Monday, July 1, 2013

Reflections on Serving - Jamie

We had a truly blessed week in Colima, Mexico serving and learning and having a whole lot of fun.  Before we left, we had three purposes for our trip:

  1. To serve orphans and their caregivers in Mexico 

  2. To grow deeper in our relationships with God, with our church body, our families, and the universal church 

  3. To let our hearts be transformed by the need in our world and teach our children lives of grateful service by example
    And God really knocked our socks off in all three areas. 

If you ask any of the 16 members of the CenterPoint team, we’ll talk your ear off about the trip, telling our our unique stories and the work that God did in us and through us in Colima, both through our struggles and through the fun times.

For me, I left Mexico with lots of lessons and impressions, but one of the strongest was what a joy it was to contribute to and serve in a place truly focused on the best interests of the kids living there.  No child should have to grow up in institutional care – every child deserves a permanent home and a loving family.  But if a kid does have to spend time in a group home, Hogar de Amor is the best I can imagine.  I’m an adoptive parent – I have 2 children by birth and 2 by adoption – and our family knows firsthand the struggles and damage institutional care introduces into a kid’s life.

I was really struck by Hogar de Amor.  It’s a place where kids are surrounded with the love of Christ and provided for by caregivers who truly love them and love Jesus.  It’s a place where kids are supported by a church family who cares about them and their future, their education, their hearts, and their souls.  Serving in Hogar de Amor even for a few days truly was a privilege.

The other thing I learned about in a whole new way last week was the unity of the body of Christ. In preparation for this trip, we studied the book of Ephesians.  Ephesians talks a lot about unity and in Ephesians 4:1-3, Paul writes:

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

We were a very diverse group, spanning 60 years and every vocation out there.  Some of us were focused on forming deeper relationships with caregivers and kids.  Some of us really wanted to go heads-down and complete our projects.  We each had different struggles – health struggles, language struggles, heat and fatigue struggles.  And God used it all! 

I experienced the unity of the Body of Christ, the Family of Christ in a whole new way in Colima.  This isn’t uniformity – God created us unique and loves our uniqueness – but rather unity of heart and purpose, a unity of Spirit. God grew in me a deeper respect and love for his church and a devotion to each member of our team.

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