And YOU? “Who do you say I am?” and Invitation for Intimacy

My heart overflows with gratitude as I reflect on our recent Beauty for Ashes mission trip to San Jose, Costa Rica. Partnering with Transforma, we had the privilege of serving the incredible women of Barrio Sinai and the inspiring young girls of Face of Justice.

For a week, we embarked on a journey of service and shared faith in a community rich in culture and many challenges.

Our mission? To empower women by fostering a deeper connection with God and their story. We hosted retreats, each a cornerstone for self-discovery and healing. Themes like “Our View of God,” “Connection with God,” “Our Worth,” and “Our Identity” resonated within the women’s souls. These intimate gatherings became sanctuaries where women felt safe to share their stories.

One participant’s words resonated deeply: “I never heard anyone share a testimony like mine. It made me feel like I could share with other women openly without feeling ostracized and alone.” This embodies the core of Beauty for Ashes mission – To create a safe space for vulnerability and connection where women can encounter the hope and healing of Jesus.

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Another woman’s story etched itself onto our hearts.  “This retreat is just what I needed,” she confided. “My daughter (10 years old) just tried to commit suicide last month,  the Lord worked a miracle, and she is alive. But even though I know He is real, my heart was still hurting…but now I feel so seen and loved by HIM!”

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These moments solidified our purpose. We witnessed walls crumble as the women embraced God’s love and discovered their inherent worth.

Witnessing God’s transformative power within our team was equally profound. During team devotions, we felt a powerful call to cultivate a deeper intimacy with Him, to truly understand His character and heart. Team time wasn’t just for logistics; it was a space where the Lord Himself ministered to us. We felt an invitation to a more intimate knowledge of His heart and character. We delved into the rich tapestry of God’s names, each revealing a unique facet of His nature. Each name – a window into His unwavering love and commitment to us. Just like the people in the Bible who named God based on their experiences, the names we use reflect how He reveals Himself to us. They are not mere labels, but portals into the depths of His love and unwavering faithfulness!

I guess I could venture to say, this mission trip mirrored Jesus’ question to his disciples: “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15) As we served and learned alongside the women, our own understanding of God deepened. We too were challenged to examine our own understanding of God as a team and as individuals. This introspection unveiled a deeper yearning to know Him on a personal level…. He is our refuge, our healer, our provider, the One who sees us and never gives up on us.

We returned home forever changed, carrying the stories and lessons learned within our hearts. The beauty we witnessed wasn’t just in the lush Costa Rican landscape and the richness of its culture; it was the transformation unfolding in the lives of the women, and in ourselves. We left a part of ourselves in Barrio Sinai, but the impact of these incredible women, their stories, and their unwavering faith left an indelible mark on our souls.This trip wasn’t just about serving others; it was a profound journey of self-discovery and a powerful reminder of God’s boundless love that transcends borders and languages. We are forever changed by the beautiful women of San Jose, and we pray that the seeds of hope we planted will continue to blossom.

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If you read this far, I would like to challenge you too!

What names of GOD resonate with you?

How can a deeper understanding of His character transform your life?

EL, ELOAH [el, el-oh-ah]: God “mighty, strong, prominent” (Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 139:19)

ELOHIM [el-oh-heem]: God “Creator, Mighty and Strong” (Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33)

EL SHADDAI [el-shah-dahy]: “God Almighty,” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5)

ADONAI [ˌædɒˈnaɪ; ah-daw-nahy]: “Lord” (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15)

YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH [yah-way / ji-hoh-veh]: “LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14) “I Am who I Am” (Exodus 3:14).

YAHWEH-JIREH [yah-way-ji-reh]: “The Lord Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14)

YAHWEH-RAPHA [yah-way-raw-faw]: “The Lord Who Heals” (Exodus 15:26)

YAHWEH-NISSI [yah-way-nee-see]: “The Lord Our Banner” (Exodus 17:15),

YAHWEH-M’KADDESH [yah-way-meh-kad-esh]: “The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy” (Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28)

YAHWEH-SHALOM [yah-way-shah-lohm]: “The Lord Our Peace” (Judges 6:24)

YAHWEH-ELOHIM [yah-way-el-oh-him]: “LORD God” (Genesis 2:4; Psalm 59:5)

YAHWEH-TSIDKENU [yah-way-tzid-kay-noo]: “The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16)

YAHWEH-ROHI [yah-way-roh-hee]: “The Lord Our Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1)

YAHWEH-SHAMMAH [yah-way-sham-mahw]: “The Lord Is There” (Ezekiel 48:35)

YAHWEH-SABAOTH [yah-way-sah-bah-ohth]: “The Lord of Hosts” (Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 46:7)

EL ELYON [el-el-yohn]: “Most High” (Deuteronomy 26:19)

EL ROI [el-roh-ee]: “God of Seeing” (Genesis 16:13)

EL-OLAM [el-oh-lahm]: “Everlasting God” (Psalm 90:1-3)

EL-GIBHOR [el-ghee-bohr]: “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6)

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray about what is calling YOU to do next! Is HE calling YOU to intercede in prayer? Is HE calling YOU to GO? or is HE calling YOU to give?

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