As this blog is being posted, we have a World Orphans Journey team in India serving alongside our church partners in Hyderabad.  The purpose of Journey trips is to encourage, educate, and empower team members to be lifelong orphan advocates. We always feel honored when given the opportunity to participate in an individual's story. It is exhilarating when God shows individuals what it looks like to trust Him completely, rest in the comfort He has shown them in the midst of struggle, and thereby they comfort others. We trust you'll enjoy hearing from the heart of Heather Seetaram, one of our India team members. - Kate Borders, Sr. Director of Mobilization

By Heather Seetaram | Journey Trip Member

Since I was young, I've felt a strong desire to help people and God has used that desire in me to serve in different capacities.  For a long time, however, my life was ruled by fear… fear of just about everything – rejection, the unknown, being alone.  Because of that fear, I missed out on a lot of opportunities.  When I was 17, I had a wakeup call and realized that I had been a “reed in the wind” following whatever was in my life at that moment – sometimes it was God, sometimes my family or friends.  I made the decision, late in my senior year of high school, to attend an out-of-state Christian university – and I did not know a single person there – scary!  It was one of the best decisions.  While there I found accountability and learned so much about God and myself.  Since then, he has given me the courage to be on campus leadership, start a young adult’s ministry, and get more involved in my home church.  He also developed my passion for urban youth as my eyes were opened to how many people grow up in single-parent homes, without a father.

I spent the year after I graduated from college interning at a mission whose core goal is to restore lives through the love of Jesus Christ.  They provided services such as a food pantry, drug-rehab support programs, hot meals, clothing distribution, and above all an opportunity to know Christ.  My heart was encouraged by the work the mission team was doing and I believe God used my time there to grow in compassion for others and open my eyes to hurting people.  In college I heard a quote, “Hurting people, hurt people”, and I truly understood that when people walked through the doors of the mission.  Some wore their hurt on their sleeves by their aggressive behavior and harsh words.  My patience and empathy were tested because I did not want to love those people.  Yet God used the people I worked with to show me that even they are His beloved children.

Heather S_8.19.14I first heard of the work of World Orphans several years ago when a friend shared her experience of working for this focused, passionate organization and encouraged me while I was searching for a full-time job.   Last year when my current team leader came back from her first Journey Trip, she was transformed by her experience and shared her excitement and passion often.  I knew, the moment she said she wanted to lead a team, that I was all in (though I didn't tell her that right away).  At first, I really wanted to go, but knew I couldn't take that time off work.  Well, that didn't stop God.  He provided a new job for me and changed the trip dates so that I could be a part of this team.

When I was a senior in college, my father passed away very suddenly and I felt the pain first-hand of losing a parent.  My heart is heavy for orphans that have never had the love of a father.  Although my earthly father is not here with me, my heavenly father has not ceased to provide comfort and peace in my life.  I miss my dad very much, but I am assured I will see him again.  I am excited and privileged to share the hope that we all have a father, who loves us so deeply and unconditionally.