Sunday, August 24, 2008

What Wakes Me Up at Night....

I don't know what keeps you up at night but for me it has become the practice of infanticide in several remote villages and towns in southern India. As some of you know from reading previous posts we just returned earlier this month from Tamil Nadu so for the first few days I credited my sleep deprivation to "jet lag" but that usually subsides after 3 to 5 days. Three weeks back and it is still going strong.

What I have learned over the years is this is when God wants to talk to me. Not in an audible booming voice but through reading the Bible, searching the internet, reading, praying and listening to his directives. I think it might be because I have a difficult time with rest and taking the Sabbath - if awake I want to be always moving, doing something, going somewhere. So, God uses that 2 AM to 5 AM time to wake me up and have me listen to him.

Now in India the practice of taking the life of a baby (primarily baby girls) called infanticide is not only not condoned but against the law in India but it still occurs. Trying to find out the exact number of deaths is extremely difficult but in one town it has been estimated nearly 200 baby girls are either drowned or poisoned shortly after birth each year. Add to this another 1500+ children abandoned in the first few years of their life and you begin to see the pandemic challenge.

I realize it is extremely easy from afar to judge the decisions of parents living in a third world but with their limited worldview understanding this seems to them to be if not the best the only option. However, one alternative that is now beginning to be viewed as acceptable is to leave your baby girl at a "community cradle" in the hopes that she will be placed in an orphanage. Unfortunately, there are still many challenges with the present orphanages and adoption agencies that rely on the flow of babies.

So there it is. That is -as Bill Hybels discribes it - my holy discontent. Not sure what role GCC will play in all this but I do know we, as a church we are having great impact with many churches in that area. What I do know is God starts to intersect people and organizations in my life that for no other reason are crossing paths for such a time as this.

The visual God gives me is of a meteor shower. The kind that you see when you are camping high in the mountains and far, far away from any "city light" that may filter the view. Meteors like our very own Jill Ulrich who is the Deputy Director for International Justice Mission and is stationed in Chennai, India. Meteors like Raj and Prema who now work directly with us in India. Meteors like Sinduh and her family that live at the epicenter of where infanticide is commonly practiced. Meteors like Larry and Francis Jones of Feed the Children that shared they would share all they have learned about starting and operating an orphanage in Kenya. Meteors like Andrea Welch and her legal mind that when you talk to her about this issue a fire burns in her eyes that simply says "not on my watch will I do nothing!"

What is going to happen. I don't know. But I do know it must be a holistic approach. Because dawn is quickly coming and it is time to wake up!

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