Your Mission Field is Right Where God has You.
Four years spent tilling the hard rocky soil of hearts sitting in my Oral English class in Nanchang China, taught me a myriad of lessons about life. One primary lesson rung from the reverberating words of Paul as he wrote to the church in Corinth: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him Crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2) Often in China I felt inadequate in my teaching, in sharing the Gospel, and in ministering to Chinese believers. Moving back home, attending graduate school, and trying to acclimate back to U.S. culture also magnified my limitations. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians, affirm my felt inadequacies as he shares his own, yet reaffirmed the power of the Holy Spirit as Paul’s preaching is still used to magnify God’s power. Maybe you find yourself feeling slightly inadequate in certain areas of life; I would venture to assume maybe in parenting?
Although I am not yet a parent, I imagine the enemy of our souls whispers many lies of inadequacy as you try to shepherd and lead your child[ren] physically, developmentally, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually. Teaching three-year-olds to fifth graders this past year, taught me more about feeling less than capable to shepherd adolescents. Kids tend to bring out the best and less glamorous sides of me. Working with college students and adolescents has taught me to laugh more, to not take myself so seriously, and to be patient and gracious. I have also learned a depth of dependence upon our Good Shepherd, Jesus. To lean upon His omnipotently Holy guidance through His Word and the Holy Spirit. To seek Him as I tread the murky ambiguity of investing in and teaching younger generations (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). To look to His example of mentorship and loving all people.
May you find encouragement, where ever you find yourself (capable or feeling inadequate), in the truth that your impact first results from Christ’s mighty work of salvation in your life, then upon trusting Him, and being obedient to His shepherding. Christ’s power is always magnified and made perfect in our weaknesses, when we rely upon Him. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I will end my Intern’s Edition of this Kids Rock newsletter with this quote from Paul Tripp in regards to approaches to parenting:
“If you desire not only to cope but to thrive with vision and joy as a parent, you need more than seven steps to solving whatever. You need God’s helicopter view of what He’s called you to do. You need the Gospel of Jesus Christ to reveal the foundational principles that will not only help you make sense of your task, but will change the way you approach it.”
My name is Alicia Justice. I graduated from IUPUI with a B.A. Psychology and then felt the Lord’s calling to teach English in China for four year. Last year I felt the same stirring from the Holy Spirit to leave China and return to get my M.S. in School Counselor. Currently, I am interning with Page and Patty while studying school counseling at Butler University. This past year I worked with three year olds to fifth graders at the International School of Indiana. When I am able to snag some free time I love to bake, cook, hike, be outdoors, share a good cup of coffee with friends and family, and watch The Great British Baking Show on Netflix (Bake!) haha It has been a joy to spend the summer with your children and to watch the ways each family walks with Jesus. Thanks for letting me be a part of your stories.