Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Biondo’

Bringing Restoration: Reflections on Evidence of God’s Beauty in Nigeria, by Jessica Biondo, Back2Back Mexico Staff

January 25, 2011

Last summer, Jessica Biondo and Ruby Moyer of the Back2Back Mexico staff traveled to Jos, Nigeria. While there, they served alongside our Back2Back Nigeria staff for several weeks.  Below, Jessica Biondo shares her reflections on the experience.

Try to image this scene with me. You are standing in a small, humble building. There are rocks piled on the tin roof so that it won’t blow off in the wind and the rain. The door stands open to let in the sunlight and the warm breeze. The entire room is bursting with the vibrant colors of patterned dresses and head wraps. Songs of jubilee and praise can be heard for miles around! The singing is joined with the beats of drums and everyone begins to clap their own rhythms, which blend together in perfect harmony. With sheer delight people begin dancing to the front of the room. Everyone is out of their seats, dancing, laughing, singing, worshiping God with all they have in them.

It is a church offering and it was unlike anything that I had ever seen before. It is a time of joy, singing, celebration and dancing. It is truly a sight to behold.

As I took in the scene around me, I looked to my right and saw Back2Back Nigeria staff, John and Corrie Guckenberger, and their kids singing in the native language of Hausa, worshipping the Lord with the people who have become their neighbors and friends. That moment was a very clear picture of what it means to present your life as an offering before the Lord. Just as my Nigerian brothers and sisters joyfully sacrificed the first fruits of their tomato crop on that Sunday, I saw Back2Back Nigeria staff daily give their lives as an offering to the Lord to bring His love and hope to the neglected and abandoned children of Jos, Nigeria.

As I reflect back on my time in Nigeria, I am reminded of my first glimpse of the country as the plane descended below the line of gray clouds. I was struck by the beauty that lay before me in the splashes of green vegetation amidst the sea of red dirt and rock. This first glimpse of the country stuck with me and came to represent a constant theme that was evident everywhere I looked.

It is a theme of beauty in the midst of hardship, joy in the midst of poverty, blessing in the midst of pain. It is the goodness and provision of the Lord shining through to bring hope to our broken world. It is this hope that I had the privilege of witnessing at the village church each Sunday. It is this hope that is evident in the lives of the people who offer their lives to fight for the cause of the orphan child. And it is this hope that will ultimately bring healing and restoration to children in Jos, Nigeria.

Spa Night for Girls in Hope Program, by Jessica Biondo, Back2Back Mexico Staff

April 21, 2010

Around Christmas time, some of my dear friends generously donated boxes full of delightfully girly products for the girls in the Back2Back Hope Education Program. The donation was originally for Christmas gifts, but the shipment was detained in Texas and did not arrive in Mexico until after Christmas had come and gone.

Random thought: Isn’t it funny how we originally intend for something to be used in a certain way and then it turns out that God has a totally different and immeasurably better purpose in mind?

Anyway, back to the story… In the beginning of February all of the gifts arrived and I was so excited to see everything! Lotion, body wash, deodorant, toothbrushes and make-up… lots and lots of make-up! All of these items are much needed necessities on our campus. I couldn’t wait to put together packages for the girls!

Each of the female teens that live on our campus (there are eleven) received a bag which contained something similar to the picture below.

Rather than just drop the bags off at the girls’ homes, my roommate and I had another idea in mind! A SPA NIGHT! We thought it would be fun to invite the girls over to our house for manicures, pedicures, facials, chocolate and a chick-flick! At the end of the night we would give each of the girls their gift!

Kayta (with her gift) getting ready for her pedicure!

I ran the pedicure station! Here is Carolina getting her toes painted...

Here is Becca giving Perla a manicure...

Some of the girls at the end of the night! We all had so much fun!

My favorite part of the night was hanging out with the girls and getting to know each of them better. A special thanks to my friends who made all of this possible! You are such a blessing and God has used your generosity to bring joy to these sweet girls! Thank you!

A Grand Story, by Jessica Biondo, Back2Back Mexico Staff

February 25, 2010

“We may never leave our native land or travel by air or sea; but, if we love and serve God, our lives will be a great adventure. He’ll never take you anywhere He has not already prepared for your arrival. Keep trusting Him.”
~Beth Moore

One of my favorite things about God is that He sees the big picture and he cares about every little detail that he sees. Even before my arrival in Mexico he was preparing me and leading me down this path. When I think back on each detail that fit together to allow me to come, I am astounded by how brilliant God is! And I am eternally grateful that he continues to work on the big picture, even when I get too caught up in the troubles of one day. It inspires me to know that even as I write this, God is at work in the hearts and lives of people all over the world and leading us to the work that he has prepared in advance for us to do!

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Have you ever really thought about everything that goes into “preparing” for your arrival at a certain task that God has lead you to? I am so excited to get to Heaven one day and hear all about the countless times that God prepared the way for me or made details fall into place in my life so that I can be where I am today and wherever I will be next!

God is in control, he sees the big picture and I don’t have to worry about the future because he has it covered! Praise the Lord for caring so much about our stories! Life is such a wonderful adventure and such a grand story. It is freeing to know that my life is not about me. That we are all living in a story that is so much bigger than we are.

It is the story that began in the Garden of Eden,
the story of Eve eating the fruit,
the story of Abraham,
the story of Isaac,
the story of Jacob,
the stories of Joseph and the birth of the Nation of Israel,
the story of Jesus Christ,
the story of the First Church.
It is your story,
it is my story.
It is all the stories that are yet to be lived.
It is not a story about great men or women, but about the constant faithfulness, goodness and provision of our Heavenly Father!

How blessed we are to be a part of the story! And that God cares enough about our roles that he prepares them in advance!