Reckless Love: Central Asia Mission Trip
Grace Young is an amazing young woman. She has the unique perspective of a teenage adoptee who has committed to serving on our One Orphan/America World trip on a yearly basis. Read more about her recent trip to Central Asia.
“Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.” I have always sung these words but haven’t fully understood them… until this trip. Throughout this trip, I was able to see just how true these words were. This trip has been the best experience of my life and these kids are the closest example of God’s love that I’ve ever seen on this earth!
Their unconditional love for each other and our team is indescribable. If I could stay forever I would, without a doubt. Day by day I miss them so much and would do anything to go back. I constantly think about them as I look through the pictures, videos, and at countless bracelets and little gifts they have given me. Everything is a constant reminder of joy.
These children are the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think of as I fall asleep. As I would hear them singing “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…” I realized that they are the purest example of the love of Jesus and I can only strive to be as selfless, humble, loving, and generous as these kids are.
One of the days we were at the orphanage, we were able to take them on a field trip to the pool. Most of the children had never gone swimming before and were so so excited (don’t worry, they were well supervised by the 17 team members)! This was one of the best days of my life. Seeing the joy, laughter, and constant smiles brought happiness to my heart that it has never experienced.
The last day was a day of great joy, but tremendous sadness and heartache. The joy came from the hours and hours of volleyball with the older boys who live in the home. As Anna and I played we would look at the time and talk about how it was going by too fast. The song For You by Gavin James summed up this day perfectly. The chorus goes “I wish time would slow down… so I could keep your heart(s) around…” All Anna and I wanted was more time with them.
As the night came to a close, we were able to watch performances by the kids of old and young. They were so beautiful and I could do nothing but smile as I watched them laugh and soak up all the cheering. After the house father and mother were done speaking, a song came on that the little kids had danced to before, and they pulled us out and we all were dancing together.
In those moments, I wasn’t thinking about what others thought of me or what was going on on my Instagram or who had Snap-Chatted me. I was soaking up THAT moment, with THOSE kids…. because I knew it would be my last, at least for now.
As the song ended, I hadn’t really been crying all day, but as I went and put a little gift given to me back in my bag, I walked to an older girl who I had really connected with. She just embraced me and at that moment, emotions came rushing right to my heart. I immediately became weak and started crying. Not having a certain future that I will be able to see her again was one of the most terrifying feelings I have had before. As we just sat there hugging with eyes full of tears, I realized that tonight was the night that we actually said goodbye.
I walked over to another little girl who had really connected with me on this trip and picked her up. As she was smiling I just hugged her. I cannot even explain how much I miss her smile and miss her laugh and watching her play. Later, I went and hugged more and more people and kids holding back my tears and much as possible. And after COUNTLESS numbers of pictures with the older boys we heard that we had to start getting ready to go…. (the words we were dreading to hear all day)
As we got in the Jeeps and drove away from these kids, I couldn’t hold back crying anymore. As I buried my eyes into my jacket sleeve, all I could do was fall apart. Even as we got to the orphanage about 30 minutes later and went straight up to the roof, all I could do is look out at the city and wish I could have just ONE more day with them. This night was the hardest thing I think I have ever gone through. I have never cried so much and my heart has never physically hurt and ached until that night. Even after some AMAZING comforters, I still could not bring my self to accept the fact that we had actually just left.
As I had to leave these people, my heart has never experienced so much hurt and sadness, however, I rest in the peace and prayer to Jesus that maybe I’ll see them again someday. It is incredible how much we have been able to share God’s heart for them and how receptive they have been to Bible teaching and discipleship.
These kids have made a greater impact on my life that I can even put into words and I know for certain that I will never forget them and they will always and forever have a special place in my heart.
I am beyond blessed that God would allow me to go and experience this unforgettable place with some pretty amazing and unforgettable people.
“You are the light of the world. a city on a hill can not be hidden”
– Matthew 5:14
I know for sure that this city is not hidden to God! These kids are living examples of Christ and I love them so much and want with all my heart to return as soon as God will allow me.
– Grace Young
If you would like to learn more about visiting orphanages on a mission or service trip, check out our upcoming trips!