At the risk of gushing, let me tell you a little about my BFF Julie. She’s incredibly humble, so she will likely be horrified that I am dedicating an entire post to her. Julie is one of the most kind and compassionate people that I have ever met. She would literally give you the shirt off her back. Well, she would if she had two shirts on–she’s very modest.
She tirelessly volunteers to help our homeless and at risk friends in the community. I mean it when I say friends, because that is precisely how she feels about them. If I listed all of the organizations that she works with, the list would be as long as my arm. (Those of you who know me, know that I have seriously long gorilla arms.)
She does so much that she was given a woman of the year award last spring. Most of our friends heard about it when they read the article in the local paper, because she didn’t tell anyone. Are you getting a feel for her character, yet?
She also visited Haiti with Bright Hope, a few months after the devastating earthquake. Our church sponsors a school, and she was part of a team that visited the school and other areas to see what else could be done to help. Enrollment tripled at the school after we began sponsoring it, partly because the children are fed a meal each day. For most of them, that is the only meal they will given on any given day.
The first words out of her mouth when I picked her up from the airport and she hugged my two younger boys was “Oh Kirsten! You don’t know how good it is to see healthy children!” Of course, that made me cry. (It’s what I do.)
Julie left for India on Monday, with a team from our church. They are going to learn about what International Justice Mission is doing to fight sex-trafficking in the red light district of Kolkata (Calcutta). IJM rescues and provides aftercare for women who have been kidnapped and/or sold to work in brothels. Some of which are not yet teenagers. Just thinking about that makes my heart hurt. They are also going to see what Big Life has been up to, reaching those who don’t know Christ. None of their activities are without personal risk, and yet she goes gladly, willingly, and with a humble heart.
So today, as I live my comfortably domestic life, I am thinking of Julie, Nick, and Jen while they are in India. I’m thinking of the atrocities that are commonplace in other parts of the world, and how blessed I am to have never experienced any them first hand. I live in a country where I am free to be educated, heard with my vote, and walk unaccompanied on the street without fear for my safety. My children have never been brutalized for profit, known what it is to truly be hungry, or without a home.
And for all that, and so much more, I am so very thankful.