Monday, April 11, 2011

What Next???

Ok, it’s time. Time for me to answer the question that has been asked countless times over the past several months… What next?

Actually, more often than not, the question has not been “What next?” but instead, “Where next?”. And, if I’m going to be honest, that is one of the reasons why it has taken me so long to answer.

Nearly two years ago I left my job in full-time ministry with Youth For Christ with a sense that God was calling me back to the missions field overseas to be a tangible expression of His love to forgotten and unwanted children. What a year it has been! It has without a doubt been the hardest and at the same time the most fulfilling year of my life. I have had my eyes opened to suffering I had only ever heard of. I have had my heart broken into a million pieces, many of which I have given to children all around the world, pieces which I will never get back. I have drawn closer to God than ever before and I have seen Him in His power and glory, bringing beauty from the ashes, joy in the midst of pain. I have had the privilege of representing so many of you as an ambassador of God’s love around the world and seeing firsthand how God is using us in the lives of these kids. The past 15 months have been painful, they have been beautiful and I wouldn’t change one single moment.

When I left my job with Youth For Christ, I vowed that I would stop looking to God to provide me with a plan for the rest of my life but instead would simply start following Jesus one day at a time. When I first embarked on this missions adventure, I was fully prepared to give the rest of my life to overseas missions to orphans but I was also open to whatever God might have in store for me. When I look at all that God has been doing in my heart, one thing is clear: my heart is for orphans but, even more specifically than that, my passion is adoption.

The more time I spend with orphans around the world, the more I come to believe that no orphanage, no matter how good, can take the place of a family. I have spent time in what I would classify as one of the best orphanages around and I have spent time in orphanages that are far from the best. What I have seen with my own eyes is this, no matter how much love and care these children receive, one thing is missing – someone to say, “you are wanted, you are chosen, you belong here, always and forever, you are mine”… a Mommy and/or Daddy of their very own.

I continue to be passionate about orphan care ministry and I will always support those working in orphanages around the world because the sad reality is, not every child will be adopted and there will always be a need for people to care for and love on those left behind. Ultimately however, I believe that every child, no matter how sick or how healthy, no matter how young or how old, no matter their background or ethnicity, every child deserves a family and I want to be a part of making that happening.

For those of you who don’t know, my educational background is in social work and right now I am looking for a job in the field of adoption. To be honest, I’ve been kind of worried about what people would think. So many people have supported me over the years, so passionate about the ministry that God has given to me. Now, every time I hear the question, “Where next?” a little voice inside my head wonders, “What are they going to think? Will they be disappointed?”. No, this certainly isn’t the same kind of adventure I’ve been living over the past few years but I would still so appreciate your prayers and support. It may not be considered ministry in the traditional sense but to me it’s still ministry, the next chapter in following God’s plan for me one step at a time.

There are not a lot of jobs in this field and if I’m not able to get a job in adoption I’m not sure what I’ll do. For now I’m just stepping out in faith, believing that if this is where God wants me He will open up the right doors and, if not, then He must have something even better in store.

So, there you have it… the adventure continues, this time on the home front. I would so appreciate your prayers over the next weeks and months, that God would pave the way ahead of me wherever he would have me go. And, as always, I’ll keep you posted!

4 comments:

Julia said...

YOU GO!! Praying God opens the door for the perfect job for you! What a great new adventure....

Amanda said...

Total support from ME!!! You know I will help you however I can.

patty said...

Andrea,
I will be praying for you that an opportunity opens up soon. I am so excited for you and can't wait to hear what God has planned.
Happy Easter,
Patty

Leanne said...

Go girl. You're following Him. Just take it one step at a time - and He'll lead you to that perfect spot/job. LOVE your heart.