Do you know what I find to be the most sickeningly true of it all?
The fact that these beautiful, unique, incredible stories are repeated the world over.
These people, these incredible, remarkable people I met in the Dominican Republic, they are not alone in their ploy...
There is not just one 17 year old boy who has to look after his mother, brother and three sisters.
There is not just one nun who chooses to take in, as her own, and care for, orphans.
There is not just one pastor working with his community.
There is not just one project trying its best to make a difference.
There is not just one village needing to be built, not even just 10.
These things are a million times over across the globe.
And THAT is why I feel sick right now. I have finally realised the truth of it, if people don't start saying 'I'm in' and don't start getting involved, when is a difference ever going to be made?
This is a battle and its not.
This is completely overwhelming.
This is something that we cannot face alone.
This is a battle against...well, all the pain in the world. All the hurt, all the suffering. All that which is preventable. But truly it is not a battle at all, and if it is then it is already won, not by us, but by God. We are not coming together to fight we are coming together to come together to come together, and to love; to love, and cherish, and bring hope.
The statistics are incredible, and behind the statistics: the stories. If just one of the stories were true I am sure I would feel compelled to act, but these stories are happening hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of times over. That is so hard to imagine...it feels like...I'm drowning...
No matter how many people ask, no matter how many people do say 'I'm in' we cannot do this alone. Thankfully, we don't have to, we need to look up, and trust. Because God is here to guide, to show, to teach, and to fill us with such incredible love that we can't help but burst with the immensity of it.
It is over 4 months since I left the safety of my home, stepped out, and let my eyes be opened to what is really out there. For 4 months, FOUR months, I have been struggling with it all. Each time that I have a new realisation: when something else hits me about it all, I never know how I am going to continue in everything. Because it is hard. Really hard.
This all seems rather hopeless, and on the face of it, it is: 1 in 5 people. 1 in 5 people live on less than 88p a day. That number whirls around and around and around in my head, and I do lose hope, because where is the hope in that?
But it is the stories that started all this crazy, scary shaking and hopelessness, that will bring the hope back. Because it is one story at a time that a difference will be made.
One brick, one house, one beautiful, chosen-by-God, son or daughter of the King of kings, one at a time.
This Kingdom Work is about loving beyond it all, loving further and further. Loving without stopping, and love is so many things, and one of those things is an action. Act Love. Act it so that everyone you know feels it, knows it, and cannot deny it.
This isn't going to be easy. But where does God say it will be? He promises it will be worth it. God never breaks His promises. Never, ever.
So yes it is sickeningly true: there is not just one person who hurts, there is not just one person who suffers, there are billions of people out there who go through things I find hard to imagine, many of which could be prevented.
Let us start with just one? And as the one becomes two, and then three, and four, and five, and six...maybe all this hope, I keep raving about, that God gifts to us, maybe we will start to see it because it is there!
There is hope. I promise you that.
But more to the point, God promises that too.
He conquered death, where is the hopelessness in that?