The person who impacted me this week was Maghan Burkeen. Maghan is a detective with the Portland police and she was speaking to us about trafficking. The information she shared was awesome but what impacted me was her devotion. Maghan shared about how hard her job is working with young girls who have been trafficked here in Oregon. Also she shared that she does it because it needs to be done. But she does not just do her job – she gives 150% commitment and is willing to do anything else she can. Something inside me was moved. I have heard hundreds of speakers try to inspire people to take action and do something in life. This time listening to Maghan for the first time I thought what am I doing about trafficking? Maybe it was because she was not pushing, but more informing. I think it’s because God has started to work in me to face my fears. I don’t mean to go and jump out of a plane, face my fears. I am talking about challenging my fears. Asking myself what are you afraid of? Telling my fears they have no ground here. So it’s not about if I can do something to help trafficking anymore, but what am I doing?
The person who impacted me this week was Octavia. She is the worship leader for Love by Example (LBE). I have never seen worship done the way she leads it on Friday nights. Octavia is all alone up there and she sings along to a CD. I always enjoy being blessed to travel and experience so many different ways to worship and this one was just as exciting to me. I think it keeps my mind open to how there are many ways to worship our Lord. The thing that impacted me was how fearless she was. The truth is, back home this kind of worship probably would not be accepted. It’s just not the way they do things. You have to be pretty gifted to be a part of the worship team and there is definitely no room for alternative ideas. So as I stood there and watched her sing along with all her heart and not caring what anyone thought about the way she chose to worship, I was in awe. I want to worship like that. I want to not care about anyone else’s opinions or views. Octavia was free and living her life as a response. I want to know God’s love and live my life as a response. If I understood in my heart the way God loves me, I too would let go and worship God with all of my heart. I say I don’t care what people think about me, and on some levels it is true, but I want to really understand freedom from people’s opinions. I want to sing!
Blessed to be a Blessing
I thought I was impacting my good friend Colleen when I had an Idea to raise money and take her to a concert for her birthday. But the truth is God really impacted Colleen. Sometimes I think things are my idea when a thought comes to my mind of how to bless someone. So I go to God and ask him what he thinks, will he provide, should I go for it. In this situation God did provide and I felt like He did say to “Go for it.” As I sat in the concert watching Colleen rejoice and enjoy what God had provided for all of us, I realized I was being blessed so much. This whole thing was God’s idea from the beginning. He was not just trying to bless Colleen who He loves so much, but He was also blessing me. The love I felt at the concert was almost too much to describe. God’s presence was all around me and God was pouring out His blessing on all of us. My presence at dinner with Colleen or my ability to make the whole thing happen is what may have impacted Colleen. My hope is that she too felt God’s love through the whole experience and that is what impacts her in the long run. God’s blessing can not be matched by anything in this world.
One of the things that impacted me this week was Friday night street evangelism. The experience over all was very eye opening and exciting. The impact was really people’s stories. Everyone has a story and the more I learn to listen, the more I see that all people really want is to be listened to. Some of the stories I was blessed to hear a little of at the bus stop that night touched my heart. A young man coming to visit his 2 year old son, shared about his ex-girl friend’s man beating up his baby. Another girl shared about the decision she made as a child to tattoo her face and what living that out has been like. A woman told us about her 8 children and life when you have been married for 48 years. Finally a young girl standing in the cold for hours not wanting any help from us. What was her story at 15? Why was she alone at night and dressed the way she was? I know God loves these people 200 times more than I do and I was falling in love with each and every one of them. They were sharing their heart on a busy corner because someone cared.
I hope these stories encouraged you as much as they have me!