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Saying “YES” to God

Serve The World


Saying “YES” to God

Mar 23, 2018

Saying “YES” to God

Mar 23, 2018

One weekend. One offering. Global impact.

We’re in the home stretch before Easter, which means our Easter Global Project is right around the corner. Over this next week, would you ask God to show you how you might give next weekend? Your generous and sacrificial gift will allow our Global Mission Partners to work on your behalf, breaking the chains of despair and changing someone’s forever future. Our goal of raising $200,000 is possible – and we know God will stretch every dollar for His kingdom!Our Global Mission Partners – Harvest IndiaEmpowering Lives International, and The Living Room Ministry – are on the ground and doing the work of Jesus, and we have the privilege of coming alongside them through our missions teams. Last week, we shared Sierra Perry’s story, and now, here are the stories of two more of our own who stepped into God’s work across the world.

Last summer, Olivia McRae said “YES” to God, left the comforts of home and traveled to Kenya with the Hillside team. She shares the most significant moment…

The most impactful part of my trip to Kenya was our visit to the Living Room, a place where people go in the last seasons of their life to be loved and cared for. When I had heard that we were going to visit there, and as the days drew closer, I began to grow anxious because I was expecting a place filled with the horrors of sickness and death. I had grown up visiting hospitals to watch my sister undergo treatment so I was not eager to return there.Upon arrival, however, we were greeted by the staff and many of the patients singing for us and giving us these beautiful multicolored bouquets. It left me speechless. I was expecting sadness, but instead was greeted by their overwhelming hospitality.

One person who stuck out to me in particular was a girl, about 14-years-old named Charlene. During her birth, she most likely didn’t receive enough oxygen to her brain, resulting in cerebral palsy. As I talked to Julie McGowan Boits, the founder of the Living Room, she said Charlene had been left in her house and was close to starvation. When I saw her, she was in her wheelchair with little mobility, but she had the biggest smile on her face – one that I don’t think left her face the entire time we were there. Although she couldn’t communicate with us verbally, her laughter and smiles made us all fall in love with her.Charlene showed me what it meant to be joyful; that it’s not purely circumstantial, but true joy flows through every season of life. 

Going to India was way out of Kathleen Valenzuela’s comfort zone. However, she wanted to put her faith and her education to use serving others, and she knew God was calling her.

I didn’t have a good idea what to expect from the people or from myself. The biggest impression I brought home with me is how much God is doing in that country through Harvest India. I am so confident now in telling others that God is at work and encouraging others to join them.

One example comes from the first elder home we visited. Of course we expected to see elderly people there – but we were surprised to see just as many children! It turns out that a group of gypsies had asked Harvest India to take care of their children so they could get an education. The elder home had some space and so the decision was made. The children were happy and looked well cared for. The elderly people had a new way to enjoy their days, playing with and watching a group of happy children. Seemed like a great idea to me!Suresh Kumar, president of Harvest India, shared with us that his policy is to say “yes” when asked for help. I think that’s a wonderfully simple way to trust God. I want to say how profoundly moved I was by the scope of Harvest India’s work. It is widespread and varied. To see a beautiful example of love and creative solutions to poverty offered in the name of Jesus, just look at a home shared by a handful of senior citizens and a group of happy children. Heaven may look much the same.