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julie ruse

7 More Lessons Learned by Julie Ruse

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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:


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.


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. 


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. 


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! 


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.”


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


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.

Romans 8:33-34

“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.”

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An Encouragement from Julie Ruse

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Dealing with Disappointment by Julie Ruse

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Have you ever felt like your world is collapsing and it’s all you can do just to keep from being buried alive? I want to talk about disappointment today. Not the kind when you forgot Chick-fil-A was closed on a Sunday ;) but the kind that truly rocks your world and causes you to question the very belief structures that were your foundation.

I’ve been rereading the story of ‘The Raising of Lazarus’ lately. You may be familiar with this passage in John 11 and how it exemplifies Jesus’ empathy with our pain because it says he wept (when visiting his friends who had just lost a loved one). But I noticed a few other things this time. Firstly, the fourth verse states, “But when Jesus heard about it [his dear friend Lazarus being very sick] he said, ‘Lazarus’ sickness WILL NOT END IN DEATH…’” But then Lazarus dies (verse 14). Mary and Martha (Lazarus’ sisters) had petitioned Jesus for help and He, by all appearances, had done nothing. He didn’t show up in time. How is this the same Jesus referred to in Luke 6:19 which says, “Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone.” Talk about confusing and disappointing…

There have been similar situations throughout the Bible. God, you said you would rescue your people from the power of Egypt and now they’re being crushed even harder than before (Exodus 5:22-23). And remember Job? God, I know the rain falls on the just and the unjust but what the heck! Job lost all ten of his children in a single natural disaster. God, you said Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death, and now he’s dead! How does one make sense of that? Well…it must mean that this is NOT THE END OF THE STORY. The same is true for those previous examples and for your story as well, whatever that may be. I’ve heard it said that God’s past faithfulness demands our current trust. He sees the big picture. And usually we can see in hindsight only AFTER we’ve passed through something. 

Jesus does go on to raise Lazarus from the dead, and the ‘delay’ in healing brought about so much good and glory to God. In the next chapter, we see in John 12:9-11&19 that, “When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus… Then the pharisees said to each other, ‘There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him [Jesus]!’”

So when disappointment strikes, take a dose of perspective. I don’t mean to sound flippant. God sees the stuff we go through, recognizes that it’s hard and He cares. Back to the story in Exodus 3:7-8 God says, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I AM AWARE OF THEIR SUFFERING. So I have come down to rescue them…” But regarding perspective, just remember that God’s goodness to me trumps whatever ‘badness’ I’m experiencing. We are never abandoned by God. He’s our infinite blessing, the everlasting fount. Our Comforter, our Advocate, our Hope. No matter what, I have freedom from fear and from every stronghold the enemy had in my life. I am new. I am never alone. I am represented. I am seen. I am known. And I am loved, perfectly and eternally. I’ll close with 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

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7 Lessons Learned from Missions in Mexico by Julie Ruse

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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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