Monday, July 25, 2011

Here I Am

I was going through the news today and came across a story stating that the EU will be donating $2.5 Million to help care for rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) unit already leads a support program for rape victims, and last year the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed to a $42 million package to help those affected.

This is a huge amount of money.

My first thought (as usual) was to book a flight to Africa and start helping in the field hospitals. When it comes to social justice, I'm always the first person to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. The problem is, I can't just pick up and go to the Congo because I feel like it. I have a job that requires my physical presence every day. I have a wedding to plan and a husband who, although he loves to travel as much as I do, can't come with me on a globe trotting trip. The other slight flaw in this plan is that it's the Congo. I am a young, white woman. Hacking my way into the deepest darkest parts of Africa could just as easily get me raped like the women I want so badly to help. The leap isn't that large.

That said, every time I come across a story like this, I feel God's pull on my heart to be involved. The first time I saw Invisible Children's initial film project, I went home and cried for two days, asking God what I could do for these kids. I don't feel called to start a movement; I don't even feel the need to join a movement. I just feel that God wants to use the heart he gave me to heal and encourage other people.

But the road is constantly paved with roadblocks. I can't help rape victims because I don't think I'm even close to ready and abused children have no place in my miniscule apartment (trust me, my husband takes up enough room). 

One day, I'm sure I'll get out to Africa and pour my heart into wounded women and kids, but God's got plenty to do with me before then. Someday, when my children are grown and I am old, I would love to move to some far away place and try something new forever. 

Until then, I will continue to make friends and read travel books.