Remain (v.): to be left when the other parts are gone or have been used; to be something that still needs to be done, dealt with, etc.; to stay in the same place or with the same person or group : to stay after others have gone
As much as I enjoyed researching Heaven over the past few months, I discovered something important about myself. Maybe I knew it, but didn’t realize it – or just forgot.
I’m not a researcher in the research and report sense. I prefer to discover and report. I like to document the thoughts and emotions that ebb and flow inside me as scriptures wash over my soul. What is God teaching me at this moment in His text? What does He desire for me to know? To trust in? To understand? These are the thoughts, questions and experiences that pull me back to scripture over and over again.
As I go forward through the rest of 2015, you will see my blogs return to this format. As I have mentioned in previous posts (thanks to my dear friend, mentor, coach and now adopted family mentor) I’m reading the HCSB Chronological Bible this year. So, as I make my way on this journey from Genesis to Revelation I’m going to share my thoughts, feelings and discoveries of the things that I had forgotten, overlooked or never considered. Some are obvious but need revisiting and other are so strange and curious they need further investigation.
For about 9 years (give or take) in place of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve been praying about and choosing a word to dwell on over the 12 months we call a year. I’ve written about this many times and shared what my word was, but haven’t in some time. As I studied 1st, 2nd and 3rd John this November and December the word “remain” kept coming up. It stuck in my heart and mind and so it is the word I have chosen for 2015. I even did an art project with my daughter and incorporated my word to keep in my kitchen window for the year (see above). I tell you this because often I don’t know why God has necessarily placed the word on my heart until after the year begins or I look back. His provisions never cease to make my heart grow for stronger for Him.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:14
Now I see that “remain” was for me to remember this:
I need to remain in who I am in Christ, remain in His word for truth and growth, remain in His presence to gain peace and understanding as I consider new paths and ministries, remain with the gifts He has given me and don’t try to be anyone else or more than I need to.
I know it’s mid-March, but it isn’t to late. Is there a word on your heart? A calling for peace, forgiveness, love, passion, clarity, hope . . . . ? Maybe you will join me and choose a word to dwell on. Maybe “dwell” is the word you need this year. Maybe you feel led to do more than just dwell, but take action. Please read about RiverCross. I’ve had the opportunity to meet, get to know Cindy and learn more about her heart and passion for the world’s most vulnerable children. I’m now partnering with her in prayer and by giving 10% of all book sales and event fees to help her in this mission field she has been called to.
The issue of vulnerable children is a huge one, an overwhelming one. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 153 million orphans in the world. As much as I’d like to think that we could bring all these children into families, it’s just not going to happen. Can we really make a difference? I believe we can.
If we want to help the largest number of children, our best re- source is their caregivers. Many orphanages around the world hire loving caregivers to be- come “mamas” for these children. They provide the children food, shelter, school, and often even share the love of Christ with them. Great, right? But these caregivers are not equipped to help the children with what may be their most serious issue: Trauma.
This may be tough to hear, but it’s important for you to know. Experts tell us that the overwhelming majority of orphans and vulnerable children have been sexually exploited. As you can imagine, this trauma hurts the children so deeply that their hearts are closed to the love of God.
These children need caregivers who are equipped to help them heal so that their hearts will be open to the hope of Christ. Up to now any training for these caregivers has been through printed communication. But 70% of these caregivers are story-centric. They learn best through stories, songs, dramatizations rather than through books, pamphlets, , and Powerpoint presentations. So literate training methods are simply not effective. The result? The caregivers are unequipped to be the bridge of healing and hope the that children need.
Here’s where we come in. My friend, Cindy Finley has recently become the Associate Director for RiverCross, a new ministry of TransWorld Radio. With RiverCross, she is developing resources to equip care- givers to become a bridge for healing and hope. These re- sources not only respect oral culture, but use storytelling for training.
In May, 2014, Cindy traveled to Zambia to see the inaugural project, Holding Esther, in action. She saw nearly 100 African caregivers immersed in the beauty of the story and then emerge to engage with each other and the material. She watched as they were led in small group discussion by African facilitators and then actively participated in large group discussions. And she listened as African directors told me “The Holding Esther program has the potential to change orphan care across our country.”
I’m guessing that you’re like me. You care about social justice. You want to make a difference. But, you’ve wondered what you can do that will really help. I am convinced that through RiverCross, we truly can make a difference. We can build bridges of healing, bridges of hope for the world’s most vulnerable children.
And so … I’d like to invite you to join Cindy’s Partnership Team.
Her Partnership Team is comprised of people who want to champion the cause of the world’s most vulnerable children. They are using their time, talent, and treasure to leverage their re- sources to make a difference.
Partners join one or more teams:
Prayer Team –Pray for RiverCross, as well as for Cindy and her family. You will receive monthly updates also be invited to participate in monthly prayer gatherings in NC.
Connection Team –Share her work with RiverCross across your sphere of influence. Collaborate with Cindy to share the cause, build connection, and create community.
Giving Team –Invest financially in Cindy’s work with RiverCross by giving monthly or through a stand-alone gift. Financial partners are essential if we are going to advance the cause of RiverCross. You can easily make your contribution online.
To join a team, go to the link above and partner with Cindy and I in building bridges of healing, bridges of hope for the world’s most vulnerable children.