I’m so proud of Sarah Jo.
This college student from Ohio State volunteered to go to Romania for a short term mission trip and is learning much about life, service, and grace.
At first, she spent her time washing windows in preparation for a church camp for Romanian children and helping an older woman with maintenance of her vineyard, doing work like repairing and steadying posts which the lady could no longer do. Then Sarah visited an orphanage, a home for the mentally handicapped, and a Gypsy center. The team’s hope was to draw some Gypsy children to the camp. After some delays several children came to the camp. It was then that Sarah says her heart was broken.
Now I don’t know what comes to your mind when you hear the word Gypsy. Nothing good comes up in my mind, I have to admit. All the things I’ve heard over the years – vagabond, wild, wanderers, cheaters, or people without a homeland. When the more negative terms pop into my head, I have to pull myself up short. They are just people, I remind myself. I don’t know their story.
Sarah wrote: “I sat there and looked at these young girls write what they want to be when they grow up. One wanted to be a pharmacist, another a singer, and the one who couldn’t read or write (she is 13 I believe) wants to be a doctor. I realized as I was sitting there that they are given no chance in this world. They are promised to marriage at a young age, some can’t read or write, and they are considered dirty and unwanted by most. And I had tears for this little girl, who can’t even read, yet wants to become a doctor. God has designed her and given her talents and passions, but the world she lives in holds her back.”
We take so much for granted. We have so much, yet forget to stop and realize it’s a gift of grace. Our freedoms, our material blessings, our relationships, even our salvation are all gifts, none of them earned. Yet Sarah quickly realized that these gifts are not gifts unto themselves but a call to give back to the Savior, to give forward to others. 2 Corinthians 6;1 says, “As God’s fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” Read the following verses to see how Paul chose to use that gift of grace. Stop at verse ten. We may be called upon to be poor in the world’s eye in the process of making many rich but, in the end, we who seemingly have nothing will possess everything.
Sarah continues: “This is why I am here. God has blessed me with my life and He shows me grace so that not I, but rather He may be glorified. He has taken my imperfect self and wants to use me as an example. How humbling! May I take the grace that has been shown to me, draw on it every moment of my being, and show and tell others of this wonderful gift we’ve been given.”
I’m humbled by Sarah’s attitude. May I, may all of us, look for ways to take the gift of grace that has been shown to us, and show and tell others about the gift we’ve been given.
Thanks, Sarah. We’re praying God uses you mightily so that through your life and example many will be made rich in the things that matter.