Wild. Fearless. Uninhibited. Reckless. A willingness to trust even when lacking understanding. As Back2Back Ministries celebrates 20 years, we want to share how stepping into the global orphan care movement has made your faith more wild, fearless, uninhibited and, perhaps, even a bit reckless.
I held the picture in my shaky hands. The colorful crayon masterpiece was something I’d always treasure. I looked into Isaac’s eyes and said, “I will be back.” And I meant it.
My first Back2Back Mission Trip was in July of 2006 to Monterrey, Mexico.
I had just made a decision for Christ that January, when Apex announced a group trip going to Monterrey. I remember thinking, ‘I’m a Christian now, this is what I do.’
It began as a trip forged out of what I thought was expected of me, but turned into so much more. It became the answering of an ongoing call to be a difference and ask others to do the same.
I returned to Monterrey, and Isaac, that November, but I brought a team with me this time.
I decided I wasn’t going to do this alone; I was going to ask others to come with me, to come alongside the orphaned and vulnerable child. It was important to me to be invitational to others as I pursued the orphan.
The more often I went, I found myself begin to carry the burden of what was happening in Monterrey – I began to feel personally responsible for the orphan child in Mexico.
In 2008, we were mixing concrete at Del Norte Children’s Home and my heart was so heavy, just hurting for the children being served in Mexico. I recall hearing very clearly a voice say, ‘your season of hurt is over. Look at what I have done.’ It was then I realized the Lord didn’t stop working and writing these stories when I wasn’t in Mexico. His works never cease.
It isn’t my job to save the orphan child, it’s my job to partner with them.
Five years ago, Back2Back Cancun was launched and I began leading trips of families annually to the new site. The more I went, the more I began to feel roots deepening alongside the story unfolding in Cancun. I felt a call to Mexico and its children and I was prepared to answer it every time.
In the midst of gathering teams and dedicating work and financial support towards Mexico sites, Casey Foreman, Back2Back India Director, asked me to consider visiting a new Back2Back site in Hyderabad, India.
I remember meeting with Casey and he asked me to go on a trip with him and I told him I couldn’t fall in love with another site. My heart was in Mexico.
Casey, appealing to my mothering heart, wasn’t giving up easily, though. He challenged me to consider that God was more than capable of allowing the capacity within my heart to love children outside of Mexico.
And He did.
India brought me to my knees. In a country where spiritual warfare and darkness are prevalent, the children I met craved, more than anything, relationship. They craved connection.
I now take annual trips to India, my family and I sponsor four children, the India Hope Campus, and my love for India and the children there continues to grow.
As a new believer, I went on a trip with Back2Back feeling like it was something I needed to do and the Lord honored this obedience by allowing me to reach numerous children and lead trips that have impacted the stories of many.
My faith is wild because I get to see people receive a call and trust the Lord to provide in the midst of it. To be a witness to children being educated or reconnected with their family has led my trust in the Lord to be more reckless.
In the midst of being open to whatever the Lord is asking, I am learning to give myself more freely to others, even if it requires me to be more raw than is my comfort.
If I’m asking each child to be real with their hurts and needs, then I have to give that in return. With every trip I take, event I serve at, or child or staff member I connect with, God is in control. He’s making it happen because this is about furthering His Kingdom, not mine.
Rita Haworth has been joining Back2Back Ministries in pursuit of the orphan since 2006. Passionate about missions, partnering with others in the call the serve, and growing the Kingdom right where she is, Rita works at Apex Community Church in Kettering, Ohio and Longhorn Steakhouse – who partners with her in raising funds for Back2Back Missions. Rita regularly leads teams, and travels with her family, to Mexico and India and believes no matter what your story is, we each have a role in making a difference.
Share your story with us! We’ll be sharing them all year long!