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I’m thrilled to welcome back Linda Bello-Ruiz. Recently, she shared how God got her attention on a beach in San Francisco and how He sent her to Costa Rica to help the young girls in prostitution. Today, she will share what God currently has her working on.
Someone recently asked me about my “mission.” At first I thought, “I’m not involved in any mission work now,” but after thinking and musing and praying about the question for a few days, a light bulb came on. I’m a Christian. Of course I have a mission. I have a mission and you have a mission, too.
Yes, during the days of The House of Hope, as described in my memoir, From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope, I had a well-defined “mission.” I directed a halfway house and advocated for street girls, runaways and underage prostitutes in Costa Rica. I was a bona-fide “missionary.”
But when I returned to the United States, I became a “civilian” as it was—an ordinary go-to-church-believe-in-Christ Christian. I devoted my life to my family and also to my clients when I began work as a counselor. Was that my “mission?” I never thought about it in those terms.
I lived my Christian life and left the “mission” work for those who venture around the world saving lost souls or for those who selflessly open shelters and missions and help others in the name of the Lord.
But wait…aren’t we all missionaries, every day of every year?
YES, we are. Here’s how I now see God’s divine hand in my life. Every day I wake up and say, “What do you have for me today, Lord?” and then I set out to be a missionary…to be an angel used by God.
Last year, in Mexico where I live part of the year, I strolled without a care down the street to buy fresh tortillas when in front of me, on the corner, I saw a starving dog–a Doberman Pincher so skinny and weak she could hardly stand up.
The mandate was immediate. “Rescue that dog!” It was like lightning struck my heart with compassion and I set out to save that dog. It’s been nearly a year now and Frida the dog is healthy and happy. It took two surgeries, lots of food and nutrients, friends in the neighborhood to feed her while I was away, forming a relationship with the owners to teach them how to care for her and how to make dog food out of rice, beans, tortillas and meat scraps from the butcher. Frida was saved and I’m delighted that God (yes, I believe it was God’s doing) placed her in front of me that day and gave me a heart for her.
The list is long of the animals and people God has put in my path. Sometimes it’s holding a friend’s hand as they pour their heart out, or paying the grocery bill for the sad-looking women in front of me in the grocery checkout line who is frantically counting her pennies, or driving a neighbor to the doctor because he/she can no longer drive.
EACH OF US is a missionary and we’re on a “mission” every day– a mission possible. Buildings don’t contain us and we don’t have financial advisors and pamphlets to tell the world about us. But God needs us and uses us. We just need to be alert, and have a willing heart and kind Spirit.
Over the last six months, I have felt internal “promptings” telling me my work for the Lord has come full circle. Those many years ago, God led me to work with underage prostitutes and street girls in Costa Rica. Suddenly I began hearing and reading news stories about sex-trafficking of minors right here in my backyard, Sacramento–and the more I looked into this, the more the urgings came to “get involved!” And…as Spirit would have it, just as my memoir was being published last year, I found out about another safe-haven for sex-trafficked girls in Costa Rica (the first to open since the House of Hope closed). Coincidence?
What now Lord? Is all I can think to ask.
I’ve just completed a certification program to work with Courage House, the safe-haven and rehabilitation center for sex-trafficked minors based in the Sacramento area. And, as I write this blog post, I’m packed and ready to leave for Costa Rica, where I’ll be (among other things) volunteering at Saving Hearts, a safe-haven for minors sold in the sex trade.
My golf clubs still beckon me, and my dance shoes are waiting to be strapped on, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that point in my life when I feel, “I’m done.” So, stay tuned as I fly and flit around the country and the world, reaching out to help others. If YOU feel those same urgings, be part of the solution and volunteer for Courage Worldwide; and/or donate to Saving Hearts.
You are a missionary and you WILL be blessed. I promise. Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35.
Courage Worldwide: www.courageworldwide.com
Saving Hearts: www.salvandocorazonescr.com
Hugs and blessings, Linda Bello-Ruiz, author of the award-winning memoir, From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope (now available in Spanish – De Lagrimas a Triunfo, Mi Camino a La Casa de La Esperanza). www.lindabelloruiz.com