Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Footprints


Friends Your Age Are Not Enough

As author Jaquelle Crowe says, "Yet while having friends of the same age is normal and natural, we miss something special when we don’t have any friends who are of different ages than us, particularly in Christian community. Christians share a bond and identity that trumps everything else — job, race, and most definitely age. If there’s no longer Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, there should be neither old nor young (Galatians 3:28)."  Click here to see the rest!


God bless you this weekend!

Joanna, Megan, Krista, Emily & Victoria

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tales from Taiwan #21


Dear Sisters,

Should I go or not?  It was getting later in the day and I was running behind schedule.  By the time I would arrive at the village, I’d have an hour or less to spend with the kids.  I weighed my options.  Should I put it off until another week?  Then I remembered the muffins I had baked.  They wouldn’t stay fresh until next week.  So I quickly packed my bags and, praying, set off for the village. 

As I came to one house where five of my kids live, I called out hello and heard happy voices screaming my name coming from inside the house.  Smiling, I was glad I had come, no matter how brief this visit might be.

This time I didn’t have a Bible story or craft picked out.  I had run out of time, so I only had some small games, a frisbee and blueberry muffins.  On the way over, I prayed that God would continue His work in the hearts of my kiddos here.  I wasn’t sure what that would look like but I know God can do amazing things.

We started out playing Uno.  Two new little boys crept closer and closer until they were sitting right next to me.  I was probably the first white girl they had ever seen in their aboriginal village.  After they got comfortable with me, they joined the game, smiling happily. 

As we were playing, I paused.  The sight before me isn’t something that’s always been common in this village.  I first visited back in Easter 2013 and I’ve seen God do so much in the lives of the kids here.  Seven village boys, ages 4 to 15, sat in a circle with me.  Instead of the fighting that is quite common here, they were smiling and helping each other learn how to play the game.  As I handed out the snack, they smiled and said thank you in English.  We went on to play another game before a fourth grader announced he needed to get home.  As I took them home, one of my seventh graders looked over at me and with a smile, asked me if I believed in Jesus.  I grinned and said “Yes!”

After saying goodbye to all the kids, I headed home, my heart full.  I may not preach a sermon to the village kids but God’s Spirit can reveal truth and work on hearts.  The seeds that past and current volunteers have been planting in the village are starting to take root and grow.  God is on the move in Taiwan!

For Him in Taiwan,
Joanna

Friday, April 14, 2017

Summer Opportunities

 photo summer.jpg

Does summer always seem to fly by for you?  It's hard to believe that it's already mid April and school will be letting out soon.  For me, summertime always seems to speed by and the next thing I know, autumn is around the corner.   So this summer, I want to encourage you to take advantage of the extra free time that often comes along with the season.  While it's wonderful to be able to do things you enjoy like swimming, painting, or reading, don't let your activities rule your summer.  Take some time to share God's love in a powerful way by serving others.  You have the time, so get involved!  The following is a list of opportunities to consider:  

~ get involved in Vacation Bible School
~ help out in your local church
~ go on a mission trip (if you're looking for a longer term mission trip for 11 months, check out VOICE Missions!)
~ visit the elderly in a nursing home
~ help family and friends - clean the house, babysit, prepare a picnic
~ do random acts of kindness

Why not pick one or two (or come up with your own ideas) and use the time and gifts the Lord has given you to encourage and help others in His name?  It's definitely worth it because when we serve others, that means we're serving the Lord.  Scripture says in Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."

Here at Bloom! we talk about how we're on a journey towards Biblical womanhood.  One of the ways to grow in this is to get out of your comfort zone and serve others.  Maybe you're a bit scared of doing Vacation Bible School or visiting a nursing home.  That's okay.  It's not just you that's serving anyway - it's Christ working through you!  So take courage, dear girls, and step out of your comfort zone.  Not only will others be blessed by your actions, but you'll be blessing the King of kings.  And that is something wonderful indeed!

So what are you waiting for?  Go share His love!

-- from the archives