Purpose in the pain
What God's teaching me: Sometimes blessings are hidden in painful places. Apostle Paul thought his ministry was over when he was thrown into prison, but the truth was there was a new ministry in an unlikely place that looked nothing like a "blessing." Yet while in prison, Paul was able to reach the jailer and his whole family for God. Am I willing to endure what doesn't feel like a "blessing" to be used by God in the most unlikely circumstances and places?
Please God, let me be willing to go and endure whatever will further your kingdom even if it doesn't look like the blessings I pray for and seek after. What is God teaching you?
ASk the question
Are you mature? (I do not mean in age.) Part of our maturity is to be able to take criticism and even ask others, "What weaknesses do you see in me that could hinder me in life?" Not many of us want to ask this question but if you can, without making excuses, you will mature. Don't fool yourself, we all have blind spots in our personalities.
Are you willing to ask someone you trust today? I asked and this is one that I got. "You seem to have to say the same thing 5 different ways and it wastes people's time so people don't want to engage in a conversation with you because it lasts too long. "
That may seem easy and not harsh, but trust me when you hear yours it will sting and you will want to make excuses. But don't, thank the person for being brave and loving you enough to tell you and take the meat and spit out the bones. And if someone has said hard stuff to you recently, know how hard it was and believe they must love you because it is so much easier to avoid confrontation and run! If you are brave, ask someone today!
Is your greatest desire in life to be comfortable? Or impactful?
God rarely uses anyone who desires comfort, but instead loves to call us out of our comfort zones to do great things for HIM. But you have to be willing, because the next thing He calls you to might not be the most comfortable, but it WILL be good. Are you ready to get out of your box for Jesus? Listen to Holly Wehde share about being out of the box.
Today Pastor Mike & Holly share some of the main ingredients that have given them an Uncommon Marriage that has brought glory to God for over 28 years.
Traveling to Asia's Brothels
While in Asia, I went to the brothels. The women I met were not women in a movie or a story, they were my sisters, they were my mother, they were my daughters.
I laughed with them about our children and we shared experiences. We had many. But then a "client" showed up and one of the young women went out back with him. I wanted to yell at him, at her, "NO, STOP! YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS!" But I was there to build relationships and offer LOVE and HOPE, not to judge.
It took everything in my being not to rip her out of his grip. But she had babies at home that were hungry and needed their bellies to be filled. I could help for a time but what about the other 100 women? What about their babies? Unlike me, these women had no education, unlike me, they had no choices. Unlike me, they had hungry babies.
But Trades of Hope is changing that! We are giving them a choice. The women in this picture have been empowered out of the brothels and they are making jewelry and learning new skills to give them a future and a hope and a way to fill their babies bellies.
The experience changed me and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing my work makes a difference. Join Trades of Hope as a Compassionate Entrepreneur or pass this on and tell a friend and bring HOPE and LOVE and fill some bellies!
Experiencing brothels in asia
I am here in the brothels of Asia and my heart is both broken and filled with hope! Trades of Hope has begun working with a group here that rescues girls out of these brothels. Sadly, girls as young as 9 years old. The group has safe houses that the girls can go to find love and hope! The working age girls are given the opportunity to make jewelry and in the process, they learn how to read and write and they can get certified in things like Photoshop and MOS (Microsoft).
This opens doors for the girls that they never dreamed possible. Most of them have only gone to school up to 2nd or 3rd grade because of poverty. Many times families don't see the need to educate girls, as it is the boy child that takes care of the parents as they get old. They actually have a saying in this area that translates to say something like, ”to educate a girl child is to educate someone else’s child.”
These girls have suffered so much abuse and rejection from a very young age. They say that they only dream of survival and the brothels allow them to eat and have a roof over their head. “Now they dare to dream for more.”
We fell in love with this group’s mission and heart to change lives and show God's love. I got to spend time with these beautiful girls and hear their stories of pain and triumph. It is an honor that they would entrust their stories to Trades of Hope.
The artisan group has a vision to help so many more girls out of the brothels so they reached out to Trades of Hope, knowing our home party model will get their story and jewelry into the hands of so many more people. So we are humbled to share their stories and their jewelry with you soon through Trades of Hope!
We brought presents of mascara, earrings, and candy for the girls from our Compassionate Entrepreneurs. We also had a nail painting pizza party with them. It was amazing to spend time with them and know that we can make a HUGE difference in the lives of so many more girls like them!
Thank you for supporting women in poverty and around the world through your purchases, hosting home parties and being a Compassionate Entrepreneur! It truly is life changing! Who knew that jewelry, scarves, handbags and home décor could do so much good!
We are looking for women in the USA to become Compassionate Entrepreneurs and help us rescue and empower more girls out of the brothels in Asia and around the world. You can make an income while helping a woman make an income at the same time. It is a beautiful dignified partnership! (We do not share the girl's pictures, names or location to protect them from the pimps, government, and shaming.)
Insecurity will Destroy you
God is all about relationships and the enemy is all about destroying relationships. It's usually pride that ruins relationships. We want to look good, be liked, be appreciated and for people to see our value. And we want "our" way and think it's the best way.
Sometimes we sabotage relationships by trying to manipulate situations to get our way and to look good to others. That usually backfires and we look bad and it causes a mess!
Have you ever tried to manipulate a situation to get your way? What were the results? (No one wants to admit they've done this and sometimes we wrap it in a lot of "Good Reasons", and we don't see it until it's too late.)
I've learned its always better to assume the best about others and assume they think the best about me. Even if it's not true, it can change the situation and that person.
And letting others shine is more important than getting credit. (Although, my insecurities do creep up and I still struggle with this.)
My heart breaks when I see relationships ruined because of our stupid insecurities! So our challenge is to be honest about our insecurities and when we get upset look and see, is our pride the reason? And if it is, deal with it and don't let it bubble out and ruin relationships. Praying for you (and me) about this today.