One of the great things about blogging is its ability to inspire. I read blogs because they inspire me. I write blogs to inspire others (or at least that's my hope). Very few however inspire me like my good friend Shannon's.(By good friend I mean person who I haven't known long, but who I feel like Ive known forever.) Part of that inspiration comes from her absolute love of life. If I notice a tiny, broken doll with ruby red lips lying in the mud I can be assured that Shannon will notice it too and we can share a smile over something so broken yet so beautiful. Another thing that inspires me is her willingness to go where God leads and her eagerness to go there.
Currently God is leading them (her, her husband Brad and their daughter) to Haiti to live/serve indefinitely. Oh and they will be doing this as unpaid staff for World Wide Village. I know that for most of us that sounds absolutely crazy, but God tends to do his best work in people that don't mind being a little crazy for him. In fact by God standards moving to Haiti is quite normal. Of course this is where we start having problems, because if we acknowledge that God would send someone to Haiti then we have to acknowledge that he might send us. He might send us in spite of our family & kids, our mortgage and our paychecks. In fact as is the case with Shannon if he's sending you he's sending all of them. Then there's the other part of this story that we struggle with and that's the fact that God isn't calling them alone. He doesn't call a person, he calls a people. When he called Moses, he was calling the Israelites. When he called Jonah, he was calling the people of Nineveh. When he called Joseph, he called all of Joseph's family whether they realized it or not. Now these calls could have went one of two ways... they could have answered the call and received God's blessing or they could refuse it and received God's wrath. Most of time its a mix of the two. We refuse until we finally realize that God's calling us to something better.
For me the call to Haiti was not a burning bush moment. It was a whisper, it was hints along the way, opportunities that I could have missed or brushed off as not the right time. In truth I never knew for certain that I should be in Haiti til I was in Haiti surrounded by little children begging to be held, but honestly it would be prideful of me to deny the importance of those that answered the call yet never step foot in Haiti. You see I wouldn't have been in Haiti had my friends and family not answered the call themselves. Because the call wasn't for me alone. It took a risk on the part of my friends. It took them releasing their hold on their pocketbooks. It took them risking that God would provide for their needs when they gave cheerfully and it took them believing in something bigger then themselves. And for most of those that gave that was a big risk.
God doesn't always call everyone oversees, but he does call us to support the spread of the gospel, make disciples and to care for the least of these. Sometimes that means recognizing the gift we've been given and then giving it all.
I don't claim to know what that means for each person, but I do see examples of what Christ meant in scripture. In the bible we see people leaving their livelihoods, leaving their families, giving away all they had, supporting missionaries, risking their lives for Jesus, risking persecution, caring for the poor, the widowed, the orphans, and those in jail, healing people, healing nations by preaching the word and preaching a risen Savior. All of which involved giving away something that was precious to them for something that was far more precious. Most of the time they did that blindly. They did not receive a word, they received a Savior that was worth more than everything they held dear to them. I truly believe that the reason more people don't answer the call of God on their lives is because their waiting for a word when all the time their missing a relationship that transforms them.
Of course the solution to this is allowing Christ to transform you in whatever way he sees fit and allowing him to do it fully. Its about spending time with him so you understand his heart and no sad picture of a hurting child will do that; but taking a risk, taking a step in faith, will lead you to a better knowledge of who God is.
Now my realm of influence is small, but with our combined effort along with the power that God affords us as his people we can bring His kingdom to this earth. We can be the force behind "your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.". Which leads me back to the point of this post. We have an awesome opportunity to do that by supporting those missionaries that are willing to give all of their lives to live out that mission. We have an opportunity to do that by supporting The Kelley's as they become the hands and feet in Haiti and I can tell you from what I know of them so far that they are committed to living that out in whatever way God asks. And here's where the risk comes in for most of you. Are you willing to give to someone who you don't know, to a call that you have not received yourself, to a planting of the Lord that you might never see the fruit of?
If you answer yes then there are multiple ways to help...help cover the cost of the move, provide a one time donation or make a recurring donation to provide for their monthly needs and to do this you can...
- Contact Shannon Kelley herself at firstname.lastname@example.org and offer your support or get more info (by the way prayers and encouragement are welcome as well).
- Go to World Wide Village's donation page and make a one time or recurrent donation under Kelley Support Fund.
- Or if you prefer you can make the donation through me and I will make sure they get it. Promise.
- Share this post or Shannon's post with a friend.
- Pray for them daily. (If your interested I'm pretty sure I could get a picture for your family to pray over)