This is where I flourish. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be able to love women and children here.
Years passed, and there were moments when Joy doubted whether she was making the right decision, but as she was joining the Rock Church team heading to India, she knew so clearly, this was it. Now, having lived in India for 7 months, Joy says she is so delighted to be there to be immersed in the culture and community and counts it a privilege to serve. "This is where I flourish. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be able to love women and children here.”
During her time in India, Joy has developed a tender heart for the kids that are referred to as "sticker children". These sticker children often go unnoticed and uncared for. Their hair is generally filthy and tangled. Their clothes dirty and faded. Barefoot, and almost never with an adult, these little boys and girls plead for their cheap stickers to be purchased. Although they are just children, Joy has noticed that they seem discouraged and without hope. She shares, “Sticker children are very precious to me. I love children, especially those in need of being noticed. And, these children in particular desperately need to be noticed. Being able to spend time with those children, sitting with them, holding their little hands, and talking with them was delightful. But, I think that combing and braiding one of the little girl's filthy and tangled hair was one of my most valued moments.”
Although Joy isn't sure what God has in store for her ministry in India, she hopes that she will be able to relocate to a town in Northern India where these sticker children are known to reside. Her desire to develop a program to love and support this particular group of children. Although she has so much more to learn about these children, she is trusting God to make a way for this program if it's His will.
“I long for people to become more aware [of] the sticker children. There is a desperate need for more awareness. And, there is a desperate need for adults to come and choose to love these children even if this costs them comfort, time, money, and freedom.
These children need adults in their lives who will almost become like parents to them, who will hug them, listen to them, teach them, dive deep into whatever situation they are involved in, whether this is simple or complicated and dangerous. They need adults who are willing to persevere for them and love them no matter their behavior and no matter what happens. And, how can any of this happen unless there is an awareness that these children exist and are in desperate need of love and help.”
Joy has answered God's calling on her life and is continuously walking out her purpose. God has a beautiful and perfect plan for each and every one of us. He has chosen us with our mess and all to fulfill his will. It is an honor to fulfill the will of God, to be even just a part of it. He has freely given us his love through his beloved son. Let us receive the ownership that God has stamped upon us and answer his call. What is God calling you to do?
“For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love, He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the Beloved One.” [Ephesians 1:4-6]