In 2014, my husband and I stood on the deck of our dream home, overlooking the Portland skyline and told God that our life was His. We had achieved the “American Dream” yet for months something did not feel right. How could it be that we had everything we wanted and had worked hard for, yet something was missing. We prayed the scary prayer for God to do with our life whatever He wanted. We loved Jesus more than anything but realized that our priorities were not a reflection of what we loved most, and something had to change.
As a couple we immediately dove into God’s Word, soaking in every word, more than we had ever done in our whole lives. It was as if we were reading His Word for the first time. Every verse being more convicting than the last. In our reading we came across this vers: “Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, if any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang onto your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. (Mark 8:34-35NLT)
Why had we not seen this before!? We had, but CLEARLY we weren’t listening. It was a slap in the face. We were disappointed in ourselves and our life. We were pursuing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. Chasing the America Dream instead of seeking ways to further God’s Kingdom. We prayed: God, use us! Let us be your hands and feet. Allow us to help those who need you the most. May everything I do in this life glorify You. Since that prayer, He has guided our every step as well as challenged our faith to new levels.
The journey to get here has not been easy as we have had to sell our beautiful home, our business, our goods and lifestyle but the joy we feel to finally be living out the meaning of “take up your cross and follow Me” is God’s beautiful reward.
We came to Bolivia with Remember Nhu, an organization committed to preventing girls from entering the sex trade. We were able to dive into the communities and girls that they were currently working with and expand that to over 50 girls in one short year. In June 2018, we were given permission by Remember Nhu to take over their entire program in Bolivia. Helping people create their own non-profits was a vision the founder recently expressed, and we were excited and happy to take on the challenge. Thus, Amparo Bolivia was born. Amparo received approval from the government in November of 2017, to open girls’ home solely geared towards girls who were at risk of entering the sex trade or being exploited.
We feel blessed to be able to serve the girls in Bolivia and lead the charge as being the first Non-Profit in Bolivia that helps to prevent girls from being trafficked and exploited. We are excited to grow and transform into whatever realm God leads us. He is and will always be the primary focus of what we do. It is our privilege to work in community with the girls and families that God has led us to and to be able to share the Agape love of Jesus and what He did for us on the cross.
Above all else, we believe our lifework (no matter where we are) is to practice the way of Jesus, abide in His Word, and to be in community with believers as well as the people around us.
Take in the light. Be the light. Share the light