Ever since returning, I've stayed in my home state of NY. And while that may sound boring, it's hardly been that way. I traveled up to Jellystone Park Campgrounds and Pathfinder Village and partied with some seriously awesome adoptive families and individuals with Down Syndrome. I met the family that adopted two of my little inspirations. It's been the summer of the orphan-no-more, to say the least.
And yet there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Ukraine.
I admit that my "Mission Work" there wasn't very extensive. Besides taking pictures of two of my little lovies, and visiting Julia every day, I didn't do much to further the love of God in that orphanage.
Yet the foretaste was enough.
It only got worse after the Reece's Rainbow get-together. Here I was helping families and loving on Special Needs people who know love and have love and it makes their day, imagine what it would mean to work with the least of these, showing love they might have never experienced. I've yearned for a mission trip, to say the least.
I'll often talk with other friends in the orphan ministry about the things I feel and go through. Because fact is, most of us know the same joys, hurts, happy's sad's, and everything in between. One close friend of mine has a HUGE heart for Peru. She's been there three times, she's done so many things to help and change lives there, it really is the place where she feels God the most. For me, I can feel God wherever the least of these, wherever or whoever they may be, are. I see Heaven in the eyes of people with Down Syndrome and other special needs, whose innocence is channeled the most in beautiful, selfless love. I see God in countries that need Him most, a large part of the reason Ukraine will always hold a place in my heart.
There's a scene at the end of the final Lord of the Rings movie, the Return of the King, after all has been won for good and the nations are restored to their normal lives. We see Frodo, the small, good-hearted Hobbit who carried the accursed One Ring across the world, pacing his small Hobbit House. The quote the narrates the scene is a stunner for sure.
So with all these thoughts in my mind, I offer a simple prayer: "God, you know my heart lies in the Words you inspired and the Work that comes with it. Help me to see the need for You just as much here as there, so I not only say, 'I want to be there,' but 'I'm glad to be here.'"