Did you know that there are over 27 million slaves in the world today? If you're like I was a few years ago I would have told you that slavery was abolished by the Civil War and wasn't a problem today. BUT IT IS! There are millions today who are forced into labor, in mines, brothels, factories etc... There are millions of literal slaves in this world. I can no longer be silent about this mainly unspoken of issue. I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. He came to set the captives free and bring hope and salvation to a world lost in sin. I joined the End It movement because I want to see an end to slavery. I wrote a red X on my hand not because it had some magical power but because I wanted to spread awareness. I told over 10 people which is pretty good for not even getting the chance to get off my college campus. And all of them weren't fellow students. I took today to do what the movement asked- Shine a Light on Slavery. I saw it as a chance to tell other people about the major problem of human trafficking in this world TODAY. We can make a difference. If you a follower of Christ you have the tools you need to change the world. We have a message of hope to the hopeless. We have the gospel. I encourage you to educate yourself. Slavery is real and all over the world-including the USA. Through God's strength and power we can make a difference. Above is a video from the End It Movement. http://enditmovement.com/
This is a facebook page for friend's book targeting women leaving human trafficking
So, spread the word and most of all, PRAY. Pray for those enslaved and those who are making the effort to free them.
Something God has been teaching me recently is that I really need to watch what I say. I have that terrible habit of talking without thinking. What comes to mind comes out like a terrible flood. I cannot even tell you how many times I wish there was a rewind button for life in general so I could take back the words I said. But unfortunately, as well all know, there is no such button. I was reading through Ephesians the other day and happened upon Eph. 4:29. Paul writes: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (NIV). I was convicted by the power that my words have on others. I found a quote from Tullian Tchividjian that goes perfectly with this passage: “Words kill and words give life, they’re either poison or fruit – you choose. Words have not only destructive power but also life-giving power. They have massive potential for good and disastrous potential for evil. Our words can serve either to love or to hate, to encourage or to discourage. They have the power either to build up or tear down… That’s why Paul tells us that the church needs to be a community that use the gift of speech the way God intended, as we put off harmful words and put on helpful words… The church must be marked by a different language than the world exhibits, a peculiar speech. We must choose to speak redemptively. The sweetness and strength of the gospel – the sweetness of grace, the strength of truth – should flavour everything we say.” So, what will your words be? You can tear down through gossip, mean words, lies, etc or you can build up through encouraging one another. Perhaps you've heard it already but Hawk Nelson's song "Words" talks about this very subject and is definitely applicable.
Woohoo! 1st week of my senior year is over. God is already teaching me so much. I've begun the one year through the Bible and I am so excited to see how God will use it in my life. One of the topics I was reminded of during one of my devos is temptation. No matter who you are or where you live, you will face temptation. It's inevitable. Unbelievers and believers are faced with the choice to give into their flesh everyday. I started thinking hard about temptation and I came up with a couple questions.
What do you struggle with? Maybe it's worrying or lying, stealing, pornography, cheating etc... I could go on and on.
Where are you when you give in? Do you isolate yourself? saying that no one but you will be affected? or are you surrounded by people you shouldn't be with?
Now for the tough question: How can you say no? What can you do to stay away from the temptation and refuse it?
Sure it's easy to say now that you're probably not under intense pressure to give in, let it go. But isn't that what we should be doing? We need to set up boundaries so it will be completely clear that we are close to crossing them into sin. Rand Hummel from the Wilds camp says it this way: "We need to make it hard to sin and easy to do good. We need to love what God loves and hate what God hates." As Christians we are in a fierce battle against evil, Satan and his demons and our flesh. We can't just sit around "spiritually flabby" never expecting to be tempted. We need to be ready, fully equipped with the armor of God. Anyways, that's my short thought for today. Be ready to stand firm against temptation!
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints
It's 2014! Can't believe it. It's such an exciting time, the start of a new year. I don't know about you but I feel so hopeful. Everything is fresh, you don't have to make the mistakes you did last year. You can move on and improve. That's where those new year's resolutions come in. Everyone has high expectations (or low I suppose, depending on your outlook of life) of what this coming year will be like. All the things you want changed come to mind and it seems like a wonderful idea to take that step toward becoming the person you always wanted to be.
It's also a time to reflect. I'm one of those people who is constantly going. I don't allow myself to just be still and think. Over this holiday break I've done a lot of thinking, remembering what took place this year. I have to say, I am incredibly blessed. This year was extremely hard at times but I learned so much. I saw God at work in my life and the lives of so many others. It's interesting because often we don't see God working while it's taking place. Most times when God is doing something big, changing people into the image of His Son, it is incredibly painful. It's uncomfortable to say the least to go through trials, "refining" periods of time. But looking back you can see the purpose behind the situation and how you are better because of it.
This year I've had a number of incredible experiences. For one, I traveled overseas to the beautiful country of India. Wow, it still shocks me that I can actually say that. It has been my dream ever since I was a little girl. That trip changed my life completely. I don't even have words to describe how incredible it was.
I also started my senior of college. WHOA. I never actually thought I would get this far. I am one step closer to becoming a full time missionary :) So exciting!
All this to say, I met so many amazing individuals this year. That was the highlight for sure. I have made so many new friends, especially during my time in India. I also built stronger relationships with friends I already had. When it all comes down to it, that's what matters: the lives you made a difference in. I suppose you could say that's my resolution for 2014. I want to impact others with the love of God. I want to be Christ to those around me.
First off, I want to express my sincere apologies for
taking so long to send out this update. It has been a crazy ride since
returning from our trip. I started my senior year of college at BBC so I’ve
kept very busy.
My trip was incredible. The Lord taught me so much and
many memories were made. Here’s a little bit of my story. Claudia and I arrived
safely in the Kochin airport after over 20 hours of flying. We were able to go
through customs hassle-free and Pastor Shibu met us right outside of the
baggage claim. It was about a 3 hour drive to Mundathanam where the Simons
live. There we met Julie, Shibu’s wife and their two children Joshua and Abby
(who are 12 and 8 years old). That night the Simon’s church held a welcoming
ceremony for Claudia and me. We also had the opportunity to share our
testimonies; how God has worked in our lives. We stayed a few days at the
Simons, to recover from our jet lag. Where we were in India is 9 ½ hours ahead
of us here in the northeast!
The Thursday after coming to India we moved into the
Mercy Children’s Christian Home which is also used as the girls’ dormitory for
Kerala Baptist Bible College. It is home to 15 children from 6-17 whose parents
have passed away or are unable to care for them. Over the 6 weeks Claudia and I
had a lot of fun with them, playing outside and getting to know them. I was
able to do devotionals with them every day, teaching them from the Bible. Out
of the children there were 9 girls. I had brought crafts and jewelry to make
with them; something they really seemed to enjoy. We also played a lot of games
with them outside like follow the leader, tag, and hide and seek. I spent a lot
of time getting to know the girls and their caretaker Mary, whom I called Amma
Che which means grandma in Malayalam (the language they speak in Kerala). The
children did not speak English very much. I became interested in learning their
language though so they were constantly teaching me different words in
Malayalam. I also learned a few songs (and correlating dance moves).
Music played a big part in my time in India; something
I was not expecting. Just like here in the US they love music in particular,
singing. If you know me you know that I absolutely love to sing. It was a
blessing to be able to use my God-given voice to encourage others. I had a
number of opportunities to sing for churches and at KBBCS during chapel. I also
was able to teach countless worship songs. I taught the children “Jesus Loves
Me” and “He is Able”. I was given the opportunity to teach songs for an entire
hour every Friday at KBBCS to the college students. The college girls also had
me teach them several songs separately to sing during chapel or special events.
Among many, I taught them “How Great is Our God”, “Jesus Messiah” and “I Will
Call Upon the Lord”.
Claudia and I spent every week day working in the
college library. We catalogued books and arranged shelves. We organized and
numbered the shelves. I also did some odd jobs while at KBBC. I helped review
their college website. I also edited and compiled a chorus book for them,
containing songs that weren’t in the hymnal. In the last week I edited the
I had many opportunities to minister to the college
girls. There were 9 girls studying for their bachelor’s or master’s degrees. I
was able to give a devotional every day and teach the Bible to them. I went
through some of the women in the Bible, explaining how it applies to their
life. I covered Eve, Sarah, Ruth, Elizabeth, Mary among others. I was also able
to attend their prayer meetings and spend time communicating with God among
them. I really bonded with the girls and got to know them. We really became
We had quite a few adventures during our time in
India. We saw elephants up close, one was at work moving logs. We saw monkeys
and waterfalls. We took a trip to Ela Parra where there are tea plantations.
While there we attended the college librarian’s little baby boy’s first
birthday party. We also were able to attend an Indian wedding which was an
exciting and beautiful cultural experience.
What I loved most about India was the relationships I
formed. God used them to minister to my heart and encourage me. It was exciting
to see God at work, drawing them closer to Himself through learning. I just
want to thank you again for helping me get there. It was an amazing trip. I
also ended with extra money and was able to bless the children’s home with over
$400. They put the money to good use and many were blessed.
Thank you again, May God bless you all for your
In Christ, Gina Perone Above is a picture of Claudia and I with all of the girls, children's home and college as well as our Amma Che.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever get to go to India. But yet I yearned with everything I had to go. It started with my mom reading to me the life of Amy Carmichael, once I was old enough I read "A Chance to Die" by Elizabeth Elliot (a fantastic book if you haven't read it yet). She had such an incredible life and was used by God to have an amazing impact on so many lives as a missionary in India. Her life fueled my desire to go. Anyways, since I am in the Missions program I have to complete a six week apprenticeship overseas during the summer after my junior year. I was a little worried, besides some cousins in Greece I don't really have any connections. So I talked with my adviser at school and at first we tried to work something through ABWE and going to Bangladesh. It fell through, so it's about November and I have no clue what I am doing for the summer and I'm starting to panic. So a friend comes, who knows that I have a heart for India and tells me of an opportunity to go to India. I go talk to my adviser and we start the process of making my way there. Long story short, I found out I had to raise $3,000. Whoa, that terrified me. But now I have most of my money raised and I have seen God do amazing things. I am traveling with a friend and we will be staying in Kerala, India for six weeks with a missionary and his family. We will be ministering at the children's home and school, and Bible college and seminary that they have started there. I am so excited, it's just one of those things where God has given me the desire of my heart. I wasn't even searching for it, He just brought it to me. So cool. Anyways, pray for me and my friend. We need it haha. We are leaving June 15th and will return to the States July 25th. Pray the Lord would keep us safe and give us a fruitful ministry. I'm praying that will be life changing and that God would continue to fuel my passion for sharing His love with everyone I meet.
Wow, I haven't written in just over a year. I apologize. This has certainly been a crazy and stressful past year. My dad shut down his chiropractic office and is now a full time professor, I started my junior year of college, my grandfather passed away after a long battle with cancer in November, and many other events. I have since completed my junior year, I'm officially a Senior! I also have another exciting event coming up in just a couple weeks. I'm going to....INDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My life long dream is coming true. I can't even tell you how excited I am (or how nervous my mom is lol). My next post will be all about it. :)