My Grander Vision

IMG_3979My vision isn’t about fame or fortune. It’s really not about making money at all. It’s not about achieving success in the world’s eyes. It’s not about exotic or elaborate places to visit, the fancy car or an expensive house. It’s not the number in my bank account or living out the American dream.

If my mission were to make money and to live a comfortable life I definitely would have chosen a different career path and not have become a missionary.

The countless days without running water or electricity, limited internet access, living on a very tight budget, being far away from family and friends, missing significant life events of family members and holidays just to name a few. Strive Masiyiwa states; “A vision is not a vision if you aren’t prepared to pay a price to make it happen”. When I decided to become a missionary I knew it would be a large price to make it happen and an act of constant surrender. Surrendering in all aspects my life to the Lord my time, my money, my energy and my future on a daily bases.

My mission is to be apart of God’s grander mission. It’s not my life to live but His to live through me. It’s about being raw and real with people. It’s about going to places where the common person would not want to spend much, if any, time there. Places like garbage dumps and small African villages. It’s about loving people the world has pushed aside. It doesn’t matter if they have HIV, AIDS, leprosy or TB.

Lydia Circle-2It doesn’t matter their nationality, their language, color of their skin, education level, age or background. God’s greatest two commandments are: love God and love people. Not just people whom are easy to love or people who you like or who like you. Love people He states, very plainly.

Loving them despite their mistakes or the number of times they have hurt you. One of my favorite books “Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken states, “It means being patient with other people’s failings. It means being kind to people, even when they don’t seem to deserve it. It means not promoting ourselves, or boasting about our accomplishments, or insisting on having our own way. It means making less of ourselves and more of others. It means forgiving people when they hurt us and refusing to get angry with them when they irritate us. It means believing the best truth about other people, not the worst falsehood. It means that even in the most desperate circumstances, we are able to keep believing, keep hoping, and keep loving.” It means loving with healthy boundaries, but still loving.

It’s about meeting people where they are at no matter where that is and doing life with them. Listening to their struggles, their hardships, their pains and seeking first to understand. Not elevating myself with an “I’m better than you” attitude but truly loving. “This is what love does: it moves us towards other people, not away from them, even when their needs are overwhelming” (Loving the Way Jesus Loves). There are many days that I am overwhelmed to the point of tears by the needs here in South Africa including the lack of food, clean water, electricity, jobs, and parents for so many kids…etc.

There are times that the Lord has me help to meet the physical needs as a way of connecting them to their deeper spiritual need. I help many women in a small micro-business where they make handcrafts as a way to help support themselves, but in the end that’s not what matters. Sometime though you have to feed the hungry belly in order to feed the starving soul spiritually. Don’t get me wrong I try to help where I can, but when I stand before the Lord I don’t want him to say, “well you created a job for them, you gave clean drinking water or you built them a house, but I don’t know them.”

My vision is so much more than the job, house or food; it’s about an eternal life with the Lord. My grander vision for each of the people I minister is to have a true relationship with God, trusting Him and surrendering their lives to Him. Then they move forward and make disciples.

I have had times when my actions are challenged, questioned even dismissed, but I press on with the grander vision of God and listen to that still small whisper that He tells me.

Mother (now Saint) Teresa once wrote, “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

Empower a Woman. Impact Generations.

Lydia’s Mission empowers and teaches women skills in rural South Africa to feed, educate, and care for their children by earning a living wage. When a woman begins to grasp her value in Christ through discipleship and Biblical training, her life becomes the first ripple of hope…that will last for generations.