Happy Tuesday dear friends! 

This week, I am so very happy to have my sweet friend Cyndi Word guest-posting on my blog! Cyndi is one of my all-time heroes. There are many reasons for that, but today you will see that she is a person who is fully committed to reaching the most desperately hurting around her. This sister is the real deal, ‘all in’ and is drawn to places where evil has had a serious foothold. Cyndi brings Jesus’ light and truth into the darkest of places and to the most hurting & broken people imaginable. When she shows up, she brings love, grace, and a hilarious sense of humor! I just love her and so will you. 

Everybody — meet Cyndi! 

 

Cyndi and a little in the Dominican Republic
Cyndi and a little in the Dominican Republic

 Three Women {three haunting beautiful faces}

I can call-up their faces in my memory so easily. Three different women living in three different places in absolute and abject need.

The first, I recall from my week on mission with our church in the DR. She must have been in her 60’s, or perhaps she was much younger and poverty had etched those lines deeply into her face.

She had some kind of deformity, the sides of her precious face didn’t quite match up and she was so obviously self-conscious about it. This woman came into the little church where we were doing vacation Bible school and made her own craft.

Tiny pieces of colorful tissue paper were glued onto a picture of a tree that was drawn on a paper plate, making her own version of the burning bush.

I came around with my camera and she excitedly held up her project, a huge smile on her face.

As I aimed the camera she slid her craft up to cover her deformity.

My heart shattered just a bit as the shutter of the camera clicked.

I longed to take that lovely, joy-filled face in my hands and tell her she was beautiful — that she had a Father that adored her.

That she never needed to hide her deformity because each and every one of us has them, seen or unseen.

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The second woman is a human trafficking victim, an addict and a sister in Christ.

I have had the honor of cracking open God’s word with her and celebrated when she accepted Jesus as her very own. Tears have fallen from my eyes as she lifted her amazing voice to sing of God’s grace and the freedom found in His redemption.

But…after a year and a half of safe-haven in a restoration home, Satan sent the demons so familiar to her and she returned to the streets.

I met up with her for lunch one day — or at least I had lunch while she sat shaking from the drugs coursing through her system.

I have no doubt of her salvation, but I fear her only peace will come when Christ calls her home. I ask God to help me understand, why isn’t intense love enough to draw her back to Him?

He reminds me that He feels the same way and has cried out the same question to every lost soul that has rejected His love.  

The third woman, I just recently met. Her face might be the one that is haunting me the most.

She lives just an hour away from our suburban paradise in an abandoned building on the west side of Baltimore. I had the opportunity to serve dinner to some of the people in that area, and she came to the gathering at the end of the night. She could have been my daughter — was just about my children’s age.

Despite her tiny frame, I learned she had just recently given birth to a baby which was whisked away from the choices this young woman was making.

She smiled as she was introduced to me and I saw that all of her front teeth were missing. Her voice was high and sweet as she thanked us for dinner and for some blankets we had brought along. I longed to put her in my car, to drive her away from whatever had led her to the dangerous streets of west Baltimore.

Three women, three beautifully haunting faces. I see their eyes as I close my own and I ask God — what do you want from me? The needs are huge; God-sized and I don’t know what to do.

So far, these are the answers He has given. I share them because I am sure you have beautiful faces that haunt you too.  

  • Love the one I put in front of you. You may not feel as if you are making a difference, but to that one you are
  • Take the opportunities I give you to serve. You only get one life, so put the first things first
  • Don’t feel guilty for your blessings, feel responsibility
  • Most importantly, tell the hurting about Me.Tell them I love them, tell them I see them, tell them about my Son

 

 

In His Love,

Cyndi 

{from Laura} Learn more about the Baltimore area ministries where Cyndi serves: The Samaritan Women  and Angels of Addiction