H is for Home.
There are a lot of places that I can call home and I want to share about those places of where I have lived and where pieces of my heart currently reside.
Home is Where the Heart Is:
Upon reading an old entry of mine: Mixed Emotions.
To quote the end of this journal entry:
“Listen, respond, react, and just love. Love God, Love Yourself, and Love Each Other. Help and Serve One Another. Love by lending a listening ear, don’t bottle things up inside, love with a smile, a long embrace or hug. Love my looking into one another’s eyes and try to gain an understanding how each other is feeling. Love because God showed us how to love and love just because.”
I have lived in my current home for 10 years now (after moving about 8 or 9 times due to my father’s job growing up) and it is where I have always come back to. After every heartache, every missions trip, every night out, every night in… I spent it here in this home. With tear-stained pillows through everything that I’ve been through, my room and house is where I find solace. It is where I knelt down on knees praying for strength from God, it is where I asked for mercy and forgiveness, it is where I laid on bed rest after multiple surgeries, it’s where I cried and laughed, and it is where I have celebrated the major accomplishments of my life from every graduation to every job I’ve been hired for. I have had many sleepovers and BBQs, and many friends come and go, but one thing that stays constant in this home is my family. Many things have come and gone in my life over the past several years, but this home remains constant, along with the family in it and the God who watches over it and resides with me here and in my heart.
There will be many more adventures and journeys and tears that will come and I will always come back to this home because it is where my heart currently resides.
House Arrest: The Story of a Child
I have been reflecting on little stories that have affected my life and I am reminded daily that I am a child of God. That Jesus loves me and died for my sins, in order that I may know that love and experience it. Unfortunately, not every child knows of this love…
From a chance meeting in 2008, I wrote the below entry about a child that I witnessed with an ankle bracelet while working and serving on mission in Camden…
“One of the Camp Freedom boys had an ankle bracelet on because he was busted for selling drugs. This boy was basically on house arrest or city arrest for selling drugs in South Camden.
Think about that…
This child of God had no way out that he saw and he began dealing drugs. How sad is that? A mere child between the age of 10-13 years old.
This is reason alone for programs and relationships built by UrbanPromise, to capture these kids hears and fill them with God’s love and give them hope of a fighting chance to survive the “beautiful struggle” they live and are born into.”
I hope to continue to love those around me and love children and show them the love of Christ, to show them that Jesus loves them and that they are children of God. I also cannot wait to have my own children and show them the same love that has been instilled in me and that I have found only in Christ.
Homeless: A Chance Encounter
Below is another entry from 2008…
My back story is that for three summers I lived and worked in Camden as a camp counselor, intern, and short-term missionary. Once a week we would have a day off and on this particular day I met two people that just made we want to thank God for her divine appointments… because each divine appointment allows the opportunity to bring someone HOME to HIM.
“As Christians and followers of Christ we are called to serve on another and help those in need so as we were walking down Market Street, we stopped to talk to this paraplegic man sitting on the sidewalk with his two canes. Mary gave Orlando a banana and we just talked to him about what we were doing in Philly and about LA and we just listened to his story. While there I found a city paper and the headline was, “Who will pray for Camden?” As we stood there talking to this nice man, I just thought, I will pray for Camden. Sean and Mary will pray for Camden. The interns will pray for Camden and my church will pray for Camden. We as Christian and followers of Christ must pray for Camden because we are called to serve each other, we are called to serve our neighbors whether they are close or far from us. While we were talking to Orlando this man behind us called Sean and I over and so we walked over and met this man named Eddie. Eddie offered us some money thinking that we were missionaries and were out wandering and serving the city. Which made me think, no matter where we go, aren’t we serving if we are showing God’s love and giving a listening ear to a stranger. Eddie told us how God has blessed his life although he’s struggled, and how he has learned to share what riches he does have with others and to spread the love. In that moment I was just like wow, how great is God that he would have someone with less things than I (not to say that someone "lesser" would serve me, but that someone who has really struggled and been homeless would still offer up what little he has to a stranger because they were in need... like WOW!) be someone that would speak into my life. God surprises you and teaches and shows you things when you least expect it and when you lend a listening ear. We went back and continued talking with Mary and Orlando and then Eddie came over and offered Orlando some fruit. True giving and love in that moment. True sacrifice and truly all done through God's love.
On the city bus back “home”, we met a woman (who we never got her name) and we began talking to her about how we were headed back to Camden and she told us about herself and about how her fiancé was killed on the streets and how she had just recently had everything she owned stolen (she is homeless) including her Bible that she loved. She talked about God and about how to protect yourself on the streets. When she said she no longer had a Bible, I wished I had had my Bible with me to give to her. As much as my Bible meant to me, if I would have had it the idea that it could serve someone like it had served me brought me to a point I have never experienced. To give something that I treasure to another person because maybe they needed it more that I ever would and just the idea of giving up of something to someone else just because, without any questions asked. As the woman got ready to exit the train, I said a silent prayer and Mary gave her, her little Bible. After she got off the train the three of us talked about how we all wanted to give our Bible to this woman because she was so sweet and caring and how we wanted her to have God’s word with her always.
Our day in Philly was just amazing, I learned and experienced so much in those few hours we spent there.”
Lastly, my new home and where a piece of my heart will get left behind is Peru. I am currently preparing for an upcoming missions trip to Peru with my church. I have not been there and already my heart is filled with love and desire for Peru and a desire to be there and serve. I cannot wait to see what God will do with me in Peru and to see what I learn and discover. I know that God has continued to bless this trip and it is a divine appointment for me to be there…
I cannot wait to return and share my stories of God’s growth and change in my life…
If you’d like to help me meet my goal and raise the last bit of $450 of my $2500 goal, please follow the link below to donate.
I cannot wait to consider Peru as a place where my heart will reside and a place that I can soon call home.