For as long as I can remember, the Lord has been blessing me with opportunities to serve Him. Opportunities to know Him. Opportunities to see Him in action. Opportunities to have my heart broken by those things which break His heart.
- I turned 15 years old on a mission trip to Tijuana. I remember riding through the city in the back of a 15-passenger van, pressing my face up against the glass and crying as I saw "houses" made of scraps and garbage, children begging for food, homeless men washing our windshield and begging for money.
- Four years ago, right after a presidential election gone bad, and after a country-wide outbreak of rioting and violence, I went with a group of missionaries to Kenya to help with an outreach to street children, whose empty, blood-shot eyes and tattered, torn clothes are burned into my memory. I was also honored to attend a support group for women living with AIDS and HIV, who sang and danced despite their great suffering.
- Over the last 2 1/2 years I've traveled to Haiti 5 times. Once right after an earthquake that killed 100's of 1,000's of people. Once during a hurricane and an outbreak of cholera. During every single trip I had the privilege of loving and being loved by some of the most beautiful children you could ever meet, one of whom impacted my life forever...Love Maidene.
- I've witnessed the Lord working through the lives of people right here in the United States, once hopeless and destitute as a result of drug addiction, homelessness, and cyclical poverty, now flourishing and continually being transformed by the love of Jesus shown to them by Christians who are talking the talk AND walking the walk.
- I've been privileged to hold the company of some of the wisest, kindest, most generous and Christ-like friends and teachers the world has ever known. (I can't prove this, but I'd hold these people up to anyone!) Many godly, wise men and women have taken the time to love me, invite me into their lives and show me Jesus.
Not anything I've seen or experienced or even heard about....
Can compare to this.
Samantha Love Knuth is the most important company I will have ever held. Loving her will be the biggest responsibility and the greatest privilege the Lord has given me yet.
And I'm about to meet her for the first time! My DAUGHTER!!
Wow. And Praise the Lord! My heart is quite literally bursting with love and excitement. (And fear and a myriad of other emotions!)
So no, I really cannot put the enormity of this journey into words. This is a God-sized journey. A Jesus-inspired plan. Only HE could have written a story so intricate and miraculous. And so incredibly and beautifully good. Please pray that I will be able to completely surrender to HIM and allow HIM to finish was HE has started.
Let the journey begin.
And stay tuned!
My friend Anna and I are on our way to Bulgaria tomorrow! (Or is it today? Its late!!) I'll be updating the blog throughout our week with Sam. I promise lots of pictures and first thoughts.
And if you would, please continue to lift Samantha, Anna, and me up in prayer. Pray for safe travel to Bulgaria. Pray that our hearts would be open to any opportunities to serve the Lord along the way. Pray for my first meeting with Sam. Pray that we will witness true change and improvement in the orphanage. Pray that my heart will allow me to enjoy Sam and love her well without thinking too much about our goodbye at the end of the week. Pray that God will give me grace and peace to handle difficulty when it comes. Pray for the safe arrival of all of our luggage (3 1/2 suitcases FULL of formula!!!).
Many thanks to all of you who have given so generously and prayed without ceasing to make this journey possible.
Now I suppose I should attempt to get some sleep before I travel!
Lots of love to all of you.