Posts Tagged ‘Hope Maglich’

Promoting Literacy, by Hope Maglich Garcia, Back2Back Mexico Staff

January 13, 2012

A few months ago, I was hanging out with a few girls in the Rio, an impoverished Mexican community that Back2Back serves. We serve these families, mostly single moms, because they are literally at the cusp of making the difficult decision of whether or not they will choose to place their child in one of the children’s homes.  Our goal is to help them to provide for their children’s basic needs, preventing them from reaching the point where they need to drop off their children at one of the homes.

 

At one point, my conversation with the girls turned to the topic of reading. I asked them if they ever get read to at home. They both said no.  I knew both the girls had several books in their home, because I had brought them out in a donation. I asked the girls where they books were and they said “on the shelf.” I praised them for this, because taking care of items in the Rio is not always a priority. We had a conversation when I first brought the books out about where to keep them and how to care for them. So I was pleased to see that they had done this. However, when I asked how many books the girls had read that week the answer was, zero. When I asked why, they reported that they weren’t allowed to take them down from the shelf because their grandmother knew I was going to come by and she didn’t want to take a chance that the books would be ruined before my next visit.

 

I sighed internally as I realized that this family didn’t understand the reason for the books. I remembered the library programs that I participated in as a child growing up in Oxford, Ohio. Almost every summer we would set reading goals and earn prizes for the books that we read… I wondered if Sara and Monse needed a little motivation like I did when I was little. I asked for a scrap of paper and scrawled out a one week reading chart for the girls. “Try to see if you can read one book a day or if your grandmother can read one book a day to you for the next week,” I said. For added motivation I let the girls borrow some of the children’s books I had with me in my car. “Next week when I come, show me what you have read and you can borrow some more books.” I then talked to their grandmother to make sure she understood that the books were for the girls to read, regardless of whether or not they got messed up.

 

The next week I drove up to Sara and Monse’s house and was greeted by the girls proudly standing outside holding up their reading charts. “We did it every day!” They shouted. Each girl got to pick a lollypop as a prize then we sat down to talk about the experience and to read a book out loud together. It was wonderful!

 

The next week even more kids showed up and the same thing happened the week after. I now have about six consistent students every week! I set up a very basic library system, where the kids can check out and return books. The best part is that the kids are reading or being read to and that there are books entering their homes. I’ve even noticed some of the teenage boys standing at a distance where they can hear the story I’m reading to the children yet still look cool! They were only given away when they too started laughing at the funny parts.

Children in the Rio are excited to be a part of Back2Back's new literacy program.

I have several Christian books and some children’s Bibles that I let the kids borrow. Sara told me one day that her grandmother loves the Children’s Bible best of all.She reads it everyday to her granddaughters. Yajiara borrowed a Max Lucado book one week that illustrated the story of our Heavenly Father’s love for us. She said that her mom started reading it and loved the story. Her mother read it over and over several times that week.

 

I’m excited to see where this literacy program goes! Two months later and the kids are still excited about reading.  I can already see that he kids are enjoying reading and that their parents are being influenced too. Compared to when we first started, the children are now very engaged in the stories I read aloud. They are making their own predictions and making connections to the text… two very important skills for readers to know. I also love to see them being responsible for the books they check out. We have only misplaced a few! They have read most of the books in my collection and I am in need of more!

The children select the books they want to borrow for the week.

Monse, Sarah and Alondra read together.

Yajaira reads to Daniel.

Please keep us in your prayers! Pray for the kids’ enthusiasm to continue to grow as they discover the joy of reading. Pray for the ones who struggle with reading to continue learning. Pray for parents to continue to be on my team with this. Pray for more children’s books in Spanish. Pray for me to have wisdom to know how to teach and encourage these kids.

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A New Song, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

May 6, 2011

This spring, we have been teaching the children in the Rio about worship. It has been fantastic! A donor supplied us with money to purchase instruments for the children and thus the idea sprang into action. Our heart was to teach the kids not only how to worship the Lord but reasons we have to worship Him! When we truly know His character there is nothing left to do but worship.

My favorite day of our worship unit with the children was when we taught them about Miriam praising the Lord after he saved the Israelites from the Egyptians. Miriam took up her tambourine and praised the Lord with a new song!

Hope teaches the children about how Miriam praised God

After learning about Miriam, we decided as a class that we would write a new song to the Lord just a Miriam did. Back2Back staff member, Cheque, got out his guitar. I pulled out a dry erase board and we began to write a song of praise to the Lord, worshiping Him for the ways that he loves us. Cheque and I started out the song, but in no time the kids were shouting their ideas as well. It was the children who came up with most of the words and reasons why we praise the Lord.

Children from the Rio wrote the lyrics to the worship song

It was beautiful for me to hear these children, who live with very little, shouting out reasons they have to praise the Lord! Oh how true it is! Within twenty minutes our song was done, Cheque had a tune, and we all began to worship the Lord with a new song! We have now added this song to our collection and sing it each week.

“God saved us from the Egyptians

Let’s sing to the Lord

God loves us very much

Let’s sing to the Lord

God created us

God healed us

God protected and provided for us

Let’s sing to the Lord. ”

– Written by the children Back2Back serves in Rio 1

The Carrot Seed, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

March 29, 2011

The Carrot Seed

” A little boy planted a carrot seed… and the whole world said nothing would sprout.” – The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

For the majority of the children I work with in the Rio the whole world has said they won’t succeed, they won’t thrive, they won’t amount to anything,… they won’t sprout. That is sadly the story of two girls, Sarah and Monse. They come from rough situations and unsupportive environments where they have been told, they won’t “sprout.”

I went to the Rio about a week ago with my tutoring supplies in hand. I hadn’t ever tutored kids in Spanish before, but thought it couldn’t be that much different than the experiences I had tutoring in the States. The three of us girls sat down in the comedor and I pulled out a supply of books that I had with me. The girls looked through the stack and then we all decided on The Carrot Seed (La Semilla de Zanahoria). As an early childhood teacher, I am ashamed to say that I had never read this book before! We cracked open the book and began to read about the boy, the seed, and the disbelief of the world around him.

“His mom said, ‘I fear it won’t sprout.’

His dad said, ‘I fear it won’t sprout.’

His older brother said, ‘ I know it won’t sprout.’ ”

I asked the girls how the boy must have felt. They said he felt sad and discouraged. I asked them if they ever felt like that, or if anyone ever said those types of things to them. They both nodded and we kept reading.

“Every day the boy pulled up the weeds that were growing around the seed and sprayed the soil with water. But nothing sprouted… And nothing sprouted… The whole world said that nothing would sprout.”

“Have you ever felt like the whole world is saying you won’t grow and change and that you can’t do the things you want to when you grow up?” I asked. Again there were silent nods.

“But every day he continued to pull up the weeds and spray the soil with water. And then, one day,… a carrot sprouted…. Just as the boy knew it would.”

The girl’s faces were delighted as we got to the last page! “We knew it would sprout!” they said. “and the carrot is HUGE!”

The picture on this page is priceless. The boy in the story has a wheelbarrow and one huge carrot inside. Not only did the carrot sprout, it was much bigger and better than any normal carrot.

We closed the book and began to talk about how we are like carrot seeds. That sometimes people will say to us, “You won’t sprout… you will never be good at math, you will never amount to anything, you can’t be a doctor, you can never leave this place…” But what did the boy do? I asked.

“He kept working hard.” Was the answer. “He didn’t give up because he knew the carrot seed would sprout.”

“Hmm,” I said, “what do you think we can learn from this story?”

Sarita replied, “That if we work hard and don’t give up, one day the seed will sprout.”

“Good,” I replied. “But there is more than that.”  I went on to explain to the girls that God created them with a purpose. That He has a plan for their lives. That it wasn’t an accident that they were born onto this earth. “It may seem like the whole world is against you,” I said. ” Your mom, your dad, or your teacher may be against you, but God is always for you. He know the plans and the purpose and the future that He has for you. You are special. You are unique, you are dearly loved, and you will sprout.”

The truth is that God believes in these girls and supports them. He is pulling up the weeds in their lives and He is faithful to put water on the soil of their hearts. The whole world may say, “they won’t sprout.”  But God says otherwise….

“I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

And when God sprouts a seed….watch out! It is bigger and better than anything we can imagine!

Sarah and Monse drawing pictures of themselves planting a seed and then the seed sprouting.

Sarah and Monse with their finished stories.

Virginia – God Heals the Hardest Heart, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

January 31, 2011

This is a post about a teen whose story impacted my life while I was in Cancun. For her security she will be referred to as Virginia in this entry.

Virginia looks to be about twice her actual age. I met her on the first day that I met Jamie. I have never really understood what a face of stone looked like until I met Virginia. Her face was beautiful, but ice cold, her jaw set in a clench like I have never seen before, her eyes icy.  It was clear that she took out her pain in sarcasm and in disgust of those around her. Even with the hard shell it was apparent that this was a very hurt young lady.

Virginia with her friends

In the first conversation I had with Virginia she made it very clear that she hated her life and hated the children’s home she was temporarily staying at. All I could think was how hurt she must be.

Two days after I first met Virginia our team of ladies returned to the children’s home to host a Christmas party. When we entered the home, my good friend and fellow staff member, Priscila, was encouraged to go up and talk with Virginia.

“You have got to be kidding,” was Priscila’s reply. “Look at her, she wants nothing to do with us, let alone me! ”

However, the Holy Spirit kept prompting Priscila until she went over to introduce herself to Virginia. Priscila found out that Virginia was fifteen years old.

“My fifteenth year was very impacting,” Pris shared. “That year God placed many Christians in my life who spoke to me about Jesus. It was when I was fifteen that I had an experience with God and I have never been the same.”

Virginia stared at Priscila in surprise.

“That is weird that you say that,” she said. “Just last night someone told me that I needed to have an experience with God.”

Virginia then went on to share about how the night before her mom had come to get her and bring her home. When Virginia arrived home she began arguing with her mom, started uncontrollably freaking out, and tried to commit suicide. At this point her mom got scared and called the police to come and take Virginia back to the children’s home.

As Virginia and the police officer were sitting in the squad car outside the children’s home, the officer turned to Virginia and said, “Virginia, have you not had an encounter with God? You need to have an experience with God.”

Virginia was startled that now Priscila was also talking with her about having an encounter with God.

Priscila came up to me after this conversation with Virginia and told me what happened. As Pris was talking, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God wanted Virginia to experience Himself that day. I told Priscila that she needed to go back and share the truth of the Gospel with Virginia. Today was the day of her salvation, I was sure of it.

A little later Pris found Virginia and asked if they could finish their conversation. I saw them sit down on a stone wall and begin to talk. I knew that Priscila was sharing the gospel with Virginia, so I began to pray. Virginia was sitting very straight with a face of stone as Pris began to share.  I kept praying that the Lord would break through. That he would soften her heart so she could hear and receive what Pris was sharing. Suddenly as I was watching, and it was as if the stone mask on Virginia’s face began to crack and slide off. I have never physically seen such a change happen in a person. One moment she was sitting erect hard as stone, the next second she had tears streaming down her cheeks and a wide smile spreading across her face. That day Virginia’s name was written in the Lamb’s book of Life.  With tears streaming down her face, Virginia was laughing and smiling. Her countenance was completely changed! I went up to her and gave her a huge hug. I told her I knew that God had a plan and purpose for her life and for her being at that home.

She hugged me back and through her tears said, “I feel so happy!”

It was apparent the moment Christ entered Virginia that she was completely changed. She had an experience with God that had been prophesied to her the night before. She was a new creation! Virginia was supposed to leave the children’s home that night to go back with her mom. God was so purposeful and strategic in his timing of things! There is not a doubt in my mind that He divinely ordained the events of that day to bring Virginia into his kingdom. Through this I saw that God can heal and soften the hardest of hearts.  Please keep Virginia in your prayers.  Her family has been involved with drugs in Cancun which can get pretty serious. Pray for her protection and for her continued growth in Christ. Praise Jesus for this salvation!

A New Family in the Rio, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

October 13, 2010

A few weeks ago a new family of seven entered the doors of the soup kitchen in the Rio, an impoverished community that Back2Back serves. One glance told us that this family was in need of help. Mom, Virginia, is younger than myself and has five little kids. The oldest is nine and the youngest (a set of twins) are two. Virgina, her husband, and children had moved into a shack with her mom after being unable to pay rent for their own place. Their house is smaller than most kitchens and houses nine people.

After seeing the children arrive at the soup kitchen on Saturday dressed in school uniforms (because they didn’t have other clothes) and smelling as though they had worn the same uniform the whole week, I realized that we needed to help. A few days later I dropped off several bags of clothing and toiletries and loaded kids, mom, and grandma into my car to go school shopping. Thanks to a donor we had money to buy the oldest kids new uniforms, school shoes, and notebooks.

I think the best part for the kids was just riding in my car! They laughed the whole time.

The family and Back2Back ministry partner, Meme, outside their home.

The twins in the cart while their brothers and sister try on shoes.

Three beautiful children with three beautiful new pairs of shoes!

Francisco, Joanna, and Brian with their newly purchased school supplies.

I didn’t really realize how much in need this family was until one day when the grandma asked me if we had any dishes they could have. I went to their home later that week and saw that the kids were drinking out of pieces of plastic coke bottles! The Back2Back staff pulled together as well as some donors and we were able to supply them with cups, plates, silverware, etc.

By God’s grace I have had many interactions with the family, including prayer and a sharing of the gospel with them! Please keep them in your prayers! Currently we are trying to get them connected to the government resources that are available to them as well as trying to satisfy some of their basic needs. Please pray for me to have wisdom and discernment to know what to do and what not to do and how to help, but not enable. It is for families like this one that we, as Back2Back, have a Rio ministry. Virginia is a prime candidate to take her children to a children’s home because of difficulties in providing for them. Our hope is that by coming alongside them and helping them to provide for their children’s basic needs, we will prevent them from reaching the point where they need to drop off their children at one of the children’s homes.

Pray for this family! Pray for me and the other Back2Back staff, as we seek the Lord on what to do! He is faithful!

 

Javier: Hungering for God’s Word, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

August 10, 2010

This is Javier.

Javier is ten years old.  He lives in the neighborhood that borders the Rio, an impoverished community that Back2Back serves. One day not to long ago, Javier was out playing in the street next to his house when someone came by and mentioned something to him about God’s Word. He went running inside and told his mom that he wanted to learn about God’s Word. From that day on, Javier has had an unquenchable hunger to know what God’s Word is.

Not long after, I and a group of Back2Back staff members were walking through the Rio community inviting families to come to the weekly soup kitchen meeting. I was talking to a woman named Tere who lives in nearly the last house in the community. Tere asked if we could walk a little further and invite a friend of hers to come to the soup kitchen.

“By all means!,” we responded.

Tere’s directions to her friend’s house were pretty vague.

She instructed us to, “Go up the hill into the community and find the house that is also a store and tell the people that Tere sent you.”

We followed her directions and by the grace of God found ourselves at the house she had described. We knocked on what appeared to be a store window.  A woman quickly answered.  We invited her and her family to join us at the soup kitchen for food and teaching. The woman looked a little surprised and with a smile asked if we would talk to her son. She called her son from the back room.  Javier emerged from the back room and we explained to him that every week at the soup kitchen, we host a children’s Sunday school class, where we teach about God’s word. With a grin a mile wide, Javier excitedly agreed to come that very day. About a half hour later Javier showed up at the soup kitchen with his mom. He had combed his hair, put on clean pants, tucked in his shirt, and was ready for his first day of Sunday School. This family has been coming to the soup kitchen nearly every week since and Javier’s hunger for God’s Word continues to grow!

A Lover of God Who Sometimes Ministers to the Poor, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

July 28, 2010

The title of this blog post is the title that I want over my life.  Recently, a few of us Back2Back staff women had an evening of prayer and worship. I was feeling disconnected from the Lord, burdened by the work I had to do, and overwhelmed by problems in the areas where I minister.  In the midst of one of the worship songs, I had the sudden feeling that the Lord was trying to speak to me.   I was overwhelmed with a sense of the Holy Spirit and in my heart I heard His kind voice say, “Your relationship with Me is more important than your ministry.”  Those words echoed off the walls of my heart.

He wants me, more than He wants my work for Him. He desires relationship with me more than He desires that I serve in the Rio, teach at Back2Back’s missionary kids school (SMCA), or organize prayer meetings. In the grand scheme, these things don’t matter. It is me (and you) that He finds most important.  He wants us to be lovers of Him first and foremost. He desires that we be defined by our relationship with Him first, then by whatever else it is we do.  That is the priority order. Him first.

I want to love God more! I want to be so consumed with His love for me that I am compelled to share it with others through my actions and words! Not to share His love from duty, but from the overflow of a vibrant relationship with Him.

Oh, Lord woo our hearts! Change our perspectives and our priorities. Show your Bride that you love her first. That You desire for her to be defined by Your love for her.

Who am I? I am my Beloved’s. What do I do? I love God…and occasionally minister to the poor.

Cristina: A Picture of Servanthood, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

July 12, 2010

Cristina caught me at an intense moment. I was frustrated and worn out by the needs of the people. Everyone needs something. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is looking to you to solve their problems. It was one of those days at the Rio where I felt like I had nothing more to give and yet people were still coming with their problems, financial crises, and needs.  Needless to say I was frustrated and worn out. At this moment, Cristina caught my arm and pulled me aside. Cristina is a women who lives in an impoverished community just outside the Rio area where Back2Back serves. She has several kids and you can tell by just looking at her that she does not have many resources available to her. (You can also tell by just looking at her that she has a very real relationship with Christ!) Cristina volunteers her time and talent helping to cook at the soup kitchen nearly every week.

“Hope,” Cristina said, “I just wanted to tell you that I have been looking through my things and my kids things and have put together several bags of clothing that we really don’t need. I was wondering if you could come by my house in your car and pick up the bags and take them to the people in Rio III.” (Rio III is a very impoverished community that was nearly wiped out during Hurricane Alex.)

Little was left of Rio III after flooding from Hurricane Alex

I was astonished! I looked at her and asked, “Are you sure? You don’t need these things?”

“No, Hope,” Cristina replied, “I know there are people that need these things more than I do.”

I gave her a hug and tried to keep back my tears. In my year of consistently serving in the Rio this is the first time I have seen anyone offer or desire to give away some of their own things to someone else. Poverty can be an ugly thing when it gets to the core of people and makes them believe that they always need more, can never have enough, and couldn’t possibly give anything away. I was so encouraged by Cristina’s heart to give freely of her own possessions to those who “needed it more than she did.” After a frustrating afternoon, this was like a cool drink to my soul! I’m praying blessings on Cristina as she blesses others.

Meet Milagros, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

April 30, 2010

Through the generous support of a family in the US, Milagros is able to go to school. Milagros is a compassionate, intelligent, and confident teenager who lives in the Rio community, an impoverished community that Back2Back serves.

Her name means “Miracle” and often she is nothing shy of that! She was born deaf and grew up communicating with her self-made sign language. One of the things I love most about Milagros is her fearless ability to try. She will attempt over and over to communicate with me despite my sometimes baffled looks. Milagros is very determined. She knows what she wants and what she is capable of and sets out to do it. I like that in a person who would have an easy excuse to do nothing at all.

About a year or so ago a family came down on a Back2Back mission trip, met Milagros, and had a heart to help her. With their support, she was able to attend a school for the deaf where she learned sign language and some trade crafts. Not satisfied with just this education, Milagros approached us a few months ago with a flyer from a cosmetology school over in the next neighborhood. We met with the director of the school, who was eager to take on Milagros with her challenges. Milagros has now been enrolled in cosmetology school for several months. Just a few days ago, I had the privilege to go with a co-worker to Milagros’ school to see her in action. There, Back2Back staff member, Cathy Huffer, got a trim and Milagros gave her mom some new layers in her hair. It is nothing less than a miracle to see someone like Milagros, born with limitations and into an impoverished community, grow, thrive, and pursue what some would say is impossible.

Milagros in her class

Milagros putting layers in her mom's hair

Cathy Huffer getting her hair washed

Two Year Anniversary of the Rio Soup Kitchen, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

April 26, 2010

Recently, we celebrated the two year anniversary of our soup kitchen in the Rio, a shantytown community that Back2Back serves! It was a fantastic day filled with good food, fun, and fellowship. The comedor was packed out with people! We had worship, preaching, prayer time, children’s church, slide show, and a meal of yummy arrachera!

The comedor filled with faces as we worshiped the Lord and thanked Him for the ministry in that place over the past two years.  I mainly help out with the children’s ministry during soup kitchen Saturdays. Sticking with our theme of the fruit of the Spirit the children are doing an activity with a story that illustrates faith. We had over fifty kids come to the class. Usually we plan for about thirty.

The children did an activity involving a story about faith

Working on a craft about faith

Enjoying a meal together

After the preaching and children’s classes, we all gathered together for an arrachera meal. It was delicious! Arrachera is a special meat that has been marinated and then grilled. It is sooo good. It was so fun to provide this meal for these people as it is typically expensive and not affordable by many of the families we serve. We also gave out elotes! Elotes are corn on the cob that have been boiled and coated with chili and mayonnaise. It is a Mexican favorite and often is preferred as a dessert of sorts.

Our great grillers who worked for hours to prepare the meat for us to eat

Thanks to everyone who has helped support the soup kitchen financially and prayerfully over the past two years. God is moving and doing great things in that community. We are privileged to celebrate two years of ministry and thank all who have played a part. Blessings to you!

Meme’s Soup Kitchen, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

October 23, 2009

Every Saturday morning, Meme, a partner of the ministry, hosts a soup kitchen for nearly fifty people at Rio I, many of whom are young children. The families from the community arrive around 12:30 and together we worship and praise the Lord for all He is doing. Most of the songs we sing without instruments but recently we have been worshiping with the help of a guitar! After worship, the adults listen to a Bible teaching while the kids are split up into age groups to have Sunday School-like classes. After this time of feeding on God’s word, we feed the people a delicious Mexican meal!

A Great Awakening, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

October 14, 2009

This past summer, God blessed me with the opportunity to increase my Spanish by studying in an intensive program in central Mexico. This is a picture of one of the many stands in and around San Miguel de Allende where I studied.

Children selling dolls at a stand in Monterrey

A doll stand in San Miguel de Allende

Often women and children will sit on the curb and sell dolls similar to these… it breaks my heart to see these children there for hours. One day, I walked by a little girl of about six years sound asleep on the pile of dolls that she was supposed to be selling… precious and heartbreaking at the same time. Seeing so many children on the streets makes me so appreciative of the children’s homes that we work with here in Monterrey. Sure the job of caring for so many kids and homes is hard, but it is worth it to see them having a childhood, going to school, learning about Jesus….

Hope, spending time with the children at Meme's Rio, a squatter's village where Back2Back serves

Spending time with the children at Meme's Rio, a squatter's village that Back2Back serves

One day in San Miguel, I was calmly sipping my coffee in Starbucks (yes, Starbucks has taken over this part of the world too!) when a little girl, ten years old, came into the store and asked me to buy bubble gum from her. I have to admit that my first reaction was to kindly deny.  But, after the girl left, I began to think about the interaction I had had with her. I began to feel convicted for brushing her off in the same way everyone else had in this town.  Here was a girl who in so many ways is exactly like the children I serve in Monterrey.  I thought to myself how Jesus would have handled that situation and quickly gathered my things and went out to search for the girl. I found her sitting by her mother on the corner still selling the gum. I asked the girl how much her gum cost and ended up having a beautiful conversation with her. I learned that her name was Maria and she was ten years old.  She was thrilled to discover that I was a teacher. She told me which were her favorite flavors of gum and I promptly bought two. After a few more minutes of chatting, I said goodbye and began to walk home, feeling a little less convicted.

On the other street corner, I ran into an older woman with a small child. Both were sitting in the middle of the sidewalk with their hands outstretched, asking for money. I asked the woman if her child could have the gum I just bought and then began to talk to her about her life. Maria Paula and her grandson Erik Julian live outside of San Miguel with many other family members. Maria shared with me that it’s hard to provide for all the mouths she has to feed. Currently four of her fourteen children are still at home.

Maria and I talked for awhile and I was able to share with her about how the Lord has provided for me on multiple occasions when times were tight. Although I am sure I have never experienced what this lady has, she seemed to be encouraged by my stories. I prayed for her. She cried. God’s spirit was there. And I wondered why so many times I get caught up in my own bubble, my own goals, my own agenda and forget that I am on this planet not for my purposes but for His. This was a great awakening day for me… that ended with the gift of three new friends.