Friday, February 5, 2010


Never before has this process felt so painful. I remember being in Ethiopia and sharing with the team that I felt I'd have an easier time working through what I'd seen simply because "I've been there before". So. Not. The. Case. Its worse. I feel the burden so much deeper. I feel the cutting away of my calloused heart so much more. My gut is in turmoil much of the time. I can't keep silent any longer. I feel like screaming from the rooftops about the babies we saw, the starving children also without adequate clothing or shoes, the families foraging for food in the dump, the severe need for us Christians to take ACTION. To put our money where our mouth is to put our faith into ACTION. I'm struggling. I'm looking at my own self and my own desires and trying to work through what God wants from me. How can I properly tell the story of so many of my now family in Ethiopia that is struggling so much. How can I do them justice by sharing their pain with each of you. What can WE do together to make a difference in their lives? Its a process. David and I don't have the answers. We have some ideas but we're still working through all of those details.

I had a friend write me earlier this week with the question of why I said we were "wrecked" if truly we were being "fixed" in our heart of hearts. If God was doing a work in our hearts and breaking us even further for the things that break His heart aren't we really gaining vs. losing as the term "wrecked" implies. It got me thinking. While I agree with the gain part of seeing people like Jesus sees them I feel as if there is a certain "wrecking" that must happen in order to get to that point. In my own heart I have wrestled with how I can make a difference, I've had to be refined and the calloused parts of my heart worn down to see what Jesus sees when he looks into the eyes of the orphan and widow. To fight for justice, to fight for the oppressed. I think this is the case for all of us. I watched it happen to our entire team as each day they were a little more burdened, a little more broken, a LOT more wrecked for the things that break our Saviors heart. I guess you could call it a bit of a Holy Wrecking! A welcomed wrecking, a needed wrecking on a heart that so desperately needs Jesus and HIS love, without Him I am nothing.

In Isaiah 1:17 it says learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. This is an ACTION verse. I love that the ESV version says "correct oppression". That means we have to DO something. We are called to show our faith in deeds, faith without deeds is dead. While verse 17 is great, if we read further on we are challenged even further. Verses 18-20 say this:

"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

I was so convicted about the last part of verse 20, not only are we to defend the cause of the orphan and widow but God is so serious, if we are obedient to His call the reward is GREAT even in our sacrifice for the cause of others but the threat of death is also there should we rebel against his command! I'm thinking that's pretty serious, how about you?

Here are a few more pictures from our trip.
Loving on the kids at CFI - Kechene
This picture sparks so much inside of me, watching my husband act out being a father to the fatherless makes me fall in love with him all over again. Melts me.
Our brother Sammy, an amazing man of God, forever woven into our family.

Our sweet girls from Tamoca, they came back every afternoon looking for us, the relationship we forged with the shop owner through them was amazing.

Our new friend, an amazing christian, so neat to talk about the orphan crisis, adoption, and working in his country.

Bethezda orphanage, AMAZING director who loves the Lord and the children she serves!
talking about the supplies we brought and explaining how to properly utilize them.
The story behind this smile is amazing. God saw fit to allow her to be taken off the street, it was an honor to be the ones to work out those details. Glory to HIS name.
Nichol and one of the sweet babies she fell in love with.
Aren't these little choir kids precious? They sang to our King and melted our hearts. So sweet!
Can't forget Kaldi's! YUMMY Macchiatos!


We Are Family said...

I SOOO Feel your heart. I too cannot force the images out of my mind. The feeling that we MUST ACT! Love this post.....

Bethany said...

With you friend! Great post....great explanations. Process, are doing everything he is asking of you. We Gurske's will always walk along your side to care for the least of these......

Love you friend,hold tight....

Jill said...

Okay, that picture of David just makes me weep. Yes, I'm sobbing. I can understand what you are saying about being wrecked. I came home from Ethiopia feeling that way, almost to the point of not being able to mother my child. I'm very interested to hear that going back has burdened you more; I've often wondered if I went back, if I could heal. I've never allowed myself to think differently but I can see how it could just set the emotions, heartaches, attachments deeper. I look at that picture of David and think "how can you let go of that one?" In a way, it's a rhetorical question..."how can you let go?" I don't want to. But holding on hurts so bad.

Lots of hugs as you process, once again.

Amy said...

Just wanted to say thanks for your post. I adore your heart.

gigglechirp said...

Welcome home and hugs to you as you work through all the heartache amidst the joy of the relationships built in ETH. It is definitely a heartachin' challenge to figure a way to function and be here while also working through how to keep our hearts and actions in line with the reality experienced in Ethiopia. I long to go back, yet I am fearful too for many reasons.

Meyerdrk said...

Hi Sis...great post. I hear you and agree wholeheartedly! It's kind of like Jesus telling us that a grain of wheat doesn't grow unless it dies, but when it dies or wrecked to use your term, it bears much fruit...a dying to live sort of thing (Hey, that would make a great name for a blog wouldn't it?). Keep bubbling up the stories as you process...there are many of us out here that need more wrecking ourselves and your heart's outpourings are good for us to that end. love you!

Rachel said...

Beautifully written and so vulnerable.

Isn't it amazing how He who began a work in you years ago through adoption is completing it...when and how and what that looks like, only He knows. One thing I do know: He is using your heart to inspire and encourage others in this kingdom work of loving the least.

I don't think I want to be "un-wrecked", at least not while I am on this earth. Jesus was a man of sorrows...blessed are those who mourn...sorrow and brokeness are often right where joy and peace reside.

Love you, friend...keep processing and keep is a blessing.

Tegan, Gregory and Maiya said...

Wow, Erica. I have so many questions.......SUCH great photos. I just love hearing about your trip. Please share more! I'll message you on FB. Welcome home....

drea said...

You are right about being wrecked. Wrecked is an understatement. And yet, we are so comfortable in our homes and find ourselves, putting off for tomorrow what we should be doing today is gross sin. I belive the call is for everyone, not just the ones who "feel called", we are all called. Lord may we be obedient, God use us to change the world, feed the orphan and care for the widow...the least of these, is Christ.

Love you my friend, more than words.