I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. I know I had a great time with all my family. I haven’t been home for Easter for a couple years now and it was fun to spend an Easter weekend at home and catch up with family.
I know this Easter weekend opened up a lot of doors as I made small talk with customers on Monday at work. I had opportunities to share about what I do and how I celebrate Easter. One of my conversations got really interesting with a regular customer who opened up and asked why I believe in God. It was an awesome opportunity, as he confessed to me he goes to church every week, but does not believe in God. I am looking forward to future conversations, as I challenged him to begin reading the Bible. I see a joyless soul who desperately needs to personally experience God’s grace and love. Pray with me for Paul, that doors will be opened, and that he would be open to allow God’s Spirit to do a work in his life.
I also wanted to share a quick update from the church in Peru. One of my friends who served with me in Peru was in Arequipa about two weeks ago and I wanted to share what he told me. Things at “La Puerta Abierta” church in Peru are going really well. He was able to visit the church and some of our contacts, and he said the church is continuing to grow, and that there were a lot of new people. He also shared how many people who were just attending church while we were there are now taking discipleship/leadership seriously, and one of the young ladies is currently serving on the worship team. I am so thankful to see how faithful God is, as he continues to move and raise up a generation of believers, disciples, and leaders that continues to reach out to the city of Arequipa.
On the missions front, I am planning on travelling to Ecuador in August to help with some Spanish/English translation work with some of the missionaries who are currently church planting in Ecuador. I a really excited about the opportunity to see old friends, and visit some different ministry organizations in Quito while I am there.
As for things stateside, I am playing soccer again and my new team has several people who speak Spanish, so it is a lot of fun to practice with them and keep my Spanish language skills up. I am also in the process of applying for an opportunity to volunteer as a translator for a Christian Medical Clinic here in the area, and excited to see what doors open up through this ministry.
Finally, I want to share about a ministry my sister and I and about 6 other women are currently involved in. God has opened up some doors for us to work with an organization called Garden of Hope as we are partner with REACH and Hand In Hand Ministries to reach out to trafficked girls/at-risk girls in the Snohomish County area. Our team goes out once a week to do outreach on the streets, meeting the girls where they are at, as well as a drop-in girls group with dinner once a week. We have begun to develop friendships with the girls, always bringing along a small gift to open doors as well as give us an opportunity to approach the girls, show we care, and give without expecting anything in return knowing they are taken from a lot. We are excited about this opportunity to serve and we have found that consistency is the key as we are there every week whether we meet new girls or see the same girls week after week. It is great to see a girls eyes light up when they see you and when we remember their name since they are used to being ignored by most people around them. We know this is not an easy ministry, but are choosing to allow God to reach out through us and the small gifts we bring praying for open doors of opportunities. Just two weeks ago we had a woman ask us to pray for her and we are so thankful that we are becoming known, and people know we are someone they can reach out too. That being said, we can’t do this alone. We need your help. If you want to get more involved you can contact me or start by helping donate much needed items. Please join us in prayer for this ministry, for the girls we interact with and the friendships that have been formed and for God’s protection in these dark places.
Through our experiences and conversations we have learned these items are much appreciated and would love for you to partner with us…
Items Needed (New):
Slim Jims/Granola Bars/Candy Bars/Chocolate
Chapstick and/or Lip gloss
Make-up Samples/ Make-up (eye shadow, eyeliner, waterproof mascara)
Hair Things (older teens/women)
Small gift packages are good too if you and/or small group want to put together some items, get creative and package some stuff up, making them look nice. The girls love that!
Please DO NOT donate any of these items:
- Anything with alcohol (Hand Sanitizer, Nail polish remover, mouthwash)
- Q-tips/ Cotton Balls
We also need people to provide dinner on Tuesday night. Nothing elaborate is needed. Quick and easy crockpot/casserole dishes for 5-7 people are greatly appreciated. If you would like to help by preparing a meal, contact me directly and I can connect you with the right person.
Thanks all for checking in and reading my blog, I will continue to keep you updated on what is going on while I am stateside and where God is leading me next!