Well the first week of the New Year is already drawing to a close; unusual for me I have not made any new years resolutions as yet. As I looked through my closet I felt my mind begin to wander but funnily enough not about what to wear to the party tonight but about all the events that had taken place last year. Yes, 2012 had proved to be very memorable; it had brought about many of my heart’s desires.
My mind recalled that phone call back in March when I had received the news that my birth father had died. ‘What can that have to do with your heart’s desires?’ you may ask. Well I have to confess that it had make me feel sad, it was confirmation that we would not meet. But on the bright side we had corresponded from time to time, so for that l was glad because through our letters, although few and far between it had given me a sister and a whole new family. We met in May then our family found pastures new with a visit to their home too, in South Africa - what an amazing blessing.
It also brought a whole new dimension to our Beauty and Belief Ministry. We had had a wonderful event in April I have to confess that had surpassed all expectations, an evening of inspiration beauty and fashion that had led me to indulge in my passion - to share the love of the Lord. I smiled, there had been a few other events too, some at home, some around our fine city but South Africa proved a real challenge, as I stood in the middle of what the South Africans call a ‘township’ I felt a tug; part of that tug I have to say was ‘Get me out of here! This is so sad.’ But as I looked at the children’s faces I have to confess they didn’t seem sad. I guess it’s because we live in different worlds.
I thought of my home, I like to think of it as my haven, my sanctuary, but what did these people have to call home? Looking around that day I would liken it more to a garden shed than a home, but not a typical garden shed, more like one that has been nailed together out of left over wood, full of holes with gaps for windows and a real makeshift roof. As if to add to the sadness the wind suddenly blew sending a chill across my face. As I brushed the hair from my eyes I sensed it was about to turn cold. Oh for a nice cup of tea!
As our guide led us back we chatted about the garden project, I could tell he was very passionate about it. On the bright side my sister and her husband’s church were doing something good, they had provided seeds and with the help of our guide the people were learning to grow their own food. So with love and care these dear people now had a stable diet which was proving a great help, as well as giving the people a sense of purpose the doctors had been amazed how much their health had improved. Sadly many were suffering from ill health, at least 35% with Aids and HIV. ‘We are growing hope,’ smiled our guide. ‘It must be down to the food!’
As we drove away I have to say I felt touched but suddenly my attention was drawn to a different kind of building, this one more resembled a shack than a shed, and then my eye caught sight of the sign above the door. To my amazement it read ‘Beauty Parlor’ well I have to confess I wanted to laugh, 'Dear God, call that a Beauty Parlor!'
Well God has got a great sense of humor and He also has a sense of purpose because that night I had a vision. I saw that Beauty Parlor transformed, transformed into something quite bright and beautiful. A place where people could go for a chat and a treat, a place to give them a sense of worth, because having a sense of worth makes life worthwhile.
So getting back to my new years resolutions I think I will make that mine. I will try to make my life worthwhile and in some way however big or however small help others have a life worth living.
I know this will require help.
So to start off my day I will pray,
Because God answers all prayers,
‘Father let your Kingdom come
Let your will be done
On Earth as it is In Heaven’
Other inspirations can be read in ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’ by Julie Prentice. Available on Amazon or email firstname.lastname@example.org for stockists.
For more details of our mission see http://www.networknorwich.co.uk/Articles/338410/Network_Norwich_and_Norfolk/People/Norwich_s_big_hearted_Julie_helps_African.aspx