So lots of you have lovingly asked me if I saw Jesus on Thanksgiving Day and I have to affirm that I most definitely saw Jesus and felt his presence EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. Can you believe it… Jesus over and over again at the Bowery Mission, right there in the kitchen next to the cook.
It was hands down, by far, the very best Thanksgiving that I’ve ever had and I don’t say that lightly. I was with the closest of friends (my church family) who held my hand and helped me keep it together regardless of what was going on in my head. We fed hundreds of people, having cooked hundreds of turkeys, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, mac-n-cheese, and so much more.
I was overwhelmed with joy because God showed up in my life on Thanksgiving day and helped me get through the entire week. It wasn’t just here and there… it was literally everywhere I turned. It was in the smile of so many who have so much less than me. It was in the message that was preached each day through the book of Galatians. It was through understanding the power of prayer and that it takes so little to demonstrate Christ’s love in a profound way.
I went from being surrounded by so many of you who often say, “Gina… we can see it hurts really bad but we can’t relate” to being surrounded by people who were saying, “Gina… I know it hurts really bad because I’ve been there, in fact, I’m there now.”
Best of all, the Spirit spoke to me and showed me that he is willing to allow me to serve if I’m willing to continue following his lead in all that I do. It just felt comfortable, like being able to slip my feet into a familiar pair of shoes. No fluff. Just reality. The overwhelming presence of darkness being destroyed by the presence of a multitude of lights in the form of volunteers, counselors, and saints. I loved listening to story after story and watching the Spirit move in all of that.
Yesterday was the best of days starting with the night before. We had finished working and ventured out as a group and I found myself riding on the Staten Island Ferry under the light of the Statue of Liberty. It was breathtakingly beautiful and I felt the joy that I had been longing for. I was able to stand next to the water without wanting to jump in. The feeling just wasn’t there. It was temporarily gone. I knew then and there that I was in Jesus’ presence.
Thanks for your prayers and your mercy. Now back at home and back to the reality of my life which still feels very warm and full as a result of my recent mission trip experience. I plan to continue to stay very busy and stay strong in the Word. It’s more obvious than ever to me that there is absolutely no other way to get through this.
Love each one of you so!
~Gina for Arise Medical Missions