Julie was a missionary sent out by Redemption Church in June of 2017. Julie served at the House of Blessing Orphanage in Bachiniva, Mexico and finish out a year-long internship. We were very encouraged and privileged to have partnered with Julie as her sending church. Take a few minutes to read and learn from some of the wonderful things Jesus did in her life through this process:
1) THE CHRISTMAS TRADITION OF DECORATING WITH POINSETTIAS ORIGINATED IN MEXICO!
This past Christmas was the first one that I spent away from family. Very different, but very wonderful, complete with hot tamales, soccer, and Mexican hot chocolate.
2) WATER CAN BE CONSERVED.
There were multiple occasions when I experienced running out of running water. So on a practical note, there are ways we can change how we wash our hands, shower, and do dishes that can conserve water and make a difference.
3) AWARENESS OF BLESSINGS TRUMPS AMOUNT OF BLESSINGS ON THE HAPPINESS METER.
I know this sounds like the cliché mission trip answer when someone has spent any amount of time in a third world country. It’s often noted that people with less possessions seem happier. And I truly got to experience the relief of traveling light. On Christmas day, I was profoundly grateful for things like running water, let alone hot running water! For brilliant stars in the night sky, for the loyalty of a dog, for the kindness of a friend. For cough drops stilling throat tickles, for the ability to run and the ability to ease others’ pain.
4) THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A GOOD STRUGGLE.
Just because we’re promised victory doesn’t mean we’re exempt from the fight. This reminds me of the movie ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in which it is prophesied that Alice will slay the Jabberwocky. But that only came to fruition after an epic battle. Don’t assume that life being hard means that you’re doing something wrong or being punished. Get out there and do hard things!
5) STOP COMPARING AND START CARING.
Living and working with the same few people 24/7 can present a little interpersonal friction at times. In any sort of partnership (business, ministry or marital), it’s so easy to subconsciously ask, “Is my partner working as hard as me?” I call this the ‘Martha Complex’ (Luke 10). But I’m learning to replace that question with these: “Am I about God’s business?”, “Am I doing the work He wants me to do?”, “Am I loving the people He wants me to love?” That change of perspective is hugely beneficial. Jesus addressed this issue another time (in addition to the situation with Mary and Martha). In John 21, Peter and Jesus have an intimate moment of relationship restoration and a sobering moment of prophesy regarding Peter’s calling and future, ending with Jesus’ statement, “Follow me.” Peter’s immediate reaction is, “What about him, Lord?” (referring to another disciple named John). To this Jesus responds, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”
6) GOD INSTITUTED A DAY OF REST FOR A REASON.
Through my previous life experiences, I was accustom to working a salary job M-F, and then on the weekends tackling my personal to-do lists including meal prep, cleaning and laundry. So that didn’t always leave a lot of time for ‘rest’. I mean, in such a fast-paced, capitalistic society, what does it mean to rest anyway? Well after continuously working 14-hour days, 6 days a week, ‘day of rest’ took on a whole new meaning. I learned to detach myself from lists and go climb a tree or hike a mountain with God… to sleep, journal, watch a movie, or call a friend. And you know, when I let one whole day be truly restful, then that one day off was enough. #GoodPlanGod
7) GOD IS MY ADVOCATE AND I DON’T NEED THE APPROVAL OF MEN.
Phewee, this was a hard one to work through, but what a blessing to realize and to witness specific examples of in my life! Knowing that God stands up for me means that I don’t have to balance the books or zero out the scales. I don’t need to look for verbal ‘payment’ or rewards for the efforts I expend. It means I can actively love people who act unloveable (which is not as easy as one might think). It means you can resolve, “I’m going to treat this person as my friend because I’m choosing to call them ‘friend’, regardless of what I get from them in return.” This might sound like a lot of self-sacrifice, but just remember that God isn’t asking us to do for others anything that He hasn’t already done for us.
“Who dares accuse us who Christ has chosen for His own? No one- for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one- for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”