Since my blog posts are pure honesty, I would like to start off by saying: this is one of the hardest things I have ever done. If you ask any missionary about living in a different country, culture, and 1000 miles away from home, I believe they would agree it’s a very difficult thing to do. If they don’t agree, its safe to say they are lying to your face. If you would have told me 2 years ago I would be living in an orphanage with 30 boys and mixing powered peanut butter with sink water for a snack, I would have laughed in your face. But God works in mighty ways, and once He gets a hold of your heart He will never let go. Jesus changed my life and rescued me from my sin and shame. I am a new creation in Him, and thanks to God, because who I was is someone I never want to be again. But God never stops changing your heart and your ways. He is still working in me, and changing me from the inside out. I think it is fair to say that I am the most stubborn and hardheaded person I have ever met. Since I could talk, I always told my parents “I can do it myself,” to this day at 19 years old, I still tell them “I can do it myself.” The problem is I find myself telling God this. Who am I to think I can go through this life without Jesus? Who am I to think I can go a day without His presence? Who am I to think that I can do this on my own? Who am I to think I can bear my own burdens? My identity is not my sins, my identity is not my shame, and not my burdens. My identity is in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. I have been knocked down, broken, and most days I feel like I can’t pick myself back up. You know why? Because I cant pick myself back up. Only my God can pick me up. When poverty, depression, and the pain of an orphan’s past hits you, it will hit you hard. I have been knocked down and I am struggling to get back up. Most days I feel physically and mentally so broken, but my God is good, and His plan is great. I often wonder to myself why we, as humans, focus on all the bad things when there is so much good. I get to wake up every day and love on my kids. I get to be a mom to children who don’t even have a general idea of what the word “mom” means. I get to tuck little ones into bed at night and tell them how much God loves them. I get so frustrated with myself because I constantly focus on the bad when there is so much good. Like when they tell me I am beautiful and how much they love me, how I have received enough hugs and kisses to last a lifetime, or when I hear a voice softly call me mom, that these kids can fall asleep at night knowing how much God loves them. I always have to stop and ask myself what I am doing… because sometimes I don’t know what I am doing. This is why I need Jesus. Isaiah 49:14-15 says, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me. Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” God does not, will not, and cannot forget us. These children have been forgotten, neglected, and put to the side. I know why I am here, even in my pain and brokenness. To give everything I have to the least of these, not only my children, but also God’s children.