"Those who cling to worthless idols, forfeit the grace that could be theirs."- Jonah 2:8
I read that verse this last Sunday and it was like a smack in the face! How many of us get so caught up in our everyday lives and the "things" in our lives that we just don't stop to listen to God. When I was journaling last night I wrote down the thought "aren't I worthy enough of your attention?" I felt like the Lord was trying to remind me that I need to focus on Him more... and HE IS worthy of all of my attention- thoughts- strength- love- and my life. What else truly matters? Who am I really without Him? He isn't just worthy of all of my attention but He deserves it! What an awesome and powerful God we have who not only created us but wants to have a real personal relationship with us! I am in complete awe that the God of the universe lets me talk to Him and hear His voice.
I wanted to update everyone on what is going on in Tijuana and in my heart in the past couple of weeks but first I wanted to write about something that is deeply on my heart tonight. Our God is calling us to step up and to make a difference for His kingdom. That means wherever you are.. that you are called to be a missionary and help those in need. God didn't just call a few but EVERYONE of His followers to GO and make disciples. I know that I will never be able to hug every orphan or feed every hungry person but just going one by one can make a difference. I know that when you look out at the world and see all the needs... you think... how can I truly make a difference? Where do I start? Begin on your knees in front of the Lord, begging for forgiveness for not really listening and finally opening up completely to the will He has for your life. I know that it is scary to think that some might be called to a foreign country or to even go talk to our neighbors about the Lord but Jesus calls us to die to ourselves and take up our cross daily.
One time I was sharing with a friend my dream of one day opening up a home of girls/women in sex trafficking. He told me, but just taking them out of the situation is that really stopping human trafficking and affecting the whole thing? I told him, even if I just saved one girls life then all the work would be worth it because at least one became free. I want to always think about the relationships and not the numbers... so many times as a missionary we are asked... numbers... how many go to the church? how many kids are being feed in the ministry? how many people are you reaching? how many houses have been built? But really... the relationships take time and a lot of missionaries don't see the fruit of their labors for a long time.
Lately I have been overly blessed by seeing some fruit of my past two and half years in Tijuana, Mexico. One of the boys at the orphanage came up to me last night and hugged me really tight. He is now 13 years old and is becoming a teenager... scares me! He said, can I talk to you about something serious? I told him yes of course... he said, "I miss you so much lately. I feel like I don't see you as much anymore and I want to be with you. Then he went on to say.. my family is struggling. Can you please pray for my family? My grandma is always yelling, my aunt is saying bad things, and my mom is pregnant again.. i don't ever want to visit home. Please pray for my family." After we talked a little longer I felt like wow, he felt truly comfortable enough to ask me to pray for his family and to just hold him for a little while. That is fruit! The hugs... the sweet words... talks... seeing the kids falling after the Lord! In those moments I am reminded why the Lord put me here.
One of my little 4 year olds named Josue was sitting by me and asked me to share with him about the kids in Africa. We talked for awhile and then he said, "Tenielle, you have so many children... here in Mexico and in Africa but where is your husband? Did he die?" "I smiled and said, no sweetie I don't have a husband- these are all the children in my heart but they are not all actually mine." Then he said, "Oh, cause I have always wondered where your husband was." hahahaha I love it!
My home church from McCook was here a week or so ago.. it was extremely encouraging and such a blessing! I didn't know that it was something I was missing... to have my home church come down and see my heart. It made me feel so surrounded by love and made me realize more in my heart that at this time Tijuana is where I am suppose to be. And then this last friday I was able to visit my friend Jesus (who has kidney failure) at his home for awhile. We talked for over an hour about everything. I felt like for the first time in a year that I had my old Jesus back! His spirit has been so good in the last week. So full of life and strength. It is humbling and when he hugged me goodbye that night I started to cry, thanking the Lord for my time with him. I don't know how much longer we will have him but I praise the Lord for those awesome moments where I get him :)
"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all."- Isaiah 7:9b