Every night before I can fall asleep, I have to have music playing in my room. I cannot fall asleep unless there is some kind of noise.
In Belarus, I had as much noise as I wanted. The children would climb up onto me and scream “Everyday planes fly away,” a song that we had innocently taught them (if only we knew!…) I thought that I would become deaf by the end of our trip. I thought that all of the bruises I got would never heal. I thought and dreamt about the day when I could take a warm shower again.
…And I thought about and wondered how anyone could abandon such precious children.
I believe that God calls everyone to go on this kind of mission at least once in their lives. These children don’t need much from us. They don’t really need the candy, toys, and presents that we bring them. What they need from us is something most us have so much of but choose to waste away: our time. You don’t have to do anything special with these children to change their lives. All you have to do is spend some time with them. You can play with them. You can cry with them. You can hug them and hold their hands. You can even go tanning with them (the sun sure does like to shine in Belarus!)
Your love and your time are all that they ask of you, and I believe that all of us in some way or another can give them that time, that love that they so need.
During one of my first trips to Belarus, I was asked by a friend, “do you think that there is a reason for us being here in Belarus? Are we actually making a difference in their lives?” The answer didn’t fully come to me until after the trip was well over. After coming home, I read about a man by the name of Torrey Johnston. He was asked to preach at a school in Chicago, and after looking at his schedule, he saw that he did not have time to stop at this school. So he asked the school if they would be willing to listen to a different speaker, a young man who was with Torrey at the time. They refused the offer, and kept insisting that they only wanted Torrey Johnston to come– and no one else. But eventually they relented, and agreed to have the young unknown speaker come and preach.
The young man’s name? Billy Graham.
When Billy Graham returned from the trip, Torrey asked him how it had gone.
“Well, it was alright, but only one person asked God for forgiveness of his sins.”
That one person who committed his life to Christ on the night that Billy Graham preached was Warren Wiersbe. Warren Wiersbe would go on to create a Bible study program that would touch millions of lives throughout America and the world.
I bring this up to say because after reading this story, I was reminded of two young girls who had come to Christ in the first orphanage I visited. If God can use one person such as Warren Wiersbe to touch the lives of millions, imagine how much He can do through two.
And if God can use Warren and Billy, then he can very well use you, or me. Sometimes all it takes is for us to block out the noise surrounding our lives: the noise that comes from the lives we live, the cars we drive, the goals we set for ourselves. There’s a far sweeter music to be found, if we only listen.
I still need noise to fall asleep at night. But sometimes, when the music has grown quiet, I find myself falling asleep not to the radio… but to a song that every child that has ever been in one of our camps knows by heart:
“Every day planes fly away, every day trains pull away. But I will stay with Jesus forever and ever and ever!”