Some time ago, I had a heart to heart with God. I don't always pray in the traditional sense. Sometimes I just talk to Him as if I were talking to a friend or a parent. On this occasion, I was feeling very small and in awe of His love for me, His mercy, His grace, and the fact that He has blessed me with so much. So, anyway, while I was talking to Him, I simply said this; "Heavenly Father, I am not a great man. I may never be the perfect servant, or the best; but, I promise you that I will always be the best servant to you that I can be. I will always give you everything I have and try to do your will to the best of my ability."
This is the way I have tried to live my life. I believe that God puts us in places and with people that will teach us what He wants us to learn. Enter my grandmother. My grandmother is the strongest, wisest person I know. I had the pleasure of being raised by her for most of my childhood and I only hope to one day emulate her wisdom. Anyway, she laid into me at a very young age that helping others and being a source of strength for them is one of the noblest things a person can do. I remember her putting her own life on hold countless times for others. She raised her own children and others. She took care of my grandfather and stuck by him through the best and worst of times. To this day she continues to be the matriarch of our family and she garners the respect of everyone who knows her. God knew that I needed her in my life to teach me how to love and serve.
So, as life went on and I moved away from home, I never forgot her lessons. I had gone to a church in my home town where I met and shared life with great people. I had wonderful Pastors who gave me a very good spiritual education and basis for a life of faith. I also had great friends at church who kept me interested and motivated.
As the years went by, many changes took place in my life including moving across the country, becoming a member of a new church, becoming a Deacon in that church, meeting my wife to be, marrying, having children, and moving from Lethbridge to Edmonton to Medicine Hat and back to Lethbridge again. In all that time, I was constantly driven by the need to serve. I went back to school after a twelve year hiatus to get a diploma in Child and Youth Counselling. I was privileged to work with the Salvation Army at their homeless shelter in Medicine Hat, and I have been honoured to serve others with some dedicated, knowledgeable and wise individuals. I have people in my life now that I consider to be great. These people include my spiritual leaders in Church, my family, and yes, my grandmother.
So, after all that, I asked myself what was next? What could I do to serve in a way that might make a difference? The answer was an easy one. I have always wanted to travel to a place where there are people in need and just help them. Even as a child, I would watch programs from aid organisations and my heart would go out to those (especially children) who didn't have food, or shelter, or clean water and I would want to help them. My wife, Michelle, and I have talked about going on such a trip before. One day she said that she wanted to go (to Africa) and as a good friend was going, we decided that it would be a good idea. The experience was amazing for her and I was so proud of her for wanting to dot it. We had said that if we went on trips like this, we couldn't go together in case something happens. We didn't want our children to be left alone. So, we decided to take turns.
Well, It's my turn and I am so excited about being able to serve in this way. I feel that God is opening up the door for me and that I am called to this. I am ready to answer this call. A lot of prayer and preparation is going to go into this journey. I will be going to Rwanda and Kenya to help in whatever way I can. This kind of a trip is not free and in fact, not cheap either. I am asking for help with raising the funds for this journey. My wife, Michelle, has offered to manage this effort for me; but, I am asking anyone who can to donate to this worthy cause. Indirectly, I will be taking everyone who donates with me and you will be partially responsible for putting food in bellies and sharing love with those who desperately need it. Every baby I hug will be hugged with your arms too.
Thank you for reading, your donations, and your prayers.