Friday, November 16, 2012

Jordan's Passion

A couple of months ago our oldest daughter Jordan entered a writing contest for the Jubilee Project. Young people were asked to write about their passion. Jordan is one of the finalist and we couldn't be more proud of her.
I hope you enjoy these words of a beautiful, caring and passionate 17 year old that came from her heart.

Dear Daniel” Essay Contest Finalist: Jordan Bayer

In October, the Jubilee Project launched the “Passion: In Essay Form - Dear Daniel Essay Contest” calling on Jubileevers to submit essays about their passion – what is your passion? what barriers do you face in achieving them? how do you want to change the world through your passions? We received 25 beautifully written essays that made us laugh and cry. Over the next several days we will be posting the 7 finalist essays and the winning essay on this blog. We hope they inspire you as much as they inspired us. Here is one of the Finalists. To read the rest of the essays click here.

by Jordan Bayer
“For such a time as this” encourages me daily. It means that everyone has a purpose. My life counts. Leaving the world a better place is my mission. I have come to this realization through traveling. My breaking point is orphans. I live to travel and help children.
On June 17, 1995, I went on my first journey. I was adopted by an American family and came home two days before I turned four months old. I haven’t stopped traveling since. Traveling has not only shown me the great beauty and diversity of the world, but also the immense poverty and need as well. Through traveling, I’ve learned the importance of humility, family, love, and an open mind. I’ve come to love my diversity. I am a Korean American who walks with a faith in God.
I consider any child whose parents are unable to care for him or her to be an orphan. I want to give those children the unconditional love I’ve been given. My parents have fortunately understood my passions and allowed me to travel and help orphans as much as I could. I’ve traveled back to Korea multiple times. While I love every part of my trips, the memory of helping with the babies who are waiting to be adopted stays the strongest. The workers there told me to simply hold a crying baby for no less than ten minutes. In my opinion, this was the best job ever! I got to play with babies all day. I later on realized the truth. My job was to actually love them for at least ten minutes, because no one else could. The children were many, but the care givers were few. I had been ignorant. These children taught me the importance of humility, because this was once me; family, whom I could not live without; love, which is all they needed; and an open mind, because I can’t live as if I don’t know they exist.
My parents have started a non-profit organization called the Hug Away Foundation which advocates for adoption and orphans. Through this, my parents have started a sponsorship in Ethiopia. It allows children to get an education, a meal six days a week, and minor medical care. I’ve been blessed enough to visit the school twice now. My father personally sponsored a boy named Baharu. When my mother first traveled to the school and met him, he promised her that he would get an education, so he could make a difference in his community. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to meet him. I remember this small framed boy with a gentle confidence always following the van my team and I traveled in until we got too far. Unfortunately, he passed away this last August around the age of twelve. He can no longer serve his community, but I can. He taught me that I don’t have to be much to do much. I will miss my Ethiopian brother, but I will make his life count. I will see those children grow up and break the cycle of poverty.
It’s hard to live in such a broad world when my friends live in a narrow one. Last year, during my fall break of junior year, I traveled to Ethiopia for the second time. I came straight from Africa to school. I was passionate and aware, but nobody seemed to care. My teachers demanded my make up work and my friends hadn’t seemed to notice I left. To them, Africa is just a place on the map, but it is place that has stolen my heart, the same with Korea. Although I’ve left those places, a little piece of me remains.
Often, my passions leave me heartbroken. Sometimes, I wish I loved to do other things. Traveling requires a lot of money and caring for orphans is difficult. I’ve tried to occupy my time by painting and playing the violin. While I appreciate the arts, it isn’t my passion. I’m too connected to the people and places I’ve met to quit.
I will always fight for my passions. I have just begun to find the courage to explore who I am and where I came from. There are children around the world that have captivated me. Traveling has been my best teacher and I will never stop learning. I believe love can move mountains.
I will make a difference in the world, so that I won’t regret my life. Most days, I feel lost. I let my shyness and stress of finding a college and a career get the best of me. One day, I will look back and only have memories of wondering what my purpose is, but I will always remain passionate. Although I am currently a day dreaming high school student, I will eventually move mountains.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Lesson on Being Grateful

Even a Christian like me who is past the milk and honey stage and into the meat of the Bible can learn a lesson that we should already know. This week my middle son reminded me the meaning of being grateful.
Without going into details my son has been thrown a unexpected, uncalled for devastating blow. It has rocked his world and taken a emotional toll on him.
I have prayed and asked my prayer warriors to pray for him and this situation. I asked God to please just give him a glimmer of hope.  God I know you are working on this but I am not sure he knows. Maybe if he could see just one thing go his way he would smile again.
The other day he was going to get some answers to this situation. When my husband text me the results I was furious and for the first time in my Christian life I was angry with God. All I asked for was one little glimmer of hope and this is what happens? Why? Why God? How much more does he have to go through?
I couldn't believe I was so angry with God! I didn't like this all.
A little later I received a text from my son. He was so grateful for the small thing that did go his way. He didn't see the injustice only the fact that he had been given this one glimmer of hope. gulp. It wasn't what I had "hoped" for but it was what I had asked God for. A glimmer of hope. And it made my son smile for the first time in a very long time.
This momma had some soul searching to do and had to ask the God she loves more than life to please forgive her for ever doubting or questioning Him. I guess sometimes our love for our kids blinds us. That's my story and I am sticking to it!
Next time I will look at the situation and what God is doing instead of what I think He isn't doing.
Lesson on Being Grateful...Check!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Seasons of Life

In every one's life we go through seasons. Some seasons are harder than others. This is a hard season for my family. If Satan was trying to get our attention he did a fine job! For every season of life God lays a scripture on my heart. Whatever that scripture is, it gets me through that season.

When I first became a Christian my scripture was Philippians 3:14. Through seasons when I didn't think I would make it through God placed Philippians 4:13. Through seasons when I wanted to unleash on someone God laid on my heart Proverbs 3:5. When I wasn't sure if I should close the doors to Hug Away and asked God for an answer He gave me Revelation 3:8 and when I was taking my first team to Ethiopia and it looked like we weren't going to make it God gave me Romans 8:28. Notice I am not writing out the scripture? It is good, if you desire, to look up each scripture on your own then you will know right where it's at!

So like I said our family is under attack and yes we have been praying, and yes we believe that we will get through this but God knew I needed a word from Him. Honestly when I first read this I thought "what has this got to do with anything we are going through now?" I read it over and over and then I knew why He, the one who already has the answer to our prayers gave me this scripture. This one I will give you :)

1 Corinthians 13

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I took this picture last year before a big storm hit. It represents how I feel in the midst of this season. I have moments of hope even though I know a storm is coming. Some days the hope wins and others the storm. And when the storm is winning I am not great to be around and I am not acting or speaking in love. Not good.

So how you ask does this scripture speak to my heart? Well... who ever I am around  believers or non-believers and I do not speak or act in love then I am not doing much good here. In other words I can't choose to walk the walk whenever I want to. It has to be seen in everything I do and say. And when your family and life as you know it is being attacked this is when you have to dig deep and find the strength God will give you.

So you see how I choose to handle this season  means everything and that is why I choose to handle it with love. God doesn't force me to that is the great thing, I do so because I want to and I know that is His desire for me. God will handle the rest. This doesn't mean I won't have bad days or small doubts or that I won't cry and wonder why, after all I am human. It is those times  I will go back to Proverbs 3:5! All I know He has never let me down, even when His answer wasn't what I wanted. He knows best.