It's our birthday week!! I've been perusing Reece's Rainbow all week in order to bring you a child in need like I usually do on my birthday. There are so many children, it literally does take days to pick just one.
But here I am typing on the tiny screen on my phone (so please ignore the bad formatting!!), and I'm feeling compelled to share another thought with you.
My family LOVES birthdays. So we're in California right now celebrating the big one-eight in such a fun way. Benjamin and Mason are at a Star Wars convention with two friends and Dad, and the girls have been exploring LA. Today we found the sweetest Argentine restaurant and grocery store and stocked up on alfajores and dulce de leche (while I squealed!!), and had the most delicious lunch of empanadas, a split Milanesa Sandwhich, and of course Coca Cola. :) We took tons of pictures and I shook from the excitement. I was in Heaven.
Then we set out to get manis/pedis. It's one of our favorite rare treats, so we drove around for a while until we found a cute little salon.
I read a book several years ago about a young girl who immigrated from Vietnam, and so whenever I hear Vietnamese flowing gracefully through those salons I ponder these dear women and their histories. Today God opened up an opportunity for me to hear one of those stories. This dear woman poured out her story as she massaged my hands and smoothed on polish. Stories of oppression and death, escape and loneliness in this country but no possibility of returning to her own. She is amazingly brave, and I hope she realizes that. She wished me luck in life since we won't meet again. She told me she knew I'd forget her, but I promised I wouldn't. That's the thing about opening up a piece of yourself to someone--she left an imprint on me, too.
One part of her story struck me especially. I had asked if she knew any English when she came, and she said she knew a little because she had gone to a Catholic school where a missionary taught English. Even though many years have passed, she smiled as she remembered and told me her teacher's full name. She met her again when she came to the States.
This missionary still brings a smile to her face. She might not have accomplished her original purpose (my friend wore a Buddha around her neck), but oh man, did she make an impact.
My friend told me no client had ever asked her her story before.
If you are serving across the ocean somewhere, know that God is using you, even when you don't see results.
If you want to cross the ocean but are afraid, trust God to walk with you across the water. He will walk with you, and you'll leave His mark--and yours--even if you're only there for a short-term high school mission trip.
You may not have the opportunity to cross an ocean and teach an oppressed people English. But you do have the opportunity to show people that they matter every. Single. Day.
Ask the woman painting your toes where she's from.
Ask the cashier at the grocery store how they're doing.
Don't we all want our stories to be known?? Share yours. And write theirs down, too.
Your almost-an-adult blogger