My Heart Was Changed: Donna Carr’s Story
Up until 10 years ago, the subject of world missions was on the bottom of my list of interests. I just wasn’t interested in hearing a missionary’s stories or listening to a talk about foreign missions. My philosophy was, “We’ve got enough to do right here in our own back yard instead of going around the world to find it.” Having worked in Social Services for over 20 years, I saw plenty of need locally, and that was my thinking.
One day nine years ago, I was walking out of my church, and Brian Kerney was pulling out of the parking lot. He backed his car up all the way to where I was standing. “I want you to go to Myanmar with me”, he said. My reply was, “Myanmar – what’s that?” He told me more about the trip. I had never been overseas and thought this would be a neat experience.
Little did I know that the invitation by Brian would be the beginning of a new, exciting chapter in my life. My heart was automatically changed when I met the orphans and their leaders. Although they possessed nothing, their faith was passionate and their joy was contagious. They were so affectionate and loving, taking great pleasure in serving us. I was not expecting this. I saw children who only had a few items of clothes, little or no toys, only dirt to play in, and whose only food consisted of white rice. Yet I saw these same kids extremely thankful for the little they did have. I witnessed their passionate, emotional praise during worship. Raising their hands and singing at the top of their voices, these children had contentment in them that many American children don’t have.
As far as comparing needy people in America to those in a 3rd world, I was so wrong. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. In America, we have government programs and non-profit organizations to assist people who are in need. In 3rd world countries like Myanmar, there is no such thing. Churches and organizations such as Uncharted International must take up the slack. Many lives are helped and even saved because of the compassion and aid of these organizations.
Being a very pro-active person, I already knew during my first trip that I wanted to actively do something to help. I talked about this desire with Brian, who told me that there was a need for someone to manage the orphan sponsorship program. For the past 8 years, I have done this, watching the number of orphans grow from 163 to over 500, and the number of sponsorships increase from 68 to almost 400. There are times when this job is a lot of work and requires many hours, but it is truly a labor of love. I know that by helping manage the sponsorships, I am helping to feed, clothe, and educate the children.
Since that day 9 years ago, I have traveled to Myanmar every year. I recently returned from my 8th trip. You see, I have left a large part of my heart over there. And I am passionate about foreign missions – they have moved up from the bottom of the list to the very top!
For more information about how you can partner with Uncharted International, visit their kiosk at One Life Church on Sunday or their website.