Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Speaking in Church

I had the chance of speaking in church recently, and I thought I would share my speech with you. I have been nervous to put it up here, it makes me feel somewhat vulnerable to have more people than my small church family know my thoughts and feelings... But here goes!

Thank you everyone for giving me the opportunity to speak with you today. For those of you who don’t know, I have been a member of the Trinity Lutheran church congregation for a couple of years now. And last october, I was blessed to be able to go to Winnipeg and then Uganda while taking a Discipleship Training School through Youth With A Mission. They describe it as 12 weeks of intensive training in a classroom setting, and a 2 month outreach. Truly, it was those things, but then also very much more for me, and my fellow team members, which was made up of 3 other young women, and two young men.

During each week of lecture phase, we had the privilege of learning from different speakers who taught us a wide variety of topics. Every week my life changed, sometimes, it felt like every minute my life was vastly different . We heard lectures on Community, Global missions, prayer and worship, evangelism, conversations about Jesus, and Justice to list a few.

The focus of the school WAS Justice, and at it's heart was Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God.” The school was a time to look into how God loves Justice, and how we as christians need to take an active role in our world because it has been commanded of us.

- My eyes and heart were opened more than I thought could be possible, and it made me yearn for God to show me more into what is needed and to show me my role within it. Did you know that human trafficking (or slavery) is the 3rd largest criminal enterprise today? And, that On average 2 children per minute are bought and sold for sexual exploitation? That equals to about 27 million people enslaved globally today. And did you also know that 30, 000 children die each day due to global poverty? It made me wonder what I was doing as a Christian, and what my role is. In matthew 22:37-39 it says “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment, And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” All of this seemed so overhwelming to me at first, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with all of the things I was learning, with all of the things I was seeing, and most importantly where I fit in. 2 recurring themes kept coming up for me and continues to keep coming up, the first of which is to DO SOMETHING. Anything. A cup of coffee, or the change in my pocket, to share the gospel with someone, or to sit in a chair and listen to one of the inner city kids we worked with, tell a story of how she witnessed her Mom get raped in front of her. He other theme comes from Mother Theresa, We are not called to do great things but little things with great love”. I got to sit with that little girl and make crafts with her, giving her a break from thinking about life, and giving her Mom a much needed break from a child who has seen too much in her 9 years, and acts out in school causing her to be expelled from most elementaries in inner city Winnipeg.

- Being in the inner city of Winnipeg showed me the need for community, the need to act, and to look at people with much more love and compassion than I thought I could. During one week in Winnipeg, I got to spend some time being “homeless”, I panhandled, i went and spent the day on the streets, giving my lunch and my time away to people who needed it, I worked in soup kitchens and handed roses out to prostitutes late one night to show them how beautiful God thinks they are, and how beautiful we thought they were as well. One corner is called desperation corner, and it's where the women and men go to sell themselves for the cheapest price. We set out to give one girl a rose and she was frightened, and screamed at us, calling us terrible names (not a usual reaction let me tell you) she was scared, scared because there were 3 of us, scared because we had Jesus walking with us, scared because we were a deterrant to her Johns.... And through it all, I don’t remember the prostitute I spoke to briefly but i remember her, and all I could think after seeing her out there was how much God loves her, and how much God loves the John that picked her up a minute after we walked away...

- It showed me how much we are to be connected to those around us, and how socially connected Jesus was to those around him

- Thanks to everyone here for all of their prayers and support I was able to go on outreach to Uganda Africa .

- Uganda was a challenging time for me, and for my team.

- In Uganda we were priviliged to work in a variety of ministries, (Women at risk - prostitutes who wanted to get off the streets)(Mother and Child health – midwifery, pregnancy and baby immunization clinic)(Amacet childrens home for children who are either infected or affected by HIV/AiDS)..(We lived in a small village and worked in people’s fields , we pumped water at a well for the local women)(we worked in a medical clinic)(and spring of hope a YWAM team devoted to helping children whith disabilities gain some normalcy) We also go to do a hospital tour in Soroti. While working in Amacet children’s home god gave me the opportunity to learn and discover more and more about my own heart, He was slowly etching away old parts of me, and although raw he was slowly revealing the true person He created. All of the babies there have had their lives touched by HIV/AIDS.

- While working my shifts at amacet, I got to meet a tiny baby. His name was Basil. Baby Basilwas around 2 months old, and he had been born at least 2 months premature. His Mommy had died during childbirth and it was unknown whether or not she had HiV/AIDS. So it was not known if baby basil suffered from the virus, and because the babies are so small and anti retroviral drugs are hard on a body, the babies usually don’t get tested until a little older. Baby Basil was very tiny when he was born, like so many other children that come to call amacet home, he weighed only 2 and a half pounds. He was so tiny that he wasn’t able to feed from a bottle, he was tube fed up until shortly before we arrived in uganda. `He was getting really strong, eating from a bottle and interacting with us. I loved to hold his tiny body in my arms, and everyday that I held him humbled me, and showed me just how much love i was capable of and it helped me to see a small amount of how much god loves me, and each and every one of us. Basil was an awesome little testimament to God’s grace and his love. Baby Basil had grown to a more healthy weight of 5 pounds when his health took a turn for the worse, he passed away quickly for reasons we’ll never know, but his little life made a huge impact on me, he humbled me, and i hope he will always remain with me my whole life.

- The love God feels for us is equal with all of us, he loves the little inner city girl, the prostitute and John, and tiny baby basil , all the same. It is our calling as His, to continue to do justice love mercy and walk humbly .

- Thank you again for your time.


  1. Me too Jamie! I was told afterward that it was the best speech given after a DTS at our church! Whoa! It was such an honour!