This is a guest post from Leah Malone, who (along with her friend Meagan LaFoy) lives and works with street kids in the Philippines. To read more from Leah, or to donate to her ministry, check out her blog.
When people ask why Meagan and I decided to pack up our lives and move across the world to work with street kids in the Philippines I just have to laugh.
Why DID we do something so crazy? What propelled us to leave everything normal and comfortable behind and step into this new life in the Philippines?
The answer comes to me just as easily as breathing- we were wrecked.
We spent the year of 2012 serving in eleven different countries around the world. After looking into hopeless eyes, befriending the sick and dying, and listening to seemingly endless stories of heartache, our lives were radically transformed and our hearts forever burdened by the injustice in the world.
At the end of our journey, our eyes were wide open to the bigger picture of all God is doing around the world and we knew that now it was our responsibility to join Him.
The decision to do so was easy, really. There was no specific life-changing, earth shattering moment…no booming voice coming from the sky…no letter in the mail from God with our detailed five-year plan.
We simply said yes. Before we knew where we would go or what we would do- we said yes. Yes to surrendering my plans for Yours. Yes to living by faith. Yes to letting You write a greater story with my life than the one I was writing for myself. Just yes.
And from that posture of hands wide open and heart abandoned- God completely turned our lives upside down.
We saw these two boys a few times towards the end of our month in the Philippines last November. Every time we saw them they were walking through the streets in tattered, dirty clothes, playing toy drums made completely out of scraps from the trash, and begging for money.
We had seen boys and girls like them in other countries as well. They hang out in groups on the side of the streets, usually high as a kite from sniffing glue to numb the pain in their lives. The streets and dark alleyways are their home, the dump their source of food, and cardboard boxes their blanket in the night.
They have nothing and trust no one. Every day is solely about survival.
Meagan and I went home to America after that month in the Philippines but those two boys, their faces, and the thousands of others they represented never left our minds.
There’s so much happening in the world. Human trafficking. Poverty. AIDS. Malnutrition. Slavery. And we witnessed almost all of it firsthand. So much injustice. So many people without Hope. What can one or two people even do?
You can start by saying yes.
From the day we left the Philippines in November until now God hasn’t taken those boys faces from my mind. Over the past five months I’ve been absolutely amazed as God continues to unfold His plan for us day by day.
Those boys sparked the flame that ignited a dream inside of us bigger than anything we ever imagined. He is using us- two ordinary and seemingly inadequate 24-year-olds- to bring hope and healing to kids living on the streets.
When we stepped off the plane in April and into the Philippines, I knew we had landed at home. As we spend our days learning the language and adjusting to a completely new culture, I find myself constantly in awe and thankful that this is my life.
I get to live fully and passionately in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I own very little and lack nothing. My days are simple and yet full of things that really matter.
I am living the life I know I was created for…all because I simply said yes.
What is God asking you to do today? Will you have the courage to take that first step and just say yes?