I'm back from Costa Rica! It was an incredible time and I'm excited to share about it! I was in Costa Rica for seven days. On five of those days, I and the other team members went to a transitional home for children to do crafts, games and share Jesus with them.
The kids at this home have been taken from their families due to abuse and neglect. There were babies under a year-old there, all the way up to teen girls (teen boys live at a different home).
My favorite time in Costa Rica was on the last day at the children's home. I and a few of the other female team members painted the teenage girls nails. Throughout the week, many of the older girls were withdrawn. But that time with them was close and intimate, and the girls seemed to become more open and comfortable with us.
I dealt with homesickness much more than I expected. I had no family or friends who came on this trip with me. Thankfully, the team was amazing. I was comfortable with them and we all worked well together.
Satan would have loved to use my homesickness to cause me to be ineffective and ruin the trip for me. But after that first day of meeting the kids, I prayed that the homesickness wouldn't stop me from showing love to them. And in my missing home, God helped me identify with these children who didn't have a home. That initial low feeling was turned to thankfulness and praising for the home and family I do have, and a renewed determination to let God love these kids through me.
I went to Costa Rica through a Christian organization called Visiting Orphans, and their slogan is “Go. Be. Love.” These three words do not just apply to missions trips, but to our everyday lives as we live in relationship with Jesus.
This doesn't just speak of going on missions trips, but going about our every day lives ready to serve; expecting God to reveal Himself to us and through us and recognizing the opportunities He gives to share Him with those around us.
You have an identity in Christ. You are His beloved. Living out who you are in Jesus reflects His character to others. Let who you are in Christ define what you do, not the other way around.
This verse says you are. It's not about “doing” as much as it is about “being”. It is about identity, our identity in Christ.
Notice also how this verse says cannot be hidden. This is a promise to us: if our identity is found Christ, we are His light, and that light cannot be hidden. People will see it.
This goes along with identity, as the foundation of our identity is the fact that we are loved by Jesus. In this love, we can Go and serve others and we can Be all Jesus has created us to be.
So whether you're on a missions trip in a foreign country, or you're going about your routine day, whether you're dealing with homesickness, or stress, or worry, or you're on top of the world, I encourage you to Go. Be. Love. through it all.