impact, legacy and love

Impact. Legacy. Love.

These three words keep resurfacing to my mind. They remind me of what truly matters in life.

At the dedication ceremony the night the Village of Hope opened Terry Meeuwsen shared something I will never forget and I quoted her in this blog post. And just like I said in that blog post I will say it again, it will truly never leave me. And I will share it again today. The best investment we can make…

 It’s not enough to make a lot of money, it’s not enough to live in big houses. You want to leave your mark on the world and I admire that, that is a God call on your life. 

The world will have loud voices that will try to deter you from that, don’t listen.

Because the only game in town that matters, is the game that touches lives. You see none of these things we have not our clothing, not our houses, not our possessions, we don’t get to take any of it with us. There’s only one thing we get to take, other people. So you have the opportunity to invest in something of eternal significance. Not everybody gets that. 

This is what it all comes down too, leaving an impact for Jesus and leaving a legacy for Jesus and what he has called us to do. To play our small parts in this earth to fill it with his glory. To love others, and spend our lives sharing the love of Christ with everyone he leads us too. We don’t all have to go to Africa, but we all have the chance to love, create impact and leave a legacy. We all have the chance to invest in what truly matters.

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I think of my father and the love he has for people. He just radiates love, and everyone loves him back. It is so natural and so inspiring to see. He embodies Christ’s love and he already has made such a powerful impact on this world for the kingdom, I am excited to continue see God use him. An example and mentor that I am blessed enough to call dad.

 

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This women and her heart. Her love alone has left an impact that rings throughout the world and continues to change and uplift so many vulnerable lives for God’s glory.

To fall more in love with Christ is to become more like him, and when Christ is love, we become the love of Christ and other’s will see that inside of us. Each one of us has the ability and chance to create impact somewhere in our world, even our own homes and families. We have a chance to leave a legacy for his glory and kingdom and a chance to spend our lives loving the one who gave everything for us.

Be blessed today.

you are loved! you WILL create impact and leave legacy in his name!

Dev

all it takes is one encounter

All it takes is one encounter to experience Jesus, and be transformed through his radical love, all it takes is one encounter.

I don’t believe this is by a “feeling” and if you do feel something that is wonderful but the bible tells us it is by faith, not feeling.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

I think of Paul, what Paul experienced was a radical encounter with Jesus Christ that changed his life FOREVER, and our lives as we know it.

Paul wrote so much of the new testament and his knowledge came from that personal revelation through person relationship with Jesus Christ and knowing and experiencing his love!

Paul actually was persecuting christians…. can we stop for am minute here! He was in a position to kill other believers, KILL THEM …and then he has ONE encounter with Jesus and EVERYTHING CHANGES!

Talk about RADICAL TRANSFORMATION!

One encounter, changes everything! I love how after that encounter Paul spent his life seeking the Lord, expanding his kingdom and preaching his word to everyone he could, because he knew his savior and had a deep knowledge of his love. That one encounter and he spent the rest of his days following and leading many to Christ.

Jesus appears to Saul (later Paul) in a vision!

” Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Who are you Lord? Saul asked. I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, he replied. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what to do.”

Acts 9: 4-6

That deep knowledge of love changes everything. Because when we KNOW we are changed forever.

When we have knowledge of who we are it is SO POWERFUL!

I am praying this is a year of RADICAL encounters that will change everything for us.

I think of a boy in our home in Ghana. He was treated terribly his entire life, people spoke curses over him, they told him what he would never become, he told him he would never amount to anything, he was hopeless and lost. He was angry and confused. One Sunday he has an encounter with Jesus and surrenders his life to him. He is saved, and he is a new creation. I see how one encounter with Jesus has not just changed but TRANSFORMED this young mans life. He speaks of becoming a pastor, and he is a natural leader and people are drawn to follow what he does or says, what used to be something bad, God tuned to good and now at the age of 15 he is walking in love, leading in compassion and sharing the love he once NEVER knew and now freely SHARES with ALL of the people who cross his path.

He is the one to ask the tough questions being lead by compassion to help others. It is so moving. When I look at this young man, I see a man of God who carriers love and compassion. He is a new creation through one encounter of Jesus Christ.

He is made a new creation, just like Paul. Radical love, and knowledge that we are so loved by a savior who died just to know us, and not just to know us and make a way into heaven but to have heaven living inside of us, so that we carry his spirit, love and light and bring the kingdom of heaven down to earth.

TRANSFORMATION

change, alteration, mutation, conversion, metamorphosis, transfiguration, transmutation

These words also help draw on how we are made new creations once we invite Christ into our hearts and surrender our lives to him, through an encounter.

I am praying this is a year of radical encounters where we are changed and transformed by the power of his love. I feel God moving so powerfully swiftly this year, he is doing a new thing and he is turning hearts back to him! He is calling names back home into his kingdom. This is a year of GOD!

And christians can I challenge you to bring that love with you wherever you are, wherever you go. Would you stop for a cleaning lady, a taxi or an uber driver, would you share the love of Christ with waitresses or delivery men. Would you not let anyone cross your path without having a chance to know and experience his amazing, life changing love. I am praying for you that God would even use us in our day-to-day routine to make time for that one that we might pass and not consider. That these encounters would not just happen in churches but in our day-to-day routine. I am praying for you and waiting to see what God will do this year. He is on the move big time!

And if you are new here, and you are wondering what I am talking about, and how someone like Saul could be forgiven for killing christians, that is the reckless love of Jesus Christ our savior. His blood was shed for each person, all over the world, he actually became our sin, so that when he took it to the grave it would stay there, so we would be made clean by his blood and we do not have to pay the price of sin, rather have eternal life, because we are blames and holy in his sight. When we pray the salvation pray we are made new just like Saul, we are forgiven and we are loved! P.s. you are loved even before you pray this prayer.

You are loved, you are loved, you are loved, God loves you!

Today is the day for salvation, do not wait another day, you can have the relationship with Jesus TODAY!!! Start by asking for forgiveness of your sins, declare with your mouth by believing in your heart that Jesus died and rose again and is the way the truth and the life, that you can enter into eternity today because he made a way for you. If you prayed this prayer you are a new creation!! Praise God.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Blessing and love,

Dev

purpose, identity and new realizations

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” Psalms 138:8

 

It has been a crazy, beautiful, exciting past 6 months to say the least. ( Can anyone else relate!? ) Side note: how are we so close to 2018! Has this year not flown by way too fast! I’m hoping to write another blog about what I learned in 2017, like I did with 2016.

I have flown on more flights than I would like to count (or hours slept/not slept on those flights 😉 drove more hours than I can remember, but met countless individuals from around the world whose stories I will never forget. Stories that I will treasure forever. 

Somewhere in these past 6 months God has done a new work inside me, showing himself in ways more profound than I have ever seen before. Seeing his hand move across the world to reach all of his creation, all of his precious children. There is no-one too far or low in the eyes of God that he will not reach.

There are many things that He has brought to my attention and almost highlighted to me, laying new burdens upon my heart. He never ceases to stop expanding it as I continue this journey with Him. Even when it doesn’t seem humanly possible that He could expand it, He does, and it humbles me each time. Through it all I came to this, and I know I already “knew” this but this never will get old, you never stop understanding this, it actually becomes more beautiful as we mature in our journeys with God, loving and emulating Christ and pursuing His will even when it looks crazy, or uncertain.

The same Jesus that we worship and love, the same blood that was shed for each of us, was shed for all of humanity. Think about that. One blood covers all of humanity. It does not pick and choose, it does not leave out, or forget. It covers each one of us. One blood for one people, that’s us, all of us.

This is so simple yet profound to not just hear or read it, but to have the chance to travel places you’d never imagine, seeing people groups you’d never heard about. And seeing these people for who God created them to be. To experience a small part of their reality, as some are “forgotten” people groups, outcasts, mistreated or left to fend for themselves. To see these people with a new heart that God has, and how our hearts starts to break for what breaks His. It’s not His will for his children to live like this, and it grieves him, the same way it grieved and broke my heart in ways I cannot even explain. And to know that Christ died for each one of them, that he covered them with his blood to have eternal life is a humbling, simple and a profound realization coming face to face with this reality.

We are all one, we all struggle and love, we all struggle to love. We make mistakes, we get impatient or jealous. We get insecure, we want what we don’t have, we are too harsh on ourselves, we choose to base worth on things that don’t matter, we all have the potential to hope and dream, we all can become something great. We all have the ability to fear, and overcome that fear. We all fail. We are all created with purpose.

Purpose in identity that Christ gives us when he died on the cross for all of humanity. I think one of the biggest things that people today struggle with is identity. They don’t know who they are, but they want to. So they try things, they spend their lives trying to figure out. When they never had to “try” in the first place.

“Who am I”, “What is my worth” “Why am I here.” 

I am excited to write another post and share how I struggled with these same questions. I wouldn’t want anyone reading this to think that I never thought this either.

The root of this issue is identity. Once we know who we are IN CHRIST, everything changes. Everything changes!

Each one of us is created with divine purpose. We aren’t just on earth right now, for such a time as this, on this very day to try to find in our own strength what the purpose is. We have it because HE gave it to us. Christ died for us out of selfless love, and because he knows we each have value. There was a price and he paid it, ask yourself, if there was no value or purpose on my life then why did God send his only son to pay such a large price? Why? Because we HAVE value and purpose, and because he loves us so much, he gives us identity in him.

Sometimes it takes jumping out of your comfort zone, loving others, using the gifts God gave you for His good to figure it out. It takes spending time in his word and reading His will for our lives. It is about spending time with the creator and lover of our soul.

I am looking forward to really sharing personal stories from my past trips to Zambia, Ukraine and Kenya and even trips I have taken here in the US. I have so much to share so you think it would be easy, but sometimes the things we feel the most are the hardest to put into words. Because even the words we try to use don’t seem adequate. There are so many things I look forward to writing about and sharing!

Is there any suggestions you have, anything you want me to focus on in particular? Any trip or experience you would like to hear about! Please comment or email me, I really would appreciate it.

You are ALL Loved,

you all have purpose, value and identity in Christ,

Dev

 

 

will you not forget the forgotten.

12:50 am, a little past my bedtime. late night blogging = the best blogging… sometimes, I’m trying to be brave + going out on a limb here + share some thoughts, hopes and new dreams…this late at night, can you tell I can’t sleep + have something on my mind? i’m deciding to overcome my fear of being judged of sharing my heart by knowing this.
there is something powerful that happens when people unite, things change, and our world changes too. and if i care enough about this, then someone out there does too
ref·u·geeˌrefyo͝oˈjē/
noun
plural noun: refugees
  1. a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
    “tens of thousands of refugees fled their homes”

What is a refugee, what does it feel like to be forced to leave your country? What does it feel like to live in a constant state of fear of a war, a bomb, hunger and the displacement of friends and family members. What does it feel like to run away from home and never look back? What does it feel like to have your family killed by evil people? What does it feel like to see your home burned or destroyed to the ground? What does it feel like to have no one show up for you? What does it feel like when other countries don’t want you either? What does it feel like to watch thousands around you die? What does it feel like to starve to death? What does it feel like to be persecuted for your faith, what does it feel like to be a forgotten people group? What does it feel like to be a forgotten person? What does it feel like to be a refugee?

Maybe you want to click away, maybe this is going in a different direction than you thought. And that is okay, I am not pushing any political views or opinions. I am simply sharing the deepest burdens on my heart. I am just sharing my vision I have for the future. I am just sharing hope in knowing among this evilness,  God still reigns, and God can always interfere in a bad situation, that God can turn things around. That God can bring rain to a dry wasteland. From my heart to your screen, I’m sharing something very different today. And different happens to be a good thing from time to time. 

These questions weigh heavily upon my heart as I sit behind my screen reading stories from different ongoing civil wars around the world that have left millions of innocent people misplaced, forgotten and in severe devastation.

I am not sure what I can do. My heart says go, but I know this is not a logical answer at this exact moment. Sitting on my bed writing this blog from a safe and comfortable place not living in fear I want to do something. I don’t want to just sit back and not do anything. So I’ll write, and spread awareness in hopes that this ignites the interest of one other heart, we we can join our hearts and pray for these nations experiencing this together in Christ.

I wish I could show up and be there for them, to listen to their hardships to provide them with a meal, to show them love. To show them that they matter, and that I care about what is happening in their life. I wish I could physically hug them, or hold their hands and give them promises of hope, unspoken promises of a change in their lives. I know I can pray and I will be praying for these people all around the world who suffer hourly, who live in fear, and who struggle to keep themselves alive.

Refugees are people like me and you. They are no different, we are all people. We all deserve to enjoy the same rights no matter where we are in this world. We don’t deserve this, and we shouldn’t allow it to happen in this day and age.

What has caught my attention and has weighed so heavily upon my heart, which brings me to tears and I am not even sure why is what is going on in South Sudan. But it has truly been on my heart, for some reason I love this place and I believe in these people. I want to see peace and I want to see victory for them.

A year and a half ago I felt a burden on my heart for this country and have since been praying that one day things will change. Because we serve a big God who turns things around, and makes the impossible possible.

The world’s newest country, a place where civil war has been going on since 2013. More than 3 million people where half are children are displaced and scattered throughout Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia. I pray these people feel accepted in their new home, isn’t that what we all want. To be accepted and to be wanted. Imagine not being wanted anywhere.

This civil war is not just fighting, it is forcing their own people to leave.

This is a humanitarian crisis. The UN is calling for 1.4 billion to help restore and create programs for the South Sudanese people. Thousands of civilians are being killed for their ethnicity or perceived political views. Schools, hospitals, clinics have been destroyed and abandoned.

People are fleeing from their own homes, from their own countries. Where is their hope, what is their outlook on life? How can they have hope when everything around them is so dangerous, violent and uncertain?

And we have to do something. We have to use our voices for these people, because we are all one, we are all people, and we should all care. 

We have the ability to use our voices through social media connecting the world and making it a much smaller place. It’s a dangerous and cryptic divide of the advantages and disadvantages the internet creates in our lives. But I know for a fact that millennials have experienced what no past generation has before, and I believe that if we come together in a common cause we can make a difference. It has been done before and it’ll happen again, and I pray it happens for South Sudan in our lifetime.

Maybe this means nothing to you, maybe you don’t think about refugees often, or South Sudan, or other countries that are struggling to find relief or solutions for corrupt and unjust situations. And that is okay I am not urging or telling you  what to believe in. I’m just using this space to share the thoughts that keep me awake at night. The dreams of one day going to a place like South Sudan, or the hopes that one day things WILL change. Not only here but other suffering and forgotten people groups around the world. For the unreachable, for the forgotten.

I believe in a day where South Sudan will have peace, I believe in a day where South Sudan will have just leadership and I believe that in the 21st century we shouldn’t allow mass famines to happen, we shouldn’t forget, what if we were forgotten?

If you feel led would you join your hearts with these people, will you remember to pray for them, will you not forget the forgotten in South Sudan. Would you hope for peace to rule over this nation sooner than later.

We are the world, we are created for a purpose. I believe we all have a similar purpose to stand up for humankind, I believe that we were created to love, serve and be evolutions of change and innovation. Let’s make this world a better place before we leave it, let’s unite our hands and hearts together. I hope this inspired just one of you. Let’s make a change, let’s be the change, let’s be changed.

your heart + their hearts = one united people 

Be the change = be the changeD

Romans 12:9-13

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

 

Thanks for reading, 

you are all loved,

Dev

The story of “Mine”

This blog is a little different, I’m sharing a story of a little boy I met ten years ago. I’m sharing his story.

Through my years going on different mission trips and experiencing new places and people majority of the lessons I’ve learned comes down to these two things.

There is power in listening to people’s stories, these are our greatest examples of hope.

Love truly changes lives.

The first time I stepped out of my comfort zone and directly into others lives without fully understanding or comprehending it was my church’s first middle school mission trip. I remember hearing my pastor talk about how this would be life changing and “good for young teens” signing up with no clue what would happen during a week in Mississippi. This was after Hurricane Katrina after many families were displaced and hurting and left in devastation with little or no help from anyone.

Our week there was spent rebuilding and painting homes as well as connecting and bonding with the local community. I remember getting close with the little girl who my group was particularly helping. I remember walking through the rainy streets of a local neighborhood in a small and rural town in Mississippi as she told me the different stories of the families that lived there, one sadder than the next.

Although I was in middle school this impacted me greatly, and everyone else on the trip. I remember nearing the end of the street when a little boy in a white t-shirt stood behind the frame of a broken down door looking at the two of us walking down the street. I asked what his name was and what his story was. I honestly do not remember now, I know his story broke my heart, but I will never forget him, and think and pray for him often.

His name was “Mine” and he eventually came behind the door and we bonded and spent the whole week together. He would eat lunch with my group everyday and we would spilt peanut butter and jelly wonder bread sandwiches, he wore my sunglasses and taught me how to dance to the cupid shuffle with other friendly children on his block. I remember one dance party after lunch in a cracked pavement driveway and just laughing and swinging all the kids around. I’m sure every other middle schooler on this trip could remember that dance party also. Mine and I were together the whole time, he even started to help us repaint the home we were working on and introduced me to his friends that started to come around as well. He also wanted to give back to his community although no one ever helped him. He started be affected and changed by love. His rough and mature exterior started to soften and I could see him smile behind the hurt in his young eyes.

I remember the last day it was raining, we were all in clear plastic ponchos putting the finishing touches on the home. I remember knowing we would leave that day and maybe never return again. This reality shook me to my core. And then it was time for goodbyes, we took our last pictures with all the local kids on our disposal cameras and prayed for each other one last time knowing we might not ever see these people again.

I walked Mine to the end of the street for the last time and my heart felt so heavy not knowing what life would have in store for this young child but holding onto to something that God had our paths crossed for a reason.

I might not ever see or hear about this boy again, but I know his story and his willingness to share with me, and be open to feeling love changed my life. And he holds a very special place in my heart.

This mission trip opened my eyes to so much, and I felt as if I had popped this bubble that I had been living in prior. There were so many people in our own country, and the world living in terrible condition with no one to talk to, to listen to them to open their arms and love them. I remember going home after that trip and hugging my parents a little tighter that night.

I will be sharing more of these personal stories from different individuals on different trips that impacted me in different ways, some that I have the privilege of seeing again some that only remain in my memory. Either way I want to share these stories as resources of hope and inspiration for anyone reading that when we listen and love others we can change the world.

Here are two pictures I found from this trip in my room

Some of the sweet kids we got to interact with that week.
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The only picture I have of Mine.

Thanks for reading,

you are all loved.

Dev

What ever you  do to the least of my brothers that what you do to me. – Jesus

To love is to serve

I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me. John 14:6 

Lilian, Mary and Isaac

“I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” John 14:18

These three pictures, are the pictures of our newest additions. Our family is growing. Meet Lilian 5 years, Mary 8 years and Isaac 7 years.

Our God is faithful. I look at these pictures, as I am in New York now, and will return to meet these children very soon. I see hope, and the chance at a new life. I am looking at the leaders of tomorrow. Their futures are so bright! I’m excited to love them, to meet them, to experience life with them, as they have already changed mine.

Once abandoned, now accepted. God is good. I believe in a day where our world will have no orphans. I believe that every child deserves the right to dream, the right to a better future. I believe that children deserve the right to education, love and a family. Every child belongs in a family. It’s the way God intended it to be.

I’m asking that you join our team and staff in Ghana, and our team in the US in prayer. Would you join our PNN family in prayer? Would you lift Lilian, Mary and Isaac in prayer today. There are days when I am in Ghana, going through a lot, dealing with more than I think I can handle sometimes, and then I feel relief, and I know someone on the other side is lifting me up in prayer. Sometimes I can literally feel it. I know they will, so lets come together and lift them up.

Those three pictures remind me of this picture below. The first children to come to PNN, I love how our family is expanding. I love seeing God rescue and bring light to the darkness. Because darkness cannot win, when we choose to shine light in dark places. I love being apart of something so much bigger than myself. I love seeing God move, and bring hope to the hopeless. And lastly…

I love knowing that there are three less orphans in the world today.

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where there is light, there is life

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with my boy Edward. This boy has my heart.

lets slow down, lets take a moment to reflect.

I’m not sure if this is a personal reflection or if I am just speaking from my heart on what this past year has meant to me.

At the end of the day, when times get rough, when life throws the unexpected your way, to a point where you feel like you are drowning in sorrow, challenges and difficultly, there is light.

There is a way out, and it comes in only one true form. Jesus.

The name above all names, the name that saves, redeems, rescues, loves and forgives. The name that selflessly gave himself so that we could have eternal life. Life that so greatly surpasses the length and meaning of this life.

There is freedom in Christ. A lot of people want to believe the opposite. I have seen this freedom, I have lived in it, I have witnessed it. I have tasted its goodness. I continue to seek it, continue to enjoy this freedom in Christ. I continue to spend my life seeking his face , seeking him, getting to know him.

I have seen the most innocent lives transform finding hope, safety and love in Christ. And it is amazing. It is real. It is happening, because of Christ.

I have seen children who carried around the heaviest of burdens from experiencing abuse on every level, let it all go. I have seen the sadness and despair in their eyes turn into joy and life. Because of Christ. Because they can lay down their burdens and experiences at his feet. Those which do not determine their worth, that can be erased and renewed. Surrendering their lives into his hands. What an amazing God we have.

Hopeless lives that were set in darkness, abused, forgotten, neglected, abandoned. Yet where there is light, no darkness can hide. And there was light and life. And there will continue to be light and life. Darkness did not win, and it cannot win, if WE choose to be the light. To shed the light on darkness all around the world. To what God has called our hearts to.

Christ came so that we could live. But it doesn’t end there. We need to be an active part of bringing love and salvation to the ends of the world, to shed light on the darkness. Even if that means shedding light in the darkness of where you are now. Maybe you don’t even have to travel to get there.

Did you know that there are more slaves today than ever before in history? Most of which are children. We can choose to ignore it because it doesn’t effect our day to day. Or maybe something else touches your heart, orphans, refugees, whatever it is. I am not asking or telling you, I am just speaking from my heart. That if Christ offers freedom, hope, redemption and life wouldn’t you want to share that ?

Because where there is light, there is life.

And where there is light, darkness cannot hide.

Lets. choose. to. be. light.

Let’s make this decision every morning, renewing ourselves and our lives to Christ. Laying down ourselves at his feet to be used for his glory, in this day and age. Because we are here for such a time as this.

And where there is light, darkness cannot hide.

 

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

we were made for this

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Hello, I am back in New York! I was going to write a post about turning 23 in Africa, and reflect on some highlights of turning 22, but from a lack of wifi, and being so busy it didn’t happen. I’m home for some time before I head back to Ghana. With that being said I have been so busy this past week. The past 6 days consisted of a lot of traveling, the good thing is I loved traveling and don’t mind traffic, bumpy car rides (on red dirt paths) or long flights. Sitting in Accra traffic has done wonders to improve my patience 😉

I was traveling with my father to new places, which I will share in the right time. But this past week consisted of 7 flights, 35 hours of flying in total, countless hours of red dirt paths, and a 24 hour journey home. You would assume that we are very tired, but we had so much fun along the way and the 3 flights home (with the last being 14 hours home) didn’t seem so bad thanks to good old country music, writing in my journal, reading some awesome books and some in flight movies! One would assume that I am thrilled to be back home, which I am! But in the same excitement of being here is that it hasn’t even been one day since I arrived and I am already missing being in Africa. I know it is really hard for people to understand. And I am sure a lot of you, or others think that I am crazy and question this calling or desire to live somewhere, so different, remote or impoverished. It is the place where my heart lies, where my God created my spirit to thrive and be filled, and where my soul was created to be. I really thank God for giving me such a supportive family to encourage me and understand this calling. They make coming home so easy to always listen to me and the hardships of readjusting to life so different from what seems “normal” to me.

Maybe their understanding has to do with the fact that I spoke about this dream since I was young. Isn’t God amazing. It is almost as if he was subconsciously preparing my parents that one day it would become their reality as much as it would become my own. Before I could locate Africa on a map at the age of 7 or 8 I spoke of one day moving there and working with orphan children, even spoke of building a home for them. His ways are higher than ours, he gives us the desires of our hearts. Each unique and different from each others.

I like to see life as a journey, like I recently blogged about never exactly reaching a final destination. I see myself on this journey called life to show the same love that God my parents and family has shown me my entire life. The love that we are so undeserving of. I know I always talk about love and God’s love, but I don’t even think I can process just 1% of how much he loves us. God has given me this dream and desire to embrace the children I meet to remind them they are valued, loved and important in the eyes of God. To speak of hope and ignite the spark of excitement of becoming the future leaders of society and the world.

It is honestly very hard for me to come back home. I know how important it is that I take time to refresh, have others pray for me, speak about my experience, fundraise and see God move in my life on this side of the Atlantic. I know how draining serving others can be. On. every. single. level. For the next few days I like to take my time to readjust to everything. Something as simple as taking a hot shower, having consistent wifi and power, and not seeing my kids faces every morning and night is an adjustment. It’s hard to live in a third world country and just pop back home and be fine. Sometimes I feel like I see so much injustice and poverty, so much that it can be overwhelming, yet I see a place so close to heaven. Where I feel like I get to taste and reach out to grab it. With people and children that lack everything. But know more about God then most people I know. That trust him for everything, that know his word and sing his praises as they take joy in everything. Then I travel home and see people who have everything. And appreciate so little, and have an attitude where they want more and never seemed to be satisfied with the fleeting and material things of this world. It’s hard because I sometimes feel like not a lot of people understand where I am coming from. For those who do, who listen to my stories, who check up on me and send me words and emails of encouragement support and prayer. Thank you. So. Much. Thank you for being a shoulder to lean on, thank you for being apart of this journey.

Every single one of us is so different. I thank God for that. I never want anyone to confuse being christian with having to move to a place like Africa. No not everyone was called to live among the nations. You can make an impact and serve God in your 9 to 5 or in your hometown. We all have our own journey.

I’m on this journey to show God’s love to those marginalized, forgotten, abused, or orphaned in society. God has sent me to embrace those children in the exact place where he wanted them to feel that love, because he has a bright future for them. Because they are SO important and valued in the eyes of God. And if just one of those children knows that then through me God has changed the world. Just by reaching the heart of one.

We all have a different journey, that is what makes this world and beautiful and interesting place. We all have a heart for something unique and different. These journeys are fueled by different passions and dreams, motivations and hopes, sorrows and heart breaks. I’d encourage anyone to follow those dreams, because God is the one who gave you the desire of your heart. And if your reading this and you feel confused or lost along your path, and so desperately want to hear the voice of God and see his hands move in your life to show you the reason he created you for such a time as this then get in touch with him. Spend time with the creator of your heart, read his word, and speak to him. He is listening and he will answer you, and he wants to give you so much that this world could never give you, that the world could never fill you. Obviously this comes with a price of sacrifice and hardship, and discouragement. But we shouldn’t ever give up on our dreams, we shouldn’t ever let anyone or anything discourage us from living the life God created us to live. Because you were created to be here, for such a time as this! Don’t forget that. You. were. made. for. this!

Love Dev