I have officially been at The Relief Bus for 1 year!
This has been the most joyful, exciting, heartbreaking, challenging, demanding, and hopeful year for me yet.
I never thought that I'd be a "missionary", raising support from others in order to live - especially in New Jersey! But it's been amazing to see how God works. Every time I was worried about something, God provided. Every time. From my wallet being stolen in Newark, and being returned with nothing missing, to my car being broken into (twice), God provided. Thank you to those of you who have partnered with me in this. Your prayers are coveted and your support appreciated.
I have experienced things I had only before seen in movies and taken the burdens of my new friends on the street as my own. I have lost good friends to the bitter cold and hardships that the street life brings. I have seen pure evil manifested in life-gripping addictions, hatred towards others, and complete and utter hopelessness.
Yet, above all, I have seed the redemptive power that LOVE can have in turning broken and shattered lives around. Over and over again, this has been shown. People that were sick have been healed, the lame have walked, and the darkness inside of me has been redeemed! I have seen someone go from angry, bitter, and addicted to substances, just stop. Individuals living alone and on the street have found hope! I have seem straight up miracles, and not just once, but multiple times!
In addition to loving and serving my friends on the street, I get the opportunity to meet and lead volunteers from all over the world. I have the absolute pleasure to meet nervous, yet expectant individuals that come in for a day or week of a “missions trip”, and see what happens when we really to serve “the least of these”. Life change! For our volunteers, just as much as for those we serve. Every single day, every single week. Through just being me, and doing what I love to do and was created to do, I am able to lead others to loving better, serving better, and hopefully returning them to their home towns to do the same!
I don’t know what the future holds. So many times I have tried to schedule out and plan where I was going to go or what I was going to do, but God has always changed my plans. Ha! So now all I am focused on doing is loving others today. My only goal is to purposefully look for opportunities to love and serve others. While I’m commuting to work, I’m looking for broken down cars or people walking that I can help. When I’m at the grocery store, I’m trying to look for conversations to have or people to smile at. And continually, I’m trying to love myself, my family, my friends, and my future friends, with the love that I read about in the Bible. That true Jesus love that doesn’t put expectations, boundaries, or requirements on it, but just seeks to LOVE.
Much love my friends, thank you for joining me on this exciting and crazy adventure!