My 16-year-old daughter will be going to Ghana, West Africa from May 21-June 1 with a team from our church to support Feeding The Orphans. Their goal is to build a school for children in the remote villages about 3 hours outside of the capital city of Accra. She will also be visiting an orphanage and participating in outreach to the local villages. Last year she went on a mission trip to Haiti with the Christian Camp we were living at. Some people may think, ‘Why in the world are you allowing your minor daughter to travel to dangerous places without you? Aren’t you scared?’ It can be a little scary if I want to really dig down deep and think of every horrible scenario that could be played out…but then again, I could live with this same fear here in the United States. Truth is, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Tiffany’s love for Jesus has broken her heart for those in this world who do not know Him. Because of her Christian faith, she also has a compassionate heart for orphans and those living in extreme poverty.
What can she do about this passion? Sit back idly in the American teen scene focusing on self when she desires to step out of the comfort zone? I don’t want to unnecessarily encourage wild international adventures, but that is not what these mission trips are about. Tiffany wants to make her life count. At only 16 years of age, she has been inspired by other young friends who have served in Ghana, Uganda, and Chad. She sees the joy in the faces of her friends who have sacrificed their lives for others because they can’t imagine living any other way. After visiting Haiti, Tiffany has a whole new perspective when someone says, “I’m starved” or “There’s nothing to eat in the house” or “I have nothing to wear”.
If Jesus is real, then what am I going to do about it? As a mother of 7, I am busy at home preparing my children for the time when they will no longer be under my care (with already one grown son, I know this happens so quickly!). Part of preparing my children in the faith is encouraging them to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow Him wherever that may lead. I would love nothing more than for all of my grown children and grandchildren to live within a short drive from my home, but more importantly is knowing that they are fully devoted to Him who gave His life for us. My life is not my own, my children belong to Him and I will rest in peace knowing that they are most secure in His hands rather than mine. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Only one life ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. And with these final thoughts, I answer the question: “Are you scared to allow your daughter to go?” No, I would be more scared to smother this burning passion within her.
For more information about Tiffany’s trip to Ghana, please check out her support site.