Rachel Matychuk is a short term missionary to Bolivia. She has felt the Lord calling her to missions for a long time and is thrilled to be living and serving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia for a year, which started January 2014. Earlier this year she wrote about how the Lord has called her to missions and was recently asked to share with us some of the things God has been teaching her while in Bolivia. Here are the things she shared with us.
“I volunteer at a special needs children’s home two days a week. It is directed by a wonderful American woman who has a real heart for these children, and staffed by awesome Bolivian women who treat these kids as their own. Right now we have fourteen children, but when the home was started, they had said they would not take more than eight. We are really at maximum capacity, which is so great! It’s hard for me to imagine any of these fourteen children not being a part of our family.
I wanted to write today about some of the things that I have learned while working at the home. This is the first time that I have ever really had children depend on me to take care of them, more than just babysitting. And while I am not their biological or adoptive parent, this is the closest that I have come. Having these kids look up to me and call me Mama has been an amazing experience for me because I am learning so much more about our Heavenly Father. Understanding God as my Father is so much more real to me now that I am a mama. So, here are a few things I have learned about my Father through being a “mother.”
- God wants to see us trust Him fully.
I love the fact that my kids trust me. I see it every day. They run and jump into my arms, and they know I will catch them. Or for those who are still learning to walk, they know I will hold their hands and that I won’t let them fall. There is no hesitance or doubt. They just trust.
I think God is the same way. He wants to know how much we trust Him to take care of us. He wants to see us relying on Him. He wants to see that when we are going through something, that we will look to Him to show us the way out. Or if we are seeking direction, He wants to know that we will trust Him with the next step. “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act” (Ps. 37:5). If we feel alone, we can trust Him and remember He will never leave us. “Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who trust in You” (Ps. 9:10).
- God enjoys providing for us.
I love providing for my kids. It’s as simple as just handing them the glass of water that they want or making their food. I love giving them little presents and reading books with them. I want to give them the world! It gives me joy to see that they have what they need to survive and that they don’t need to worry at all.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you” (Matt. 6:26, 28-30)?
He knows exactly what we need, and He will provide in His time. We don’t need to worry!
- God’s love for us is bigger than we realize or can understand.
I know this is cliché to say, but it’s still true. The love a parent has for their child is special and different from any other kind of love. For me, I find that the more time I spend at the home, the more I love my kids. The more I get to know them and see their personalities come out, my heart just grows. Even when they are naughty and disobey or are sick and coughing all over me, it’s hard for me not to smile because I love them so much! I can’t even explain this love. I want to tell everyone about the new things they are doing and how they are progressing. I just love to love them!
I know that they don’t understand how much I love them, just as I can’t fully comprehend how much the Father loves me! The more I love them, the more I realize how small my love is compared to our Father’s love for us. Everyone knows the old hymn with the words “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He should give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure.” 1 John 1:31 says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” He loves us so much that He allows us to be His children. “God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:8-10).
What a great reminder from spending time with these children that our Heavenly Father is trustworthy, He is our provider, and He is love.”