Hey to everyone that is still following me here, even when I sadly fail on the #Janblogaday project! (Sorry Lindsey). Also, hi to my great supporters *friends and family who are starting to follow this blog now.
As you can see, I have opened a new category on my blog <in.between.and.among. justice.>. It is basically the same concept of “Inbetween” itself, pour my heart on virtual ink and let you guys be part of that. I would love to use this to share with you my experience while I am doing my fellowship with IJM. So I guess this is my first official update.
As many of you know, my heart’s desire is to serve God and others. I believe that as long as my life can help make someone’s life better, then it would be worth it to live it! And that is why I have worked with my church and got involved in the development and relief world of Non Profits the past years. And now I am so thankful to God for this opportunity.
To give a little bit of a background, to the ones that still don’t know it, last year I was invited to join International Justice Mission as a Community Relations Fellow, and I accepted. IJM is a human rights organization that, basically, seeks justice around the world. As they say in their website, “IJM seeks to make public justice systems work for victims of abuse and oppression who urgently need the protection of the law.”
In Bolivia they rescued dozens of children from situations of brutal sexual violence. They sought and obtained justice against numerous perpetrators and have worked with the victims and their families to restore their lives. And I have the privilege to join them in this fight in my own country. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!
At the beginning of January, and thanks to your donations, I was able to attend their Orientation week in Washington D.C. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have had so far. I saw God’s perfect love in action through every single person I was able to meet there. Also, I was able to understand WHAT and WHY IJM does what it does, HOW THEY do it, and HOW I can help.
Orientation week was incredible, but it was also challenging. Besides the fact that it was 24/7 English – something I am not used to – and around 3pm I was in desperate need of a Coffee IV, there was so much information to digest and so many amazing things that I have learned, that I will try to share it with you, post by post, so maybe you can feel the same that I did there.
“The work of justice is done by the power of the God of justice” is what Gary Haugen, IJM President and CEO, said at the beginning of our first day of training. Our first day was called Spiritual Foundations. We talked about the God of justice and what justice really is. We talked about the importance of taking action against injustice and oppression. And we talked about our role as individuals, as Christians, and as humans in this equation. I loved it!
The second day of training, my heart was moved by one slide they showed us. Gary Veurink, IJM Executive Vice President and Chief Operation Officer, was talking about how he ended up working there. He showed a slide and shared, “When I saw this, I couldn’t believe it. This is one of the main reasons I am here.” Here’s the slide:
Did you have the same feeling I had? I was shocked. But at the same time I was humbled. It is thanks to you guys, your financial support, your prayers, your words of encouragement and all your support in general that I am blessed by the opportunity to join that small group of people fighting against oppression.
After my time in D.C., I flew back home to start my fellowship at the IJM Bolivia office. I started on January 21st, and I have to say that I love it so far! On my first week there, the office celebrated that justice was obtained for one of our clients. She was brutally abused by her stepfather, but he is now serving a 20 year sentence. I also learned about a case that IJM Bolivia completed in November of last year. A former police officer has now been sent to jail for 10 years for sexually abusing his 11 year-old step daughter. These cases came to IJM in 2012 and 2009. Now, 2013, these two little girls and their families can rejoice in the fact that justice was achieved. They know her life is important because justice was sought! And she wasn’t alone in the process of obtaining it. *read the story
So today, I just want to thank all of you. Every day I pray for you, and it is not just me partnering with IJM to seek justice in Bolivia, but every single one of you is doing it too. You guys are coming to the office with me every day!
Before I am done with my post today, I would like to give you some of my personal prayer requests. So please pray for:
* For the IJM Bolivia staff: the work of justice can be amazing when it’s successful, but it can be frustrating when justice is delayed. Please pray for us, so God’s love, grace, mercy, joy and strength can be with us every day. Also pray for physical protection for everyday tasks, investigations, attending hearings, therapy sessions, etc.
* For me: I have been facing quite a few roadblocks these days. My mom had a bad car accident while I was in Orientation Week. I am thankful for God’s protection in it; she is doing well but please pray for her recovery; it’s going slow. Also, please pray for me, so I can grow in my relationship with God every day and so I can find and enjoy moments of calm and peace. Finally, please help me pray for the financial support that I still need to raise. As you know, I need 13,000 US dollars for my time serving here to cover all my living expenses, and right now I have been able to raise only 25% of it, meaning I just have one more month from today covered. Pray for God’s provision and for Him to increase my faith in knowing and trusting that He cares and he will provide.
* For my church: We are still in the process to get a new pastor. Last Sunday we voted for one, and he will be able to come in August. So till then, we are “pastorless” for some months. Please pray for God’s guidance for this time.
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! I can’t wait to give you more updates on what God is doing here.
* If you are able to support me financially you could donate online on the link below .I am really thankful for any amount you could contribute with, it can make a difference for me to keep serving on this project.
(Please make sure you select my name on the Intern/Fellow section or the donation won’t come to my fundraising goal. If you are in The US all donations are Tax Deductible, and please let me know if you are able to donate, so I can keep track of all donations).
Ps> Pictures of me having fun in D.C.