You matter. A phrase that might bring up differing emotions, depending on who you ask. A phrase that evokes notions of identity, belonging, anger, hurt, longing, or indifference. What do you feel or think when you hear that? YOU matter. You have worth. You are important.
I’ve had a rocky relationship with that phrase. For me, it brings up times that I’ve known that truth deep in my soul, and times that I’ve been hard-pressed to find any truth in it at all. So, what does that have to do with being on the Stadia Global Team? I’m glad you asked.
Every week I get to create and send out updates from our Global partners to different US churches and individuals. In these updates, I read stories of life change, testimonies of people meeting Jesus, and hear about all of the work that Christians are doing around the world.
One story that impacted me is a story of a church planter in Southern Asia named Andra*. This is an excerpt from a letter we were sent about her story:
Andra* was sweetly standing “on the line” for the game we were playing at the women’s conference. You step “on the line” when you identify with what the facilitator is saying.
“Step on the line if you like to get up early, step on the line if you have a friend here today…” It helps the women relate to each other and make new friends.
“Step on the line if someone has made fun of you.”
Andra started crying and stepped slowly toward the line. I could tell right away that she has cerebral palsy. She couldn’t stand without one of our team members holding her hand.
[Andra] said when she first became a believer, she was told that she had this condition because of sin in her life. Her guilt and shame were all over her face. I held her face in my hand and repeated over and over, “This is not your fault. This is not your fault. You were made in the image of God and He has plans that are immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine.” We prayed, we hugged, we cried. It was beyond words.
This story immediately brought tears to my eyes. I’ve been there. That place of not feeling wanted, not feeling like I’m enough. Suddenly, I was connecting to a woman on the other side of the world, through our shared pain, and shared belonging. You see, her story didn’t end there. It didn’t end with her feeling shame and hurt, instead, a new life began with her knowing her identity.
“You were made in the image of God and He has plans that are immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine.”
That’s where her story begins, focusing on the love and plans of God.
This is just one story, one example, of the life change that is occurring.
Every day thousands of men, women, and children are given the truth of their identity – hearing that they matter because of the work we get to do through our partners, both domestically and abroad.
They are told that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Children get to know their identity in Christ through the Child Development Centers we build with Compassion.
Women get to know that they can do more than their culture would make them believe because of the work we do in Southern Asia.
This is why I love working for the Global Team. Because I have the chance every day to hear stories about how God is moving all around the world. And trust me, He’s moving.
Emma lives in Seattle, WA, and is currently attending the University of Washington, majoring in Education. Prior to working with Stadia, she worked as an executive and research assistant at her home church, Cross & Crown. She grew up in the church as a pastor’s daughter, and is excited to reach others through the mission of Stadia and the Gospel.