By Lauren Douglass | Photography by Brenna Kneiss
Look down at your phone, turn on your computer, or glance at any screen displaying the state of the world. You will find your heart overwhelmed and your mind flooded with the abundance of devastation and need swirling rampantly in every corner of the earth. At least, that’s what happened to me as a young woman living on the cushy coast of the spectacular Santa Rosa Beach Florida.
In the midst of my comfortable lifestyle, I found my heart aching over the insurmountable pain that circulates on such a vast scale; and so my mind began the desperate pursuit of what my greater purpose could be.
You hear the numbers that represent human lives: 27 million tortured and trapped in human trafficking, 68.5 million innocent victims of war who are forced to find refuge in a foreign country, 100 million homeless children suffering on the streets, 780 million without clean water, three billion people living under the poverty line, and so on. Too many precious lives dwell in utter hopelessness.
I wondered where I could start and what I could do. Do I sell everything I have and move to rural India or the jungles of Africa? Do I pack up and go to Eastern Europe to join the fight against sex trafficking? Do I head to the nearest refugee camp? Maybe all of the above? How is one to decipher which human life is more important or which ache is stronger? Should I just push them out of my heart and mind because they are out of sight? Is that not what we all do?
We do. Often, we do it because we must. We cannot bear the weight of the needs of the whole world upon our feeble shoulders. We think, what do I have to offer? What difference could I possibly make to chip away at this monstrous mountain of need that puts Everest to shame? These are the questions to which we hang our heads in bitter defeat and turn our eyes back to the tasks that we know how to tackle.
But what if we didn’t? What if we pressed past the daunting size of the mountain and recognized our role in scaling its heights together? What if we realized that we each have specific gifts designed to help conquer the seemingly impossible task of bringing hope to the dejected, healing the broken, and freeing the captive?
We aren’t all designed to pack up our lives and put down new roots among the needy; however, some of us are. Those who are hurting need hands physically present to bind their wounds—but whose hands? I’ve found that across the world, there is already a faithful troop of laborers devoting their lives to caring for those in need, but their toiling is far from done. Much work remains, and their hands have blistered, their bodies are tired, their hearts are weary, and, all too often, they feel alone in their labor.
As I sat searching for what my role could be, I stumbled across a quote by an incredible world-changing missionary to India, William Carey. Addressing the insurmountable darkness and devastation into which he was about to plunge, he turned and faced the church that was sending him out and said, “I will descend, if only you will hold the rope.”
When I heard that quote, my heart quickened, my mind steadied, and my purpose became clear.
Yes, many extraordinary people have taken on the task of scaling this mountain and are descending into the darkest pits of the earth to bring light, hope, and healing—but they are left with no one holding their rope. So, with much help from a few dear friends, I launched SendWell.
We hope to partner with those who are sent around the world so they can remain joyful and strong in the tasks to which they have devoted their lives. We want to send out these workers well and never let them go. We aim to provide for all of their needs, whether that be practical, emotional, spiritual, relational, or all of the above.
Our goal is to rally those who are created to support, encourage, and equip others so that we might fully engage in our role as senders of aid. We hope to partner with those who are sent around the world so they can remain joyful and strong in the tasks to which they have devoted their lives. We want to send out these workers well and never let them go. We aim to provide for all of their needs, whether that be practical, emotional, spiritual, relational, or all of the above. God has designed each of us with passions and desires that are strategically crafted to contribute to the global good; it’s just a matter of partnering with those who are in desperate need of what you have to offer!
What could your role be? Think about your passions. What makes your heart beat faster and your mind race with excitement? There are incredible people scattered across the world waiting for exactly what you have to contribute. They feel the lack of your gifts and talents in their labor; I can say this with the utmost confidence because I have heard it tearfully professed from their lips. You can help just by sending a handwritten letter or a care package, opening your home for them to rest, taking a short trip to document and tell their stories, providing a prudent eye to review their finances, or just making a phone call to tell them they’re not alone. You’ll be surprised to hear the needs you can meet, even in the seemingly smallest of ways. So it is with this hopeful question that I now come, heart in hand to you: In what simple way could you contribute to this global effort?
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Visit Send-Well.org to learn more or get involved today.