Saturday, May 28, 2016

To my long lost friend...

Dear Long Lost Friend,

We bumped into each other. After a bit of awkwardness, we are able to connect again. All the things that ended our friendship are sorted. Hugs and tears are shed. It is the day I’ve been dreaming of! But then I wake up... 

My heart sinks knowing that it was just a dream. It takes all day to overcome those feelings. My heart grieves what once was. I grieve for the direction you've taken and for time lost. I grieve that you haven’t met my son and known the joy he brings. 

I don’t let these continual dreams discourage me for long. I believe that God gives them to me for a purpose. They let me never forget to pray for you. And pray, I do! With tears in my eyes, I cry out to Him. I know that He wants me to pray for you. He wants to restore you, heal you, and draw you to Him. You just have to want that also. 

I know our restoration might not be for many years. Already several years have passed. Know that I still consider you as one of my bestest friends. When the time hopefully and finally does come, don’t be afraid. I’m waiting with open arms and an excitement to catch up on time lost. 

Sincerely, 

Your Loyal Waiting Friend

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Home from Mexico!

Home from Mexico [Update from the Walkers!]


Jody returned home this past Saturday from a short visit to Mexico. In Puebla, Mexico, there is a small community of believers that live together and help shoulder each other's burdens. It is called La Aldea (The Village). It is Jason Fitzpatrick's dream to start dozens of "villages" all throughout Mexico; communities of believers that are discipling each other and preaching the gospel, all the while meeting each other's needs through enterprise and hard work and rescuing precious children that are being trafficked or abused.
Jason and Nicole's passion and love for the people is contagious. They've invested well over 2 decades of their lives ministering throughout Mexico, and they have plenty of fruit to show for it all.

Jody with Jason and Nicole Fitzpatrick

Jason is an entrepeneur and strongly desires The Village to become self-sustaining, not breeding a mentality of dependance on the USA amongst the Mexican church. Recently, we've been working together to start up a tilapia farm. Many of the tanks are nearing completion. The believers at The Village will use the tilapia for food and to sell, using that income to meet their needs and rescue more abused children.

Jody with 4 of the 6 national missionaries he supports in Mexico through Heaven's Family's National Missionary Fund

Meet Fatima and her friends


2-year-old Fatima
Fatima—one of the newest arrivals at The Village—is absolutely gorgeous, but her short life has been filled with great ugliness. She, along with her young unwed mother, had spent over two days hiding in a field, trying to escape from Fatima's father who was trying to beat them senseless in his drunken stupor. Fatima was beaten often and mercilessly with sticks by her drunken dad. Crouching in the field for over two days, they watched as Fatima's father finally passed out from exhaustion, giving them an oppourtunity to flee for their lives. Through word-of-mouth, they found refuge, a new family and the love of Jesus at The Village.
Fatima, just like her new friends below, all come from backgrounds that would make your stomach churn for days. A handful of the children are orphans and were "rented" out by their perverse relatives as sex toys. Those that do have living parents often have prostitutes as mothers and abusive drunkards for fathers along with drug-dealing gangsters as brothers. From a very young age, they are raped, beaten, starved, taught to steal, drink and do drugs. One young boy I met at The Village was a drunk at only 8 years old. He was often found in a field beaten and passed out.

6 of the 33 precious children living at The Village that are now happy, healthy and loving Jesus
Thankfully, though, their stories don't end there. Thank God that wherever there are atrocities and injustices, there are also saints on the frontlines fighting back against the wickedness. In partnership with the Fitzpatricks, Elisabeth is able to help support each of these kids with $40/month, covering their daily needs through Orphan's Tear.
Jason and Nicole have gotten in the ring and bloodied their fists fighting great evils throughout Mexico. They've rescued dozens of children from being trafficked, planted many house churches and have made numerous disciples. I pray the Lord would set our hearts ablaze so that we would not sit idly by but link arms with each other and join in the battle for redemption, whether in our own communities or in places like Mexico.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. You're such a blessing.
Together with you in Christ,
Jody, Elisabeth and Jonathan

P.S. Jonathan's growing nonstop. He got his first 2 teeth a few weeks ago!


If you're interested in joining our support team or making a contribution to our ministry (all of our support goes to help cover our salaries and trip expenses at Heaven's Family), please email us or give online by clicking here. Thanks so much.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

For my single friends...

The fireworks are still going off in my marriage.

I've only been married for one year and four months so I certainly don't feel as though I've got all the answers, but I wanted to write in response to a few things I've been seeing on Facebook recently. Mainly, married people giving their [not-so-positive] advice to single folks. I want to start off this blog though by saying it isn't for married folks. This is for those who are single. If you are married and reading this, then I fear that you will read to the end of my blog and feel compelled to leave a comment disagreeing with me, destroying what I'm trying to accomplish by posting this. And so, if your married, it may be better for you not to read, because this isn't written for your benefit.

When I was single, while I was dating, and especially when I was engaged, I received a plethora of advice and comments from married folks. Some of it was life-saving but the rest of it made me wonder if I even wanted to get married. I'd hear things like "marriage is so hard" or "love is blind and marriage is an eye-opener" or folks would make comments to my fiance like "Say goodbye to your freedom. A girl will rule your life now." Others felt the need to tell me to enjoy the romance while it lasted. While many of their comments and jokes were perhaps well-meaning, it was a huge discouragement to me. I heard more negative remarks about marriage than positive ones. I can count on one hand how many comments I heard like "Marriage is great! You'll love it!".

When I was a teenager, everyone expected I would rebel from my parents because that is what teenagers do. Well, I didn't. Now that I was getting married it seemed as though it was expected that my marriage would be rough, romance wouldn't last, and I'd have to say goodbye to freedom. Well, that didn't happen either.

I want to tell all of my single friends right now… I love being married! I wouldn't go back to being single for anything. Here is what my marriage is really like:

Sure there are hard times, but every relationship and friendship has hard times! The best thing about being committed to someone is that you know even through the hard times, they'll be sticking with you throughout it. Really, I'd say that the hard times have only drawn me closer and deeper in love with my husband.

Has romance died at all? Not a bit. Sure it is a little different now. We aren't constantly going on dates and doing surprises for each other. Romance instead is a daily routine. Really, I believe it is better than all those wonderful dates and surprises. Each day, he gives me that smile that says I'm the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Every day, he opens the doors for me. Every day, he kisses me on the forehead as I'm falling asleep. When I am sick, he has me sit on the couch as he runs back and forth from the kitchen, asking me questions on how to cook dinner for us. When it is cold outside, he'll make sure to start the car up early so it is warm for the ride to work. He serves me because he loves me. Tell me that isn't romantic!

Has my freedom been taken away? Jody made a comment the other day that even though he can't do everything like he did when he was a bachelor, he feels like there is so much more he can do now because of marriage. In many ways, you gain freedom! You have the freedom to share your hopes, dreams, and struggles with a person who is committed to you for life. What you lose is nothing in comparison to what you gain! It is a wonderful feeling.

So single folks, don't let married folks discourage you or make you fear marriage. It is wonderful when you've married someone who is truly committed to you for life. The only advice I'd give you is to serve God and each other. Romance, hard times, and freedom are a breeze when you've got Jesus.

Married folks, I'm sure many of you read this despite my discretion not to. Since you are going to comment anyways… please just write something you enjoy and love about marriage. Single folks hear so many of all the negativities of marriage. Encourage my single friends by telling them that a good and wonderful marriage is possible. Surely I'm not the only one who loves being married!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Heroes



When thinking about heroes, I'd often think of policemen, firefighters, or the superheroes I see at the movies. They were those who saved people from great catastrophes. Heros are known for that one big event. 

Then it dawned on me… A truly great hero isn't one that only shows up when a big catastrophe happens. But he is also there for life's everyday problems. 

The other day though, I realized I had one of the greatest heroes living in my midst. His name is Jody Walker. He is my everyday hero. From killing bugs to fixing the garbage disposal, he is always there to be the hero to my problems. It didn't matter if the problem was that I just needed a hug, or it was something greater like taking a washing machine a part and fixing it, he has always been there for me. 

Exactly one year ago, this amazing man made the commitment to be my husband even though I have all my little problems. He decided to be a servant just like Jesus was, and be the hero for my everyday problems. 

Thus today, I wanted to thank him publicly for being my hero. My everyday hero. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Update on my marriage


I had hardly shut the laundry room's door when I realized that I forgot to put the next load of laundry in the dryer. Instead of just opening the laundry door again and putting the next load in, my heart devised a plan. I'm ashamed to tell you the thoughts that entered my head. "I can just go upstairs and tell Jody I forgot and then he'll do it." As I walked up the stairs I planned to do just that. Jody responded just like I thought he would. With a smile on his face he told me he'd take care of it. 

I couldn't believe I'd just deceived him. I wanted to run after him and confess but my pride refused to budge. My mind then tried to convince my conscience that I really had forgotten and I hadn't really lied to him at all.

Jody reads the Bible every night to us and that night we were reading 1 John 4. Verses 7-12,19-21 were meant for me that night. 

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

I was cut to the heart. Tears filled my eyes and I confessed to my husband the transgression I'd committed against him. I felt like the slime of the earth to have lied about such a small thing to him. Really I had no reason to lie to him at all! My laziness was so immature. 

Jody once again showed me Jesus' love. He didn't become angry but forgave me right then and there. I want to publicly thank Jody for being such a godly husband. And I want to thank the Holy Spirit for continuing to convict me till I humbled myself to confess my sins. Lastly, I want to thank Jesus for being the ultimate example of love by dying on the cross for my sins. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Car Wreck

What's left of the Sundance...
Everything seemed to move in slow motion. With the sudden forward jerk of the car, my head flew back. My first thought was "Did the window just shatter?!". One more bang occurred as we hit the car in front of us.  

Jody and I were stopped at a red light on our way to church. Being a part of the 3-vehicle-wreck that ended up being just a fender bender prepared our hearts to think about eternity. The wreck could have been much worse. We could have been a part of the 40,000 souls who die in car accidents each year in the USA. In the flash of a second, your perspective of life changes. No longer was I worried about getting to church on time, but I was thinking about if I was ready to meet the Lord. 

Just moments before I was upset at Jody. He didn't feel comfortable with me spending $63 dollars on a dress for our engagement photo shoot. I wanted to tell him we weren't married yet and that it wasn't his money. It was my money and I could do what I wanted with it! My attitude was utterly selfish. While I hadn't uttered any of those words to him, my mouth had wanted to spew them out. 

If that car had hit us harder, within a second, I would've been standing before Jesus. I would have been standing before Him, the Lord of the universe. The One who told me to give self up and live for others. 

Let me tell you, I'm so glad we didn't die that day. I would've despised myself, standing before the King with the thoughts I'd just had about Jody. The Lord gave Jody and I His protecting grace that evening. 

Are you ready? At any moment you might see the King of kings, suddenly, before His holy throne. What do you want to be doing when you die? Do it all the time and you'll never stand before the Lord with regrets.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sending Joy back to North Korea


Leaving the apartment building with a cell phone for a flash light
It was past midnight. I felt the adrenaline rush as we quickly and quietly jumped out of our van. With just the light of a cell phone guiding our way, we hurried up the concrete apartment building stairs and into a dimly lit safe house where two North Koreans---a man and a woman---were staying due to the hospitality of a Christian Chinese couple. 

As I sat down on the small bedroom floor, I sensed the Lord's presence with us. This was going to be a meeting I would never forget. 

The two North Koreans whom we were meeting were outside of their country legally on temporary business visas, but it was still forbidden for them to have any contact with Westerners (North Korea's enemies). As we started to listen to the story of the North Korean man, I noticed the North Korean woman quickly get up from sitting in between the Americans and move next to her Chinese friend. She later told us that we were the first Americans she had ever come in contact with. North Korea teaches all of its citizens that Americans  eat their own babies. Right before she  had come to China, she saw a film where Americans were doing horrible things. To put it plainly, she was afraid of us. She would not reveal her name to us, but she did share her story. I'll refer to her as Joy.

Joy arrived at the safe house full of bitterness. Mostly she was bitter towards her mother-in-law, who was in a vegetable state and who lived with her and her husband. Joy hated taking care of her. In her heart, she secretly hoped her mother-in-law would die while she'd be in China. 

Joy had chosen to stay at the apartment we were visiting because her friends and family in North Korea told her to find a safe house run by Christians, even though it would be an illegal residence for her. They told her that Christians would let her live at their safe house for free, and would give her free supplies to bring back to North Korea.

Once she arrived, Joy resented having to join Bible devotions every day. She even thought about reporting the couple who ran the safe house over to the authorities, but because she was a free renter, she decided to just do as they said. 

Even though the safe house "mother" became very sick, she never stopped  making meals or caring for the North Koreans staying at her home. Joy was amazed with her  servant-like attitude. Everyone in North Korea, she said, only looks out for themselves. 

Joy also started to notice how the owners were always praying for other people and rarely for themselves.  Joy couldn't imagine praying for anyone other than herself! The Lord started to soften her heart and convict her of her selfishness. 

One night, Joy was very grieved over her own selfishness and was also very distraught over the safe house "mother's" health condition. Before she knew what she was doing, she started praying for her. She was shocked that she suddenly had compassion enough to pray for someone other than herself!

The next morning, she told the owner's wife she had prayed for her. From then on, Joy became a different person. Her attitude started to change. She had compassion and a hunger to read the Bible. She prayed often with the others. Finally she repented of her sins and turned to Jesus. 

During this part of the story, Joy's eyes began to water. As she wiped the tears away she said, "Now I want to go home and take care of my mother-in-law. I also want to share the good news of the gospel with my family and friends." 

Joy would be returning to North Korea a few days after our visit. Even though she knew the possible consequences for sharing the gospel (death or imprisonment), she knew the power of Jesus Christ and wanted to share it with those around her. 

I'm so blessed to work for Heaven's Family and direct the North Korean Christians Fund. Stories like Joy's make my many hours in the office completely worth it. We are able to shine light into North Korea, one soul at a time.