I'm stoked to have my sweet friend, Sarah, on the blog today to share with us her experience serving in the Philippines with our church's international division, Global X! I've served with Sarah at Inside Out, and I can tell you this amazing woman has a huge heart for what pleases God. It's been incredible to watch her lead and grow and I can't wait for you to read her story!
Take a look:
I am honored that my friend, Wendi, would like for me to be a guest blogger today!
Wow, where to begin?! I am beyond thankful and grateful for the opportunity I was given to serve with a team of 8 on a mission’s trip to Cebu, Philippines. The purpose of our mission’s trip was to love on victims of human trafficking. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience. We had the privilege of serving with members from Quest Community Fellowship (a strategic partner of North Point Community Church) and the Good Shepherd Welcome House during our time in Cebu.
I had some firsts while on this trip, including going to night establishments (strip clubs) to outreach to the women and managers of these establishments. God's favor was definitely upon us, and the doors it opened for Quest to continue their ministry of sharing Jesus with them and helping them find a way out. At the Welcome House we got the privilege to shower God's love on these beautiful women and young girls. We painted a couple of their rooms, and provided them with an air conditioner as they didn't have one and it's hot in the Philippines. One of my team members, Laura, also gave a talk on HIV/AIDS so they would be educated on what it is and isn’t. The next day, we got to experience a high ropes course with them and treated them to mani/pedis and getting their hair cut! It was incredible seeing them all light up and being pampered, as many of them have never done anything like this before. Joyce Meyer Ministries also donated Tell Them I Love Them for our trip, and we handed them out to each gal as they left. We wanted to show them and remind them that they are beautiful, worthy, valuable, loved. God loves each and every one of us, no matter where we’ve been and what we’ve gone through. He takes us as we are.
Because I am in Christ and Christ is in ME… I am completely accepted.
God says that…
∗ I am God’s child (John 1:12)
∗ I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
∗ I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
∗ I am united with the Lord and I am one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17)
∗ I have been bought with a price; I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
∗ I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
∗ I have been adopted as God’s child (Ephesians 1:5)
∗ I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18)
∗ I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 1:14)
∗ I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
Because I am in Christ and Christ is in ME… I am totally secure.
God says that…
∗ I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2)
∗ I am assured that God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28)
∗ I cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39)
∗ I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
∗ I am confident that God will finish the good work He started (Philippians 1:6)
∗ I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
∗ I am hidden with Christ (Colossians 3:3)
∗ I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
∗ I can find mercy and grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)
∗ I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
Because I am in Christ and Christ is in ME… I am deeply significant.
God says that…
∗ I am the salt of the earth and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14)
∗ I am a branch of the true vine, Jesus, a channel of His life (John 15:15)
∗ I have been chosen to bear fruit (John 15:16)
∗ I am a personal, Spirit-empowered witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
∗ I am a temple of God (2 Corinthians 3:16)
∗ I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
∗ I am God’s co-worker (2 Corinthians 6:1)
∗ I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 2:6)
∗ I am God’s workmanship, created for good works (Ephesians 2:10)
∗ I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
∗ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
Bottom line: You are loved by God
I really love and appreciate the Good Shepherd Welcome House. They help women recover from their past and get them back on their feet. They also outreach to young girls who are at high risk for getting enslaved in trafficking. I'm very thankful for this organization and what they do for their community.
Please keep the Filipino people in your prayers. 40,000 students graduate a year and only 3,000 of them are able to find jobs. These disheartening numbers add to why so many girls are caught up in the sex trafficking business. Filipino families are also super close and large in number. If you're the oldest of 8, you have to provide for your family, therefore this leads these young girls to get involved in the sex trade whether their parents sell them into it or they're deceived/lured/tricked into it. It breaks my heart!
After returning to the States, I spent some time processing what God wanted me to learn from this trip. I realized that I don’t sit still (Psalm 46:10) and I need to simplify my life. A few weeks after our return, I received a Facebook message from the pastor of Quest. He shared with me about their need for someone to work with their church and help grow their Inside Out ministry. Talk about the unexpected and an answer to prayer… in how I can learn to truly simplify my life. So, now I am praying and seeking counsel as I figure out what God is calling me to do. This is by far the biggest decision I've ever had to make, and I’m just praying God will make it clear to me what I should do, as I want to be obedient to Him and follow His will for my life.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post! I hope you got a good glimpse into the impact this mission’s trip has made on my life as well as the lives of the women in Cebu.
We serve an incredible, loving, gracious, faithful God!
Psalm 139: 13-14
For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
To read more about Sarah's trip and her awesome team, click here.
For more pictures, click here.