Twenty years ago (or even more), I would never have even contemplated being where I am today. Although I didn’t know exactly where I would be, this is certainly one of the last places I ever thought I would wind up.
I planned to stay single. I planned to roam the world doing anything God asked me–meeting new people, spreading the gospel to every creature who would listen.
Some of my favorite places were various villages in Peru. Those people are so full of compassion and love that it’s unbelievable. In fact, I don’t think I’ve felt so loved by a large group of people, or as safe as I did in those tiny mud and brush homes with no door and no glass windows.
When I was there I felt as though I was finally doing what God wanted from me–and my heart so loved it that I thought it was where I was meant to be forever. I even told those closest to me that I would one day retire in one of these little mud houses.
If you’ve ever so passionately loved to be right where God put you doing right what He asked of you, then it can be hard to make a change when the time comes.
Don’t misunderstand me, I love being right here where I am in my current mission field. But there is always a part that’s hard to leave a previous field. While I know God has His hands on those villages, a little piece of me often looks back at those women in those villages that I spent so much time with–cooking, foraging, weaving, braiding hair, and delivering babies, and sharing smiles and wonders if I’ll ever see any of them again.
Will I ever see those babies all grown up? Will I ever cook in a mud house again? Will I hear their laughter? I have so many good memories, but I often wonder, Am I done there? Will God never take me there to cross paths with all my friends in all those villages ever again? Am I done making a difference in their lives?
This month I was pleasantly surprised to open a box I received in the mail and find a small red beanie cap. When I pulled it out and examined it a bit more carefully, all these memories flooded back to me. At the crown was a tag, and a woman’s name written on it. Who’s name? Although it wasn’t a woman I knew personally, I knew who it was from.
This beanie is normally sold by KK intl. The signature was from the woman who made it. This organization exists to empower people to rise above poverty, and accomplishes this mission through a holistic approach which incorporates jobs, education, and mentorship for vulnerable communities in Uganda and Peru. Beneficiaries are equipped with skills, tools, and resources needed to care for their families and work toward an independent future.
Although I know full-well that our small team of 40 was not the only team helping these people we loved so much, it is sure comforting to hold on to something that represents someone else who is there right now making a difference. It impacted me so much that tears were brought to my eyes and I spent a couple of days telling my children all about these beautiful people.
It was a beautiful time of my own celebration to once again remind myself that I didn’t abandon anyone. My mission field has simply changed. A new continent. A new worldly view to challenge. Same Jesus to tell everyone about.
I shared stories with my children of my time in those villages, and my dream to hopefully return one day when the time is right. For right now, I’m here. I’m celebrating right where God has put me, and loving a lost people around me. The beanie was a gift to one of my sons. It’s his favorite color. When he was born with a heart defect, I knew God was changing my mission field. And seeing him wear this hat is God’s subtle reminder to me that He’s not only here with us, but He’s right there with other people I love taking care of them too.
This beanie was included in February’s Faithbox. If you aren’t familiar with how I’m teaming up with Faithbox this year, you can read that here. The idea is to use everything in the box each month to bless others. While I never intended to keep any of the goodies for myself, you can read about how I kept one thing from the January box for myself that will help me to intentionally bless others all year. And this month, this beanie was kept as a gift to bless my child (and all of them really). He is already looking forward to possibly being used as a missionary himself.
How Did I Use Everything Else In There?
Now, you’ll have to give me a little grace on this one. I got January’s box on the 8th and I had a bit of time to put the contents to good use. This one I only received a week ago and haven’t had a chance to carefully and purposefully use everything yet. I do have plans for those items not utilized yet however.
Everyday Faith monthly devotional: There is a new devotional book for each month, and February’s is aptly themed love. It is firm enough not to get bent up and easily destroyed, small enough it fits into your back pocket, and has room each day for any notes you may want to jot down. I did the same thing with this as I did last month and sent it to a friend of mine that lives in a very spiritually dark place (after I looked through and admired it first).
Young Living Essential Oils: I received 5 mL of lavender. This is obviously a very lovely gift, but when one’s purpose is to bless others with the contents of the box, it takes a bit of pondering. I finally remembered a couple of years ago when I had burned the back of my hand.
A neighbor (who happens to be pagan) brought me the last of her small bottle of lavender. Although she made it clear that I wouldn’t need to replace it, I do now just happen to have a new bottle I can gift in return—and of course, do a little witnessing when I do. You can pray for that interaction Friends if you have the chance.
Conscious Ink Manifestation tattoos: I received two temporary (and very lovely) tattoos in this envelope. 20 years ago I may have even used them on myself. I began thinking about the young people around me. Two specific young ladies in particular came to mind. They sit in the back of our tiny congregation and I don’t know who they belong to!
Shameful, I know. I have only had these tattoos for one Sunday service, and was unable to catch up to them. But I have a firm goal to catch up to them this Sunday and talk to them. Friends if you remember, I myself thought I was a Christian and on my way to heaven until I was told the truth at 16 years old. I have always vowed to share the gospel with anyone around me who would listen. I use my own personal story to continually remind myself that sometimes we miss those closest to us. I fully intend to talk to these two girls and see where they stand—this week.
The two tattoos in my envelope? I AM and Grace. Fitting.
Morso Coffee & Cream 16 mg caffeine bar: It’s chocolate! There is a certain elderly lady who goes to our church that never asks for a ride, but always comes to church when someone goes by her house and helps her out to the car and gives her a ride. She has no family, and really only gets out on Sundays.
I’m not sure she’s ever heard a word any of us have ever said, but she has the best smile and gives great hugs. We are losing this generation of seasoned lovers of the Word. They have amazing stories and testimonies to share. And they are incredibly humble. So humble—that sometimes the world just keeps passing them by. Wanna know a secret? She likes chocolate. And I got an extra hug.
Gifts That Give booklet: This is the monthly booklet from Faithbox discussing the contents of the box, as well as those partnering with them and their vision to encourage Christians worldwide in their faith. I love reading the company stories.
Of course, I also filled in January’s praise report in my yearly planner as February moved in (from last month’s Faithbox).
Have you heard of Faithbox yet? Have you signed up? (Affiliate link) Signed a friend or loved one up yet? You can sign up to get just one box, get a previous box (while supplies last), or choose from a 3 month or one year plan.
I have received so many questions from readers who see the Faithbox banners on my site asking what was in them. I realized at one time that I don’t know what’s in them either, so my goal became simply to get them and share with you what is in them.
I was so impressed in January, I even told them that I wished everyone was blessed by them like I was. But I didn’t want to jump the gun and tell you all that yet. After all, it could have been a fluke–you know, just one really awesome box. After receiving this box, my second one, I am now convinced. This is the gift I want to bless others with.
All products are from truth-grounded companies. Every product is designed to bless the receiver and can be used for the receiver to bless others in return. Also, for every box they ship, they provide 3 meals to hungry kids around the world. There are a lot of monthly box subscriptions out there, but this one has really earned my vote for a keeper.
How about you? If you received a Faithbox this month, I’d love to hear how you are using it to build your faith and/or bless others.
And I’d also love to hear how you’ve embraced changes God has implemented in your life as well.