Friday, May 22, 2009

The Cost of Trying to Help Africa

I'm struggling right now with the hinderances this disability creates in my life. Each day, there are things that drive me nuts that I wish I didn't have to deal with now simply because I use a wheelchair. Most recently is the trip I'm planning to take to Rwanda to help deliver wheelchairs to those in need. If you've watched the movie, "Hotel Rwanda" or know about the terrible genocide that occurred there years ago, then you know of the devastating effect it had not only on the country, but the entire world. Slowly, they are rebuilding. However, there is still so many people still effected by the war. Namely, many were left disabled.

Rwanda is supposedly a very hilly country with no disability access at all. In fact, it's named, "The land of a thousand hills." The government is just getting around to creating laws for those who are disabled, however the majority of the country is still not "wheelchair friendly"... yet. I just got off the phone with the director whom I've been reporting to at church, and I asked him to be straight-forward and realistic about what I'll be encountering. Basically, I'm going to need to hire help 100% of the time to help me get anywhere. I will not be able to be independent at all. This makes my heart sink and tears well up in my eyes because I am so determined to help those in Rwanda get wheelchairs. I really want to be an encouragement to those receiving a wheelchair for the first time, facilitate training on how to use a wheelchair, and have the opportunity to speak to the government officials about the need for a more inclusive plan within the community for those with disabilities. After all, if we're going to be giving 550 wheelchairs to people for free, they need to be able to use them freely within their community.

I don't want people having to wait on me to get up a hill or have help up stairs or lift me into narrow quarters thus hindering their experience. I never want someone else to miss out on opportunities simply because I'm disadvantaged and need "extra help." Times like right now is when I HATE being disabled. I hate having to use this wheelchair at times. It's so frustrating to have the mental capacity and passion to want to do something so bad, yet the physical body keeps me hindered. I want to share Jesus with the people of Rwanda through them getting a wheelchair! So, why is it so hard for me to get there to them? What is the cost of trying to help someone?

At this point, I don't know that I'll be able to travel to Rwanda. I basically need two "personal attendants" whose sole responsibility would be to help lift me and carry me wherever I needed to go. Not the ideal 2 weeks off of work to spend in Africa for $3800. But, if there's anyone out there who would either be willing to pay for me to take two people or if you yourself would be willing to go, please let me know. I'd prefer that I know you or know someone who knows you if you're personally going to be going with me. Otherwise, personally funding two attendants would be a tremendous blessing to help carry out God's work in Rwanda. I truly believe that I am a necessary part to the big picture in Rwanda.

I know that nothing stops God's will from taking place in life. If it is His will for me to travel to Rwanda in September, He'll work out all the details. I do not want to force my own desires onto a plan that may not be for me to be a part of. But, it still doesn't make sitting in this wheelchair any easier. Most of the time, I look through the eyes of the "glass half full."

Times like this make me see it so very empty...

I pray first for my own faith, and second, for others to be sensitive to this request and respond as the Lord leads you, whether through prayer or by personally or financially contributing to this need. Thank you for hearing my heart.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Overwhelmed with Blessings

I was asked today by my boss if I was praying dangerously. I casually laughed, because I have been for so long. I've prayed that God would begin to turn things around for me in ways that were only explainable as Him doing the work through me. Sadly, I don't know that my entire spirit believed that it would actually become what it is today.

Never in a million years did I ever expect my life to be so blessed. I mean, I knew God had the capacity, but didn't really think that where I am now was ever in the cards. My dreams and expectations have all been exceeded in dramatic ways! The windows of heaven have opened up and are pouring over me so fast I feel as if I'm drowning! I don't feel as if I'm ready for the assignment at task. I don't feel competent enough, strong enough, or able enough to take on the blessings He's bestowed onto me. During my season of sowing through prayer, I was challenged in many ways to ask and seek. I was challenged to think beyond what my human mind could dream as possible and to expect the Lord to hear me in my time of desperation. To my surprise, the Lord has given me more than I prayed for! Abundance! Praise the Lord for abundance because my "storage house" is overflowing! But with sudden abundance comes a sense of feeling very overwhelmed.

I have felt very selfish for rejoicing during this time of my life. In fact, I have minimized and downplayed a lot of what's happened as to not draw a lot of attention to myself fearing that others would think I was boasting. Over the past month, I've really struggled with being publicly ok to celebrate the blessings in my life. I've been quiet about it, and I've kept things hush-hush among different circles. I was reminded with a swift "kick in the rear" by my mentor that God never intends for us to be quiet about the things He is doing!! It is perfectly ok for me to boast about the Lord and the great things He has done! I was also reminded of my co-dependency tendency to "not be happy unless you're happy" mentality. In all truthfulness, that mentality doesn't allow God to move in ways only He is able because I'm still trying to go back to where I once was. Not good!

It's a new season of change for me and my role as a daughter of the King. I've never been challenged in this capacity to "pray dangerously" and to be ready for the results while "living joyfully" - during both the good and the bad times. So with boldness and thanksgiving to my King I shout "YES, I am a daughter of a King most High and praise Him joyfully for his blessings in my life!" May I not ever be ashamed of the One who brought me through my trials and into the land of Victory!