Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 | 1 comment

Beautiful quote about paying it forward

If you follow my blog, you already know my oldest has been interning in the Philippines this summer.  After almost three months, I’m ready for her to be back.

Rachel has been a reader since she could distinguish A from B, and at times her appetite for books was insatiable.  What was discouraged in me by my own father, I encouraged in her as a counterattack of sorts.  All I can figure is after my mother’s death Daddy was concerned I’d get lost in books, or maybe hide from my reality of life without our mother. I understand now he was trying to protect me, but I never appreciated this parenting decision.

Rachel’s library is an enviable one and I remember the night she devoured a newly-released Harry Potter book in one sitting, because good story, sometimes, is more important than sleep. I suppose if “you are what you eat” she should be a book. Of course, that’s ridiculous and impossible, but she’s on her way to becoming the next logical thing: a writer.

Now, writing is not her passion (yet…?) and as a serious student who loves learning, she hasn’t really had time to develop her style. But I see it already–proofreading her papers for college has been a window into her future in more ways than one.  She understands words and how to use them.

No one has encouraged me more personally and deeply in writing than my daughter has this year (though my sister runs a close second place after gifting me with someone else’s words).

Rachel attended and subsequently interned with an amazing organization the past few summers, H.E.A.R.T. (Hunger Education And Resource Training).  HEART was established as “a practical training center for Christian workers going to serve in developing regions of the world.”  It is the only place of its kind in our country.  EVERY idealistic student who thinks he wants to enter vocational ministry in developing countries should attend, if even for a short-term session.  It will crush any romantic notion of missions work and replace it with an accurate portrayal of what to expect.

While at HEART, Rachel become close to Heather, a staffer who has become a trusted friend and wise mentor for my daughter.  They have remained in touch and Rachel extended permission to Heather to share her letters on HEART’s website. They provide a wonderful picture of how HEART principals translate into practice.  Also, my baby girl is a natural encourager, and it’s always good to give and receive feedback.

Anyway, Heather shared with me Rachel’s latest letter-turned-into-post; some of which I already knew, some of which was news.  It was so good and such a lovely Atta Boy to HEART, I wanted to share it here.  Below you’ll find an excerpt and I hope you’ll read it in full and then share it with others.

Reposted from HEART's website

{Excerpted from The Global Body of Believers}

One of my community development professors just flew in to the country to do research…. He made the observation that we are totally immersed in the culture, with absolutely no breaks, and no contact with ex-pats. When he said that, I realized that he was right; he was the first white person I had talked to in person in 2 months. While sometimes this is exhausting (mostly due to the language barrier), it’s also contributed to an incredibly rich experience in connecting with the global body of believers. That was a phrase I heard a lot in class: “connecting with the global body of believers”, and I thought that sounded nice in theory, but the reality of it has rocked me. There are so many different components to what I mean when I say that, but I just want to talk about two different experiences.

When I’m in Manila, I’ve been attending this church called Victory Christian Fellowship with one of the friends I have made on the CCT staff. One week, she went out of town to go visit her family, but encouraged me to go without her. She told some of her friends in her small group about me, and after the service was over, I received a text inviting me to lunch and small group that afternoon. I didn’t know any of the girls who were part of the group, but I was interested to see what a Filipino women’s small group looked like, so I went. When I met them in the church cafeteria, they immediately came up and gave me a hug and kissed my cheek, and led me to their table. Victory’s mission is to “honor God and make disciples” and I have seen that in action, even with my short amount of time spent there.

This group of women started with five people, and the group has multiplied to over one hundred women, with the original five now leading their own groups. I was able to attend a meeting with three of the original five women, and I was overwhelmed by their love. Because of my pitiful Tagalog, they laughingly agreed to have an “English only” small group, so that I would be able to understand and participate in discussion. We started out sharing our “highs and lows” of the week, then walked through a passage of Scripture together verse by verse. As we talked through how this applied to our lives, I was struck by our core similarities, as sisters in Christ. In different contexts, some of the day-to-day struggles varied, but our prayers were the same: more love for God, the first and greatest commandment. For, in A. W. Tozer’s words, “we have tasted the goodness of the Lord, which has both satisfied us and made us thirsty for more.”

Joining with my Filipina sisters in this prayer and being a recipient of their genuine love struck me deeply. It made me want to be a Christian. And isn’t this what Jesus prayed? “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me”. Unity in the body is supposed to show people the love of Jesus. That’s why Satan works so divisively within us—stirring up envy, racism, pride, selfishness—anything it takes to separate brothers and sisters.

 

I know she’s my daughter, and this is of most interest to me and our family, but it’s really too wonderful not to share with others.  To see any life challenged with the truth of the Gospel is beautiful. Her words and observations are inspiring, convicting, encouraging and outright challenging.

And they might just move you to tears.

I hope with all my heart you’ll click to continue reading; it was hard to excerpt only one part because the entire account is incredible.

 

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