A friend recently told me about Drawn From Water, an orphanage in Africa that rescues "mingi" children from genocide. What are "mingi" children, you ask? They are children with "defects" that cause their tribe to consider them to be possessed by demons. These "defects" can be anything from unplanned pregnancy by the mother to top teeth coming in before their bottom teeth. Yes, you read that right...they can be killed because of the order in which they cut their teeth. How are they killed? They are cast into a nearby river and left to drown or abandoned in the bush and left to die. The orphanage literally rescues them from these terrible deaths and takes them into their orphanage.
Pick up your bottom jaw. THIS. REALLY. HAPPENS. And it grosses me out.
Why it grosses me out may surprise you though. I'm not grossed out by the tribe. They do not know any better. Drawn From Water is trying (and succeeding!) in teaching these tribes the truth about "mingi" children. They are changing their hearts and beliefs. It is wonderfully amazing to read their success stories. What grosses me out is that this is happening while I'm sitting in my nice, warm apartment with my latte in hand, watching football. I'm grossed out with myself for having closed eyes to the reality of what is going on in our world. I know I can't change the world entirely, but I can do my part. And I'm not. Drawn From Water, like Reece's Rainbow, stirs a passion in me. I'm not sure what God is trying to tell me yet, but I do know that I have been trying for two months to get this orphanage out of my head and I cannot. It's nagging at me all the time, especially when I lay down at night and pray for the children there.
Why am I blogging about this? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, I've been thinking a lot about passions lately. Why do we have them? Why do some come and go? Why do some stay forever? Why do we lose passion? Why do some people live their entire lives for one passion, wholly sold-out to this one thing that impacts all areas of life?
I don't have the answers to that. I don't want to live my life frantically chasing one passion after another. I have a tendency to get on "kicks". Can anyone out there relate? You know, I'm the person that will jump head-first into something without really thinking about it and then drop it like a hot potato after a couple of months. I really don't like that personality trait. It can also drive the hubs crazy. When we were talking about adoption, he sort of jokingly, sort of seriously asked, "Are you really sure about this or is it one of your kicks?" Obviously now he knows it wasn't a kick, but I really did understand his concerns because I know myself pretty well and I'm a kicky kind of gal.
So how do you figure out the difference between a "kick" and a passion??? I definitely think we can have more than one passion, and God is teaching me about more of mine. I know that God has made me passionate about one thing: children with special needs. I'm 100% certain of that. I've known it since I was 16 years old. There's nothing else that stirs my soul like seeing an individual who is "differently abled." I just want to go talk to them, find out about their interests, become their friend. It's not in a "I feel sorry for that person" kind of way. It's like I just have to get to know them because I want to be a part of their life. No clue why...it's a chemistry that I can't explain with words.
I think that's why I can't get Drawn From Water off my mind. I love their purpose of not only saving children who are labeled as different, but also educating the tribes. I think that's why I love Reece's Rainbow too. I look at all the faces of those orphaned children with special needs and ache physically when I think about them spending their lives outside of a family. There's also the common thread of orphaned children. I'm passionate about children having families. So I guess that's my other passion...I cannot stand the thought of a child not having a loving family.
So as the new year begins, what is your passion? What is it that you cannot get out of your mind, out of your soul? What keeps you up at night? If you don't know, maybe you (like me), drown out your passions with lattes and football. I would really encourage you to read this blog post about finding your passion. It was part of the inspiration for this post, along with Drawn From Water. Let's all resolve to find our passions and get to work this year! Deal?!?
*Feel free to leave a comment about what your passion is and what you plan to do about it in 2011. It's such an encouragement to each other to hear each other's passions. Plus, you may inspire a passion in someone else!