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Julie is a missionary sent out by Redemption Church in June of 2017. Julie has been serving at the House of Blessing Orphanage in Bachiniva, Mexico and will be returning there to finish out a year-long internship. We are very encouraged and privileged to be partnering with Julie as her sending church and seeing how God is continuing to work in and through her journey on the mission field in Mexico. Take a few minutes to read and learn from some of the wonderful things Jesus has been doing in her life this Summer as she shares from her heart in the blog below:

1)  Tres Leches is NOT a Mexican dessert.

Poof- mind blown. Turns out it’s actually a Nicaraguan dish.

2)  It seems like Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in America than in Mexico. 

Another shocker to me- be careful what you assume!

3)  Sometimes God leads us to serve, not so he can help others through us, but so he can help us through others. 

Thanks, Alesha for sharing this truth nugget so many months ago! I do feel that the summer in Mexico was a season more characterized by God ministering to me than me ministering to children. Ethel Percy Andrus articulates, “The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” As Jesus himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I thank God for having needy people in my life, recipients for me to love and serve and, therefore, to be blessed by.

4)  Feeling ‘filled up’ is not a prerequisite to serving. The act of giving out is, in itself, filling.

Though similar to the previous point, I have Angie to thank for this revelation. Isn’t it wonderful how God speaks to us through his body, the church? I definitely experienced that in Mexico- shoutout to the Redemption Church family! Anyway, brace yourselves because this is about to get personal. A couple months before the orphanage internship, my boyfriend ended our relationship. This rocked my world. I wondered how I was going to minister to others when I felt empty, like I had nothing to give. I wondered how ministry was possible when I didn’t have a stockpile of joy, wisdom, hope and faith, at the moment, to draw from. This experience really fleshed out God’s promise found in 2 Corinthians, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

5)  Hard Bad

My stance on suffering is continuing to evolve. The lessons learned in that area would require a whole other blog (stay tuned), but in brief, our suffering is not meaningless. Paul confides that the ‘thorn in my flesh’ kept him humble. Solomon (wisest man ever) remarked that sadness is sanctifying (Ecc 7:3). In the sermon on the mount Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn…” The brokenhearted get to experience a special nearness to God (Psalm 34:18). And listen to this from the book of Job: “But by means of their suffering, he [God] rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity.” That one hit me. Naturally, we humans attempt to avoid pain, but is pain a problem? We know it’s a promise (John 16:33). 1 Peter 4:1 says, “So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too…” Do we expect God to protect us from pain? Do we doubt his goodness or his existence when he doesn’t? Listen to the second part of the verse, “For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.” Is it worth it to you? Does the surpassing joy of knowing Christ outweigh every loss?

6)  Purity is a process.

My imperfections can be overwhelming at times, and then the devil likes to ride through on the shame train (don’t jump on that train).  But battle after battle, issue after issue, God is perfecting me. Oh sweet victory; I’m becoming more and more free! Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” This nods back to the #4 point- don’t wait until you’re perfect to serve because that won’t happen until the end of the world! God spoke to me about the PROCESS of sanctification through Deuteronomy 7:22-32a which says, “The Lord your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you. But the Lord your God will hand them over to you.” So rest assured that God’s got you and he knows what’s up. He knows you completely and is still in love with you. He’s in the process of making you holy, but until that work is complete, his grace covers you. Jesus is your righteousness. Rest in him.

7)  God is the Dream Giver and Dream Fulfiller. 

I heard the phrase ‘Dream Giver’ while watching Disney’s Pocahontas, not gonna lie, and thought there was something beautifully poetic about that title. Then I came to realize that that’s who my God is, both in biblical accounts and in my own life. God knows us better than we know ourselves. I was blown away in Mexico watching the Dream Giver fulfill dreams he’d planted in my heart long ago. I was reading through old journals and came across an entry where I had articulated my life goals in two statements: 1) Impact lives through design and 2) Minister to orphans/ children in need. I had forgotten I’d written these and never imagined how God would weave both dreams into one beautiful design. For those who don’t know, I’ll be staying on at the orphanage to do graphic design/ marketing stuff and admin support. Be encouraged that we serve a big God who is able and active. I’ll close with Ephesians 3:20-21. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”

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