back then, you would know what I would see as I peeked my head up from the back passenger side window. Aside from the obvious, there was one thing that stuck with me all these years and stood out over all others. I remember seeing so many homeless people (men, women, children) sleeping on the streets. They were being walked over and looked over – not even being acknowledged – as if they were invisible. More than the image that stayed with me, it was the feeling that overwhelmed me more than anything. My heart hurt. I remembered having vivid images of me taking as many homeless people as I could fit in my mom’s car and bringing them home with me and allowing them to use our shower, letting them shave, cut their hair and giving them a fresh set of clothes, a plate of food and sending them off again, thinking that would be enough… Ahhh, the naive nature of a little girl.
As I grew older I realized that even if I would have been able to do that, it was just a drop in the ocean. I realized it was impossible for me to make that much of a difference… So I thought. As I became a mom (3 times over) my love for my children transformed into a love and a “soft-spot” for ALL children. It pains me to think of them in need of so many things I take for granted – education, food, access to medical care, fresh drinking water… Even just running water. If someone would have told me so many years ago that The Lord would be calling me to serve on a missions trip in Ghana, Africa, I would think they had lost their mind. Yet, here I am. I guess I can say I’ve lost my mind. Could be… But what I have not lost is the feeling of wanting to help that that little girl driving through NYC felt. The sadness but HOPE that I can make a difference – whether here or in Ghana, I know it’s my calling to serve and give back what God has given to me so graciously and mercifully.