I sat there on my parent's porch, with the breeze gently pushing against me, letting it sink in. I was going to fly half way across the world by myself. I was going to go to a strange country by myself for two weeks. I was going to go because I'd read stories of the children there who have no one to love them or care for them and it broke my heart so deeply that I did everything I could to find my way to them.
My plane landed in Bucharest. I rode into the city in a small car driven by a sweet man who spoke to me in broken English of how much God had changed his life. I spent a few days a week in the small, outdated hospital in the city where little ones were abandoned and the nurses took no notice. I helped to change and feed them, but mostly I just held them and played with them. Just loved them.
This is Elena. She is the most beautiful child I have ever seen. Someone abandoned her. I don't know the circumstances of that, and I don't pretend to. But I was able to do something to help, if only for a very small portion of her life. My heart was broken over her story, one that is so common there. My heart was broken and burdened into action.
This June, it will be four years since I took that flight and held Elena in my arms for the first time.
Since then I've gotten married and moved across the country. I've become caught up in school and friends and home and to-do lists. And most days, I don't think of Elena. I don't remember the little ones who are still homeless and uncared for like she was. They are far away. And I am busy. And my heart forgets why it was once broken.
This past week I came across this post on abortion and this post on adoption... My heart broke again as I was reminded of that burden I used to feel for the abandoned and unwanted. I may not be able to fly to Romania tomorrow, but I can still act. I can still remember and be burdened and live differently because of it. Shame on me for not doing so already. & Lord, thank you for the reminder.
Have you ever felt a burden to fulfill the needs of others? Do you still remember what your heart has broken for in the past? Do you still act upon that passion?
May we never forget the unwanted and abandoned. May our hearts be continually broken and burdened into action.
p.s. If you'd like to read more about the organization I teamed up with in Romania, you can find it on their website here.