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Tajikistan in your heart!

Apr 11, 2014 at 03:07
Category: Doing the Stuff!


Friends, As some of you will remember, we began to partner with Jacqueline and her charity, Home of Change, in serving women at risk in Tajikistan. We take this opportunity to congratulate Jacqueline & her team on being awarded the 2013 Charity of the Year!   Recently Jacqueline and two friends were in Tajikistan sharing time with the team and the friends there.  These are some of her thoughts on returning home to The Netherlands.  Steve

"These past one and a half days I have tried to find a place in my heart for all the stories I heard last week in Tajikistan.  I have never seen such sorrow, hunger, emptiness and grief . Tajikistan- Who knows that nation? Who remembers the widows and orphans who are desolate as a result of war, death, immorality and violence? 

The girls we met now live in my heart, with their stories about rape, murder, abuse, forced prostitution, hunger, despair & their daily fight to live & find a glimpse of joy. 

To my amazement most of the people we met had had an encounter with Jesus, quite often without people's "intervention", and when they spoke about Him their eyes would light up... In the midst of their poverty and desolation there was light in their eyes and their smiles. I might never understand the depth of their faith, but I do know that they have not put up a religious act to convince me to also start following the God they love. On the contrary, they have deeply understood the power of grace, they have grasped the truth about unconditional love and I have tasted it. Now I understand why the people they meet in the streets or in the prisons desire to meet the Person called Love. The way He is being reflected is real, truthful and pure. Nothing like the way most western believers live their faith. 

To be honest, I feel ashamed of what we made God to be....of how we reflect Him by spending millions on our  buildings with all their tech toys. I am ashamed of rich people saying that it's not about the building and the money but that God also wants us to live a prosperous life. I am ashamed that western believers have the gall to spend one more cent on better chairs for their churches. We need balance yes... Yet, many things are not about balance but plain selfishness under a religious cover. 

I've been thinking this for quite a long time already, but now.....after having been in a country where people are being killed and persecuted for their faith in Jesus, after having tasted this new deep kind of integrity and complete transparency of heart, my thinking anchored in my spirit...as if my fear to think like this disappeared and made room to be true to what I believe should change in churches world wide. I am done with excuses to live a church life that is all about us and our pleasure, no matter the fact that God enjoys to bless us and give us what we (truly) need. 

I love my simple life even though I sometimes worry about my finances and even though I am frustrated at times about "only" having one small shelf with clothes. My heart has been changed and challenged to embrace people with grace and unconditional love. Let those who must build their buildings and play in their bands on fancy stages do so but I now know that I am truly done with it.

All I desire is to live Love, and allow myself to be challenged by that."

Jacqueline Rijnsburger

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