A Changed Heart

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Aug. 4, 2014
  • 3 Comments
  • Christian Institute on Disability, Cause 4 Life

Naomi serving a special needs child in ChinaToday’s post was written by Cause 4 Life Global Missions Intern, Naomi. 

"I’m Naomi, an ordinary 22-year-old who thought she knew the plan for her life. Two years ago, if you had told me that I would be serving the Lord in China, I would have said, 'impossible.' My story is one that illustrates God’s awesomeness and His love for us no matter where we are in life. 

I grew up with two loving Christian parents who taught me to love Jesus with my whole heart. As a teen and into my college years, I gradually pulled away from the church and the Christian faith all together. Sadly, I spent time seeking my own desires when and with whomever I wanted. In March 2013, I was approached by a dear friend who asked me to accompany her on a Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life internship and serve orphans with disabilities in China. Although the idea of using my degree in sports medicine and pediatric rehabilitation was appealing, I turned down the invitation. In fact, I declined several times – China was just not in my plans for the future. But God had a different idea. As weeks passed, I couldn’t get China out of my head and this relentless persistence convinced me that I needed to go. 

When we arrived at the village in China, I immediately felt at peace. My heart had never felt such love and compassion before. I melted at the sight of the children’s joy-filled smiles and loving hearts; they were even open to me, a complete stranger. This overwhelming love and joy grabbed me and has yet to let go. I know God used these special needs kids to show me my need for a Savior and his everlasting love for me. 

My life was so deeply impacted, that I decided to return again this year with Cause 4 Life. Both of these internships helped me realize how much I really didn’t know myself, but how much Jesus did. He knew that I would fall in love with the people of China. Using my profession to serve Christ and children with special needs has been a dream come true; it’s like no other job that I have ever had. I’m so thankful that I have been able to be a part of the impact that Cause 4 Life is making in China. Last summer’s internship impacted me so deeply that I decided to stay on as an intern at Shepherd’s Field Children’s village even after the Cause 4 Life outreach ended. Every day in China I am reminded of the miraculous power and awesomeness of our Redeeming Lord and Savior.

'Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and he will direct your path' –Proverbs 3:5 (NLV)"

 
 

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3 Comments

 
thank you so much...I am disabled ( neurological) wheelchair user ( but not dependent) and I just want to say reading this just made my heart glad..Thank you for being so honest about the way God brought you back to what He wanted for you...and Thank you for the work you do..as a disabled person I am very grateful for all the love and support I am given...Emms :) SW UK
  • March 27, 2015
  • 4:13 p.m.
  • emma middleton
Hey Naomi, God is so Great!!!! Awesome testimony and insightful discernment! May God keep you wrapped in the Safety of His arms as you serve those in need!!!! Love, The Kulinski's
  • Aug. 4, 2014
  • 7:02 p.m.
  • Kathy Kulinski
Hi Naomi, My story is VERY similar to yours. I went to SFCV with C4L in 2011. I also fell in love with China and returned that fall as an intern to SFCV. What a blessing that you are there! Praying for your time there! Blessings, Mollie
  • Aug. 4, 2014
  • 3:25 p.m.
  • Mollie