It started with her trip around the world. The plan was to take a break from the daily grind of the marketing world and come back refreshed and ready for her next step. Little did my friend Caroline know that her next step was going to be in a completely different direction.
After visiting a child that her traveling companion had sponsored through a Christian organization, they were invited to dinner at an orphanage. It was a home filled with children who clung to the two women, loving their presence and longing for attention and connection.
Cradling a sleeping child in her arms, Caroline went to put the little girl to bed in the room she shared with many other orphans. It sounds like an idyllic scene and one that fits beautifully with the Mother’s Day that was being celebrated simultaneously in the United States.
But this was no idyllic scene. The bed was made of wooden slats. There was no blanket, no sheet, no pillow. There was no mother. There was simply a child in need of love and a home, and a woman who had no idea how to give it to her.
Caroline spent the following day on a mountainside, looking into God’s creation, with a weight on her heart that couldn’t be shaken. She had come looking for her next step, and she had found it.
This moment began what is now known as the Miracle Foundation, which is one of my favorite charities. I have known Caroline since the beginning of her mission, and I can tell you that the miracles have been plentiful.
This woman, who had no experience in the orphan or adoption realm, was clearly called to do something to change it. And she has made changes. Her organization has developed measurable, repeatable, and effective methods for orphanages to provide quality care. You can visibly see the difference in the children – in their eyes, in their weight, in their smiles. They are healthy, happy, and loved.
That’s the thing with God, isn’t it? He puts a desire on your heart and helps you discover His calling in it. Caroline knew that she was looking for something more. She was being pulled in a new direction, and she was waiting to see what that direction was. Once she found it, she started moving and hasn’t stopped. The power of saying yes to God is almost unimaginable. And she continues to say yes.
Even though she has made great strides in how orphanages are run, it is still not enough.
Listening to the children has helped the Miracle Foundation see that the goal of their mission is not to create well-run orphanages, but to find ways for children to grow up in families they can call their own.
The new goal of the Miracle Foundation is to have every child grow up in a family. They are working to establish laws, practices, and guidelines regarding the treatment of orphans and abandoned children in order to give them a chance to grow up in a family, not in an institution. Together with partner organizations, they are working to end the need for orphanages by 2040.
It’s a lofty goal, and one that most people would refuse to take on because it seems impossible. But Caroline knows well that God works best in the impossible. After watching her work over the last 20 years, I know it, too.
In this month of saints, I tell you this story to inspire you. I want to inspire you to support the Miracle Foundation and the end of institutional care of children. I want to inspire you to find a cause that you believe in and to support it wholeheartedly.
But most of all, I want to inspire you to say yes to God’s calling in your life. That is the start to your own sainthood.
The Miracle Foundation and the challenge to end the institutional care of children started with one woman on a mountainside. One woman, a notebook, and a heart touched by God. This one woman has drawn in many others, and she is changing the world.
Your yes can do the same. Maybe not on a global scale, but definitely in the world that you live in. Don’t worry that you aren’t prepared or that you aren’t the perfect candidate. Follow up that yes with prayer, discernment, and action, and allow God to continue to guide your journey.
It’s as simple and impossible as that.