January 12, 2012

my heart's desire

I can't pinpoint an exact date when it happened - but it did. A passion started to burn in my heart. When I went to Mali, West Africa for a month in 2009 it opened my eyes to a whole new world outside of our American way of life. I always knew that it existed, but there's just something about experiencing it first hand that makes it so real. It's something that I'll never forget.

When I look at the smiling faces of the Malian children, I can't help but feel that I take so much for granted. They don't have large houses, the latest technology, or tons of toys - yet they seem so content. I want to live that way! I don't want to be focused on the stuff, but rather on how I can use the resources God has blessed me with for His glory.

Sometimes it's easy to let myself get caught up in my own little world and then forget about all of the hurt that is going on around me. Between juggling schoolwork and a busy schedule, it's too easy to let other things be pushed out of my mind. But over the past few months I've become more and more aware of the hurt, pain, and need that there is around the world, and it's made me want to do something about it.

Then, last Tuesday our Bright Lights lesson was on mercy - and since the person who is teaching always seems to learn more than those who are listening, I was again challenged in this area. God has called us to live lives of mercy, reaching out to those in need and showing them the love of Christ. One verse that stood out to me comes from Luke 7:47 - "Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven - for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Once we realize how much mercy we have been shown and how much God has forgiven us, it brings about a new motivation to share this love and mercy with others. We often hear "God loves you" and I think that we've started to take it lightly. But when the full reality of that love hits us, how can we not want to share it with others?

I want to be full of God's mercy for the lost, hurting, and starving people of this world. But how? Where do I start? I still have a lot of questions, but I pray that I will jump wholeheartedly into the opportunities that He brings my way. I'm sure there is a reason for this passion that He has placed in my heart, and I want to be ready to follow His leading, no matter what. For now, He has placed me in a community where there are broken, hurting people, and I want to see this as my mission field.

Who knows what God has in store? I can't wait to find out!
To His name alone be all the glory.

James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: 
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to 
keep oneself from being polluted by the world."


  1. Did you take the pictures when you were in Africa? My sister wants to go there =) It was a very good post =) here is my blog if you want to check it out!


  2. I want to feel that way too. Beautiful pictures. Absolutely beautiful.

  3. I long to go on a missions trip.
    Blessed are you have gotton to go on one already. :)

  4. Emma Margaret -
    Yes, all of these photos were taken while I was in Africa in 2009.

  5. God bless you, Rebekah! I hope he gives all of us an urging desire to serve Him as well, no matter where He takes us.

  6. How beautiful. I would love to go on a mission trip one day!


    p.s. Thanks for following me!!! :)

  7. This is amazing. I've never been on a missions trip yet, but I hope to very soon.

    Do you think you would be willing to share this story for a post on my "What's God Doing In Your Life?" blog series? I'd love that. For more details, click here.

    Anyways, let me know! God bless. =)

  8. What a wonderful oppertunity, and what a learning experience it must have been in Africa! To see God's hand working in your life, and in the lives of so many others!

    I too am involved in a Bright Lights group, and even amazing is the fact that I will be teaching the next meeting on...... mercy! How the Lord fills me with delight in reading of your time teaching as well... what I have learned in studying this topic!

    May the Lord richly bless you!

    In Christ,

  9. Hey Rebekah!

    Just wanted to tell you I put your button on my blog! I'd love it for you to take mine! (don't have to though!)


  10. I've always felt God has called me to Africa too, especially Sudan. We actually lived overseas in Sudan, Egypt, and Jordan, but I'd like to return. Thanks for sharing all the pictures!

  11. Beautiful! May the Lord lead and guide you!
    Caring for orphans is near and dear to my heart. =)