I want to see the people in my path. I learned a lesson many years ago that has shaped who I am today and why I use my writing for International Teams.
I was running along San Diego Bay on a spectacular fall morning having one of those ‘runner highs’ until I found myself in the midst of a group of homeless men lining the path. Without going into the details, let me just say that I very quickly flipped into high alert running mode. I kept my eyes straight ahead without looking at ‘them.’
“Give him your water bottle,” a quiet voice impressed upon my heart. Huh?
I did what I thought any woman in her right mind would do. I ran faster with my heart pounding in a ‘I don’t like this very much’ kind of way.
It only took me 10 seconds to silence that pesky little voice.
I safely finished my run hydrated and satisfied – until I began to rinse out my water bottle. It suddenly didn’t feel so precious. It’s obvious that I had missed an opportunity to follow a prompting from God. I did vow in that moment to follow His whispers to the best of my ability for the rest of my life.
But, I also learned something else that was a bit more subtle.
When I tried to recreate the faces of the homeless men that I had sped by, I was struck with the hard truth that I hadn’t SEEN them. It was even harder to grasp the truth that God HAD SEEN them. I’d missed it. NEVER AGAIN do I want to shut my eyes!
One of the things I love about International Teams is its value that NO ONE IS INVISIBLE and that everyone has the same needs for food, freedom, and forgiveness. Whether it be my neighbor or someone on the other side of the world being served by our workers, we need to SEE them. Yet, often individuals are like the homeless people on my San Diego run. They are overlooked, ignored, or blotted out of our sight.
On October 5th, I have a opportunity to do more than use my words to encourage others to SEE the invisible. I’ll be grabbing hold of my bike’s handlebars and joining others in the Ride for Refuge.
The Ride for Refuge is one of the ways International Teams invites others to see the work God is doing through workers all over the world. Additionally, it is critical for us to raise funds in order to provide these workers with the launching and ongoing ministry support that they need.
One of the things I love most about my job is having an opportunity to meet the workers and hear how they are seeing and serving the people in their ministry. Jennifer Kragt is one such worker in a remote area of Uganda. Her story is just an example of the work that God is doing through our organization.
I’m sure that as I ride my bike, I’ll remember that cluster of homeless men that I chose to overlook. I’ll also be grateful to be a part of something that continually reminds me to see.
Will you join with me in SEEING the people that are so easily overlooked? Will you in fact ‘ride’ with me? There’s still time to join my team!
I have set a $3,000 fundraising goal and even though I am almost halfway there, I need your help. You can make a secure online contribution through my personal fund-raising page.
For those of you who would rather send a check, simply make it out to the Ride for Refuge and send to:
International Teams 411 W. River Road Elgin, IL 60123 ATTN: Linda Bryant
I humbly thank you in advance for joining me. And let’s keep encouraging each other to SEE!