Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Look at Missions both Near and Far

Sarah Hughes is one of the newest members of the Leadership Council here at Church of the Apostles. Here is a glimpse inside what the Lord has laid on her heart through being involved with missions both here in Raleigh and through two trips to our sister church in Rwanda. 

Sarah and the "Abishyzehamwe"
("The people who decided to be together)
As the Executive Director of a Church of the Apostles ministry partner, House of Hope of NC, and being blessed to go on the Rwanda
partnership trip for the past 2 years, I have a unique view of missions at Apostles. Being a part of both of these partnerships make a huge personal impact on me. In particular, young women are a passion of mine. I love seeing God pursue us women and change us to be like Him. This past trip to Rwanda I was able to spend some time with a group of women in Gikomero who have come together to support one another because they have lost the support of their family because they have had children out of wedlock. While I was with them I shared this passage from Isaiah:

Isaiah 61:1-3

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.”

This is God’s heart for all of these young women. For all of us. It reminds me each time I read it how much he loves me, loves us. He wants to take our dark, scary, and painful and turn it into beauty, joy, and praise! Walking with these young women, at House of Hope and in Rwanda, is a true honor. I will never be the same because of it. To see their bravery as they face hard things and trust in God and His faithfulness causes me to trust Him more and more. 

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