My walk with God.
April - September 2016
Hi! I’m Anamarie and I’m 20 years old. I have 8 sisters in my biological family and 36 sisters from my Jaz Family. I’m one of the oldest in the Jaz. I grew up in a non christian Family and I thought at first that doing good things was enough, but God put me in a place where I found the truth about everything and learned more about him in the process.
3 Months of Lectures
My first 3 months in HongKong were full of lectures God taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know. He taught me how to love people who are hard to love and to be flexible in different situations. But the biggest thing that he taught me was one of my struggles with being in a mission field: to have FAITH IN HIM. It’s easy to say we have faith, but do we really have full faith in him, even when it comes to our biggest trial? But by grace and our love for God he was there every-time we would begin to lose Faith in Him. Being in a different country and not being able to see my loved one’s was one of my struggles, but God taught me cross-cultural life and showed me how to see their needs, have a relationship with them, lift them up, and share the truth about God and who he really is. It’s hard to leave your family behind, but not following what God had told me to do would be one of my biggest regrets.
Gateway Camp (YWAM Gateway)
Month 1 of outreach was spent at Gateway Camp. I was part of the Children’s Program. We did a lot of evangelism, worship, and performances outdoors. In this Camp, God taught me how to become His speaker. I thought this program would be just a normal Camp, but God used this camp for me to step out of my comfort-zone. Not only did God teach through me, but He also taught in me.
Month 2 of outreach we spilt the group into two groups, half of us stayed in HongKong while the others was in Greece. Kingdom Warrior kids is where a lot of Nepali kids gather to have a mini DTS for one week. During the end of the class, they gave a time to respond to God and I saw one kid sitting right at the corner crying. I asked why he was crying. He replied, “I don’t know,” so I told him, “You know that you can ask God and He will not ignore you.” I prayed with him - that God would give him a clear answer. I asked the little guy again if he knew the reason why he was crying and his reply made my heart cry. “Because I believe in HIM.” That was his answer. I realized that even though God closed the door for me to be in a different place, he still had a plan for me and He was calling me to be right where I was. If I wasn’t there at that time, it wouldn’t have been the same.
During our second month of Outreach we helped with the refugees in Hong Kong. It was an every-day schedule and we still needed to travel to get to the place and volunteer in the church. We helped clean and made some furniture for the ladies who worked in a bar who wanted to change their lives. We helped give out some chocolate bars, homemade cookies, got to know the ladies who work in a red light district in Hong Kong, and shared what God had planned for them.
My highlight for my last month of outreach was held in Mainland China. In this ministry we did English corner, which is what we used to share the Gospel of God. It’s amazing how God opened all of our hearts to have a relationship with each other. We met a lot of college students and getting to know them was a big opportunity for me and by the grace of God we saw a lot of miraculous things that happened there. I saw a lot of students wanted to have a relationship with God and it brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t imagine how incredible and amazing God’s plan was for our daily life.
I learned a lot of thing being in a mission field, such as being flexible, having a relationship in a different culture, and trust God in my daily life. Be patient, how to love people who are hard to love, ask for forgiveness and to forgive even when people hurt my feelings. How to be responsible in a lot of things. The biggest thing I’d learned was how to step out of my comfort-zone by leaving the place I loved and fully having faith in him through every trial that he gave me, just as Peter did in Matthew 14:29 when God told Peter to come and walk on the water and Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water. So while I was there, I knew that God wa calling me to go back and serve there and continue what I had started. It took me a lot of time and fasting to ask for clear clarification from God and after 5 months of waiting and being patient, finally He gave me the answer that I’ve been waiting for. It is perfectly clear that God wants me to go back to Hong Kong.
But #I Know Him
John 8: 54-55 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing, it is My father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’, and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him, and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word.”
How often do we glorify ourselves? If I wanted to look really deep into a mirror I would say I do it all the time, in my head a lot, but out loud as well. As we get older we learn how to do it in a more acceptable way, maybe a little less obvious. We could go on a social media tangent right now but we won’t. It is too easy to put social media in a box and tell ourselves “I don’t do that” and move on. Everyone talks about the despair of social media. But lets move in a little closer. Let me peer behind the blinds for a sec. What is the motivation behind what we do and say? When we can get to that, we can start to let go of it and give it to Jesus.
When kids are little they proclaim from the rooftops how great they are. “Mom, look at me!” or “I can do that too.” I once had one of my children tell me that she thinks every boy in her class likes her. What?!?! Anyway, As a parent we know and love that our kids are trying out their self confidence and we cheer them on. And say things like, “well, maybe not every boy, right?” We understand the importance of providing a safe place for them to come and feel great, loved, and that they are the most important person in your life. But we hope and pray that they aren’t the kid telling all of the other kids on the playground “look at me, I can do that too!.” Because we know what will happen when they do. No one will want to play with them.
Unfortunately, we can all think of someone that we don’t want to play with anymore because they glorify themselves too much. We even understand why they are doing it, they are needing validation from others, but it is still really uncomfortable to be around. I don’t know when and how we learn to glorify ourselves in a way that doesn’t make others uncomfortable, but some how we do. I know how to navigate a room really well, to figure out what things I can say that would make them think I am really cool. Or important. Or smart. Or spiritual. At least in my own mind. I know when I can tell people what my husband does or what I am reading or teaching or have gone through or NOT doing that can make me look good. The song Wanna Be Loved by DC Talk is singing in my head. “We all wanna be loved, we all want just a little respect, we all wanna be loved, tell me whats wrong with that?” Well, what’s wrong with that is “my glory is nothing”. I don’t need to seek out glory from others. Jesus glorifies us and that is all we need. If you ask me what I want the most out of my life it would be to glorify Jesus in everything I do. How do I do that? Allow Jesus’ glory to fill that void and stop trying to fill it on my own. It is OK to know “you can do that” but when we start to feel the need to tell others that we can, especiallywhen that information isn’t asked for, we have to stop and realize Jesus is all the glory we need. Because “I do know Him and keep His word”. Then maybe we can say “Look at me because I pray you see Him.”
Kim Hommel (don't look at me, look at him :)
Isa 44:8 Is there any other Rock? I know not one.
When I think of the word rock I think of hard, strong and never ending. Where I live there is rock everywhere! It is in every front yard, on the side of every road and in the distance of every horizon. We use it because it is the ONLY thing that can withstand the sun. Rock is permanent. It is never changing. God calls Himself Rock, or is referred to as a rock, over 50 times in the bible. It literally means a rock, a cliff, block or stone but figuratively, it means a refuge, a place of rest, beauty or God.
Deu 32:4 “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.”
1 Sam 2:2 “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God”
2 Sam 22:47 “Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!”
Psa 78:35 “ They remembered that God was their Rock, that God most high was their redeemer.”
When I was in one of the darkest times of my life the verse that played over and over in my head was Psa 40:2 “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” And it was true! I had made one bad decision after the other and I was in a pit! But when I realized that He was the Rock, all I had to do was lift up my hands and He lifted me onto firm ground. There have been times that I have stepped off the Rock because I thought something pretty and shiny could sustain me. Every time I sunk. But God is faithful. He is permanent. He is never changing. I never want to be anywhere else. On the Rock I am safe. I can see what is coming and going. I am lifted high only because He lifts me and I know I can easily stumble. So I plant my feet firmly and I start to build a house. The place I will never leave. The place I want my family and friends with me. The place that is permanent and never changing. I pray I will never leave the Rock again. Is there any other Rock? I know not one.
Psalm 135: 5 For I KNOW that the Lord is great and that our Lord is above all gods.
If I were to ask you, “Is the Lord Great?”, I am sure your first response would be “Yes!”. I might bet that you would be able to start listing all the reasons why He is great too. Because we know that He is! But, what if I asked you, “What is the number one thing you think or talk about in a day?” What would you say? I have to be honest, the number one thing I talk about in a day isn’t God. Matthew 15:18 says “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” Women are communicators. We naturally speak about the things that are on our hearts but we can choose what lens we speak through. Life can be hard and bad things can happen. When we are going through those times they tend to consume our thoughts and what consumes our thoughts comes out of our mouths. Is it evident that you know the Lord is great even in those times? God is always seated on His throne and worthy to be praised. But sometimes we pick Him up and put him on a little shelf in the bookcase while the situation takes the great throne. What and how we communicate is a great tell tell sign of where God is in our circumstances. “For #I KNOW that the Lord is great and that our Lord is above all my circumstances” Italics mine.
Isaiah 50:7 "Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore I have set my face like a stone, and I KNOW I will not be put to shame."
If you look back a few verses in Isaiah 50:4-6 Isaiah is describing how the Lord communicates with him every day and Isaiah doesn’t turn away from what He is saying. He obeys God and tells the people what God wants him to say. Isaiah knows the people don’t want to hear it and they abuse him for it. He says they beat him, pull out his beard and spit in his face. Isaiah tells us he turns his face towards the abuser and lets them do it! How does someone do that?
God knows how the people are going to respond to Isaiah and He knows that Isaiah will be faithful to communicate His message even though he will suffer. Have you ever been in a situation where you had a choice? A choice to do the right thing but receive backlash or to take the easy way out? I think we are faced with little choices daily, like, do I let the kids watch TV or do I make them clean their room? Or do I buy those shoes because I really want them, even though we can’t afford it? We all know what the easy way is but sometimes we have to take the hard road and stand firm. But what if the Lord is asking you to share your faith with a friend or not to participate in something that “everyone” else is doing? We worry about how people will treat us or what they will say about us. Isaiah says #Iknow I will not be put to shame. He isn’t saying I know that I will not hurt or not be sad. He is saying #Iknow the word that sustains the weary (Isaiah 50:4), how can he not share it? He will be sustained, not disgraced and not put to shame. It is NOT the people that are yelling, beating and tearing him apart that can bring him shame. They don’t have that power because Isaiah knows who he is in Christ. That alone gives him the ability to stand firm in what God has for him to do. We choose to carry shame and shame makes us hide. If we know who we are in Christ there is no shame to hold, there is nothing to hide. We can stand firm and take what may come our way. We have choices every day.
Exodus 33:17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I KNOW you by name.”
To know someone or something can mean so many things, and it’s all in the tone of our voice.
I know that
I don’t know
I want to know you more
She really knows me
He knew his wife and she conceived
She knows how to throw
The word for know in the Old Testament is the root word yada:
to be aquatinted with
to sleep with someone
to know, learn to know
to recognize, admit, acknowledge, confess
to have knowledge, wise
I remember when I first started dating my husband I would write him letters and sign it with my full name. It was my way of saying this is written by all of me, not just a quick letter with no thought, but the full me, all in, from the moment I was named. I loved it when he wrote back and addressed it with my full name. It made me feel known. I was trying to let him in and let it all out. No more mask, who I really am. My favorite gift was a bible he had engraved with my full name on it. It is such a great metaphor to my life,….. another story for another day.
Three years after we had been married we moved to a new city where I didn’t know anyone. I was in a drought physically, spiritually and emotionally. My husband was busy working making great connections and I was at home with a new baby, lonely. I longed to be known and to know someone.
We all want to be deeply known by someone. When someone knows the in’s and out’s of you, you trust them. You know that they have your back and don’t judge the meanings or motives of what you are doing. But for someone to really know you means they can hurt you, so sometimes we aren’t fully known. We feel safer behind our mask so when someone says something that hurts, it is bouncing off our mask and not our heart.
In Exodus 33 Moses and God are talking about how Moses will continue to lead the people now that they are out of Egypt. Exodus 33:14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” From that point on God will lead the people by cloud during the day and fire by night so that Moses doesn't have to carry the load of leading the people. It will allow Moses to rest and the people to know that it is God that is telling them to move. Moses’ response is, “please Lord, lead the people, because how else will everyone know that it is You leading us.” God’s response is Exodus 33:17, I will do what you ask because I know you. Moses knows God and God knows Moses. Moses is trusting God to do what He said He will do but God already knows Moses. He knows all the mistakes he made, the pride, the murder, He knows. God knows us by name. He knows every moment from before you were named. When we are in a season of loneliness, God knows you. He will lead you and give you rest. All we have to do is trust.
Written by Kim Hommel
God has allowed me to be a missionary in the Philippines for 7 years now. I moved here in January of 2009, thinking that I would only be around for a year… However, every year since has been completely different from the others.
2009 - Six ladies were trained to be cosmetologist’ out of Cuatro Community. Today, they are independently running a salon and spa in our ministry center, providing for their families, and their children’s families!
2010 - Nine little girls from the Cuatro Community, and myself, started a Bible study, which turned into over a hundred girls consistently studying the Word of God by the end of that year.
2011 - God called me into motherhood, through starting a home for girls coming from abusive families. This was the year that has changed the course of my life forever!
2012 - God taught me what the word Faith really means. As I prayed for 9 months that God would allow us to purchase the home which my girls and I live in today… On Christmas Eve 2012, my 26 girls and I received the gift of moving into our home!
2013 - God grew our family from 26 girls, to 30+. My sister Janel lived in the home for a few months with our JAZ Family. That will probably be some of the best months of my life, having my best friend and my favorite little girls all together under the same roof!
2014 - God allowed me to take a 4-month furlough. It was during this time that a new love formed for the girls God had given me. I came back refreshed and with a newfound desire to deeply love my Heathenry Father and do the best I could to raise these girls.
2015 - The year of Surrendering. God taught me that though He had given me these girls to take care of and love as best I could, they are ultimately His! By the end of the year, God moved nine new girls into our family but moved eight others out. Learning to let go and trust His Will over mine, was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. But, I know today, that they belong to Him and He loves them far greater then I ever could! I don't doubt His Almighty plans for their lives.
SO 2016 ! What will it bring? I have absolutely no idea! But I am so excited!
I’m especially excited for the prayer groups that are forming around the world, who have committed to praying for the JAZ Family.
36 Girls - Ella , Anarose , Angelica , Melissa , Dian , Alyssa , ReaAnn , Annie , Regine , Jolina , Anamarie , Raquel , Shiela , Dyana , Aina , Shaira , Raylyn , JuvieLynn , Celina , Janet , Sunshine , Sanjie , Gigi , Cherry , Aira , Avie , Jamaica , Hazel , Joyce , Shan , Angel , Clarita , Arabella , Ally , Trixie and Chesca
JAZ Family Team - Rosalinda and Melanie (social workers), Owen and Yolly (counselors) , Emelda Genesis Espie and Merlie (caregivers & cooks) , Totoy Ronald Alfred John and Dodoy (drivers and men on duty)
Leadership & Parent roles - Carina , Ella and Josie.