Juliana Jones has spent the last year serving in an international ministry experience called The World Race. We asked her to share something she felt applied to the Watermark body back at home.
The dust was gathering all around the bus as we drove down the choked Kathmandu streets in February.
We were headed to an area of town where the bus terminal is located. This is where many from Nepali, who work abroad to scrape a living together, come back to give money to their family. And then they head back out again.
The problem is, many of these workers instead spend their money with trafficked and prostituted girls, right at the bus station.
We entered into this madness with a woman named Ruth. Ruth is a wife, a mom to four boys, and doesn't have higher education. Yet she goes plowing into the darkest corners of society for the cause of Christ. We went with Ruth into "cabin restaurants" – dark little rooms with cubicles where one can buy over-priced tea – a purchase that actually includes time with a girl, possibly trafficked there from an outside village.
Ruth goes to meet these girls and the owners of these establishments. She goes not to take advantage – like the hundreds before her – but to show that God knows their name and cares about their plight.
Ruth is a very ordinary woman doing extraordinary things.
Fast-forward to May in Mozambique. We were rolling mud balls together to construct a hut for a woman who had been living under a neighbor's tarp before we arrived. With us was Tiene, a 50-year-old man who had been an accountant in a beautiful beach town until meeting Jesus. Then everything changed.
Tiene, like many of us, enjoys watching TV on the computer and reading books on a Saturday afternoon. But Tiene has also sat with hundreds of AIDS patients as they breathed their last. He has used his vehicle as an ambulance in a small area of Mozambique where no other vehicle existed. While large service organizations have pulled out of the area due to flooding and difficult political situations, Tiene is still there. When an enormous flood hit a few years ago, he simply lived on his roof for a few days until the waters receded.
Tiene is a very ordinary man doing extraordinary things.
While still in Mozambique, we also met a woman named Angie from Tyler, Texas. Angie wanted to be a nurse and live in the great state of Texas forever. Along the way, though, Jesus had other plans for her. Today she runs a home in Mozambique for teenage boys.
Angie is very ordinary: She drinks Coca-Cola like it's going out of style, enjoys going back to Texas, and makes sure her kids in Mozambique sport University of Texas swag. Yet she is changing the lives of teen boys in Mozambique through a training and discipleship school.
Why do I tell you all these people's stories? Because they are just like you and me, yet they said Yes to God and are doing extraordinary things.
And that opportunity isn’t reserved for those willing to travel overseas!
No one has done too much, failed too much, or run too far to be used by God if they’re just willing to start saying Yes. I chose to party my way through SMU and then chase after the Dallas career dream – but at some point all that broke down, and I started saying Yes to God more often than I said No.
Do you want to be part of expanding God’s Kingdom? Start saying Yes to more and more. Start looking for more things to hand over to God, knowing that what He gives back is always better anyways. It doesn't matter if you are a mom at home with two kids or a young adult working in Corporate America, start asking God for the things He has uniquely outlined for you to say Yes to (Ephesians 2:10).
You can trust God to use your gifts and talents in a way that energizes you to do even more Kingdom work. After all, He created you, so He does know what is best.
How do I fight human trafficking in Dallas? Check out Reclaimed.
Where do I start if I want to have an impact? Check out watermark.org/impact.