I've always been one of those types who assigns meaning to everything and I've had to walk the tightrope that is determining what events really do have meaning and which events are unrelated to anything other than living in a sinful world. Since graduating from a 4-year school and coming up empty, I've questioned God and struggled with severe discouragement. Adventure these past 2.5-3 years has equaled moving 8 times, turning 30 and being unemployed and living with my parents... but more importantly, discovering God's mercies like never before.
After my 8th move that involved bouncing around between my parents and my kind uncle and aunt, I moved into a room with my sister. Around that time we took a vacation to the Santa Cruz mountains and visited the church I attended when I had lived there. That night, Carl Ralston, founder of Remember Nhu, spoke about his ministry. Over the past 10 or so years he has purchased homes in 5 different countries and brings young girls who are at risk for being sold into sex slavery into the homes. They are cared for, given an education and shown the love of Christ.
At this point in my life, I didn't have anything planned because any time I planned for anything it didn't work out. As I listened to Carl speak I couldn't help but think of how pretty much everyone can agree that sex-trafficking is a problem and it's terrible. Hearing it happens to young girls and women alike is unthinkable, but who is really doing anything about it other than agreeing it's wrong and needs to stop?
My whole family was struck by Carl's ministry and especially Nhu's testimony which can be seen here: https://remembernhu.org/meet-nhu.html
I spoke with Carl after the service because he had mentioned that 17 stateside positions were needed. Since that night, I have been pursuing joining the team! I have interviewed with Carl, and as of now my next step is to visit some of the homes in Thailand so I can knowledgeably speak about the ministry to others in my work with Remember Nhu.
your prayers are welcomed! :)
When I get started I will be developing two roles: 1. Church Partnership Associate: I will "maintain" relationships with the churches who are already in partnership with us and perhaps seek out new churches to partner with. 2. Short Term Teams Associate: this one may take a little bit of time to completely flesh out, but essentially I will train short term teams to go over to the countries and work for/with the homes of Remember Nhu.
God has brought me to a place in my faith where I want to live for him, trust him, and serve him. It's no doubt going to be a crazy ride, in fact it already is! I have no clue how he will provide the $1500 for my trip to Thailand let alone over $1000 per month once I work full time for Remember Nhu, but with God ALL things ARE possible! (Matthew 19:26)
For those of you in doubt that this is a good idea, or wonder "what about what you want out of life?" I can only give you the verse that the lord gave me, when I too was thinking these same things in the beginning stages of pursuing full time missionary work: "Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it, What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit their very self?"
Friends, we were not put on earth to make a lot of money, or to get married and have kids, we were put on earth to love the Lord and serve Him and most importantly, tell others about him. Along with these we are to help the poor and care for widows and orphans in their distress (James1:27). Also in that verse? "keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
Are successful careers and marriage/kids bad things? Of course not! But those things are not our calling, they are blessings, and God has not blessed me with the things that American&church culture tells us we need in order to have worth or success. It's been a painful road coming to this conclusion but I am a slave to Christ: "For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord's freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ's slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them." (1 Corinthians 7:22-24)
For me, I was in a poor place when the Holy Spirit really started moving, and I've been finding it funny that as much as I complained about filing for Bankruptcy or working at Starbucks with a college degree, God could have been preparing me for a life in service where my monetary status remains permanently at zero.
But again, Jesus' words are strengthening my resolve to serve him in this way.
Blessings to you dear friends!