Oak Life Caregiver
"29 years old. Christian. Creative. Writer."
Location: Chapala, Mexico
Children's Home: Love in Action Children's Home
Position: Mentoring teenage girls, managing the home's donor relations
Funding Needs: $1,480/mo USD
Love in Action Children's Home
Mentoring teenage girls, managing the home's donor relations
Give Me Your Eyes
March 15, 2023
“Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity.”
— Brandon Heath “Give Me Your Eyes” —
When we pray prayers such as the one above, do we realize what we are praying?
Do we realize that we are giving the God of all Heaven and Earth a personal invitation to flood our vision with His light?
I remember a time that was so impactful in my orphan care journey. It was my first time being left to supervise children at an orphanage while on the playground.
One child in particular was having issues complying with the activity during that time. She began to walk away in defiance after being encouraged to stay together.
As she walked away, my first instinct was to yell louder, in the hopes this would stop her in her tracks. Then I thought to myself, “No, it would only worsen the situation.”
I thought back to what the TBRI method (Trust-Based Relational Intervention), taught us during our time at the Oak Life School of Orphan Care—you are to begin to walk towards the child, get down to their level, ask them to show you their precious eyes, and ask to do a “re-do” of the situation that just transpired.
The only problem is that all this amazing information I remembered, didn’t come to me until after the situation was over. I was so exasperated by that moment that it left me speechless.
It hurt my heart to see this child act in this way. The act of defiance felt like such a harsh rejection to me personally. It was clear that God was trying to get my attention through that moment.
Later that day, during my prayer time with the Lord, I opened up to how I was really feeling. I started to pour my heart out to God concerning what had happened earlier in the day with that child.
I remember having so many emotions. So many questions of, “Why is she acting in this way?” “Why am I feeling rejection?” Better yet, “Why does this hurt so much?”
Once I opened up with honesty to God, He began to ask me to put myself in her shoes. I began to remember how many times I have walked away from God, and how many times He has been so faithful to run after me in the hopes that I will reestablish connection with Him.
This moment in prayer humbled me so much as I realized that God was beginning to transform my vision to see what He saw. He was allowing me to feel the Father’s heart towards this precious child. My prayer changed from, “God, why is this child acting that way,” to, “God, forgive me for the moments I have acted in the same way, and help me to show your love and compassion to her just as I have received it from You.”
This should be our go to solution every single time…PRAYER. Instead of getting frustrated during these moments of difficulty, we should lift up our heads to where our help comes from, and ask for help from God.
Only then will we be able to see as He sees. Only then will we be able to feel as He feels. Only then will we be able to properly be conduits of His love and compassion to those around us.
Only then can we truly begin to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ on this earth.
The Reality of Orphan Care
March 10, 2023
I thought I knew all there was to know about working in orphan care. Can’t be much harder than working with kids who need extra love, right?
The truth is, it requires much more than that. Whether you have dreams of opening an orphanage or working at an orphanage in some capacity…it all requires training and more than just basic knowledge. For me, Oak Life was just the place that I needed to go to be able to receive that training.
Like any new journey, you have your high and low moments. As is the reality of life, not everything will always be as you expect but it can be exciting when you shift your perspective.
One thing I extremely appreciated about Oak Life and the curriculum that they have created is the dedication they have in preparing you for being immersed into a host culture. During class discussions and book readings, we began to learn about why certain cultures and countries have the traditions, customs, and values that they do. The author of Cultures and Organizations, Geert Hofstede, speaks mainly on how our cultures shape the way that we think, feel, act, etc.
Taking in this new understanding was crucial to the way I interacted with the culture around me while also identifying the culture that I was raised in. Recognizing this information allowed compassion to be discovered in me, in a new way. Compassion for this new culture I had recently been fully immersed in. And this compassion, was going to help my mission progress farther than it ever would have without it.
New journeys are bound to come with challenges as well. During my time at Oak Life, what has been challenging for me has been adapting to TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention). We use this method of interaction when working with children of trauma. I remember hearing my first, “No,” from a child. It rocked me to my core and the internal battles were coming in at a thousand miles an hour. It felt like rejection, it felt hurtful.
Had God not been by my side in this part of my journey, I never would’ve been able to process it properly. It takes the presence of God, surrender, honesty, and the ability to confront past traumas. But in the end, God takes even our most difficult moments and turns them into something beautiful – with the purpose of it bringing glory to His name.
Overall, my experience at Oak Life has been incredible. It has come with many new learning and growing opportunities for which I am grateful. Being able to have the time and space to be able to go through this guided journey with trusted individuals makes the experience all the more enjoyable.
Praying for a car!
March 24, 2023
Bible Verse to Pray | Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”