Do you ever have one of those friends who after some time has passed, you don't even remember how you met? Me too. While I may not exactly remember how I met her...I thought you should know her too. Meet Christina Barnes! The very fact that she goes by Missionary Yogi speaks to my heart! Faith, Yoga and Missions, oh my!
Sporting that "Barnes" name, yes she is the daughter-in-law of Seth Barnes, which increased the likelihood of our paths crossing. For those who may not know, Seth is the Founder of Adventures in Missions, the sending organization for The World Race, which I embarked on 10 years ago. (where does the time go?!?) The World Race is an 11-month, 11-country missional discipleship journey that played a key role in my own spiritual growth. They now have different length programs for different age groups and my heart has delighted the past few years as recent high school grads from my church have embarked on their own gap year journeys!
Back to Christina...I asked her to write up an invitation to something called the Wholeness Journey coming up later this fall to Costa Rica. Wholeness Journeys have resonated in my spirit since the first time I heard about them and got to hear Christina's heart behind how they came together. In her picture above, I imagine her sitting across from you and telling you all about it, filled with passion and purpose. My application is submitted - will you join me?
Guest post from Christina:
Wholeness Journeys are all about creating a space to connect more fully with God, yourself, and others. I believe it's in this connection that we find more wholeness in Christ!
Since 2017, we've hosted three Wholeness Journeys and each one has been more increasingly more powerful and transformative than the last. It's so amazing how God is able to take whatever we offer Him of ourselves, our time, and our talents -- and make SO much more of it! It's really a thrill to get to partner with God, doing His work in the arenas of yoga and missions.
I'm excited to share with you about our upcoming Wholeness Journey: to Costa Rica! August 30 - September 7
Costa Rica is known for its stunning beaches and beautiful rainforests. But outside of the tourist destinations are large pockets of poverty, family brokenness, and abuse.
On Wholeness Journey Costa Rica, we will partner with Casa Transforma, a ministry that serves vulnerable women living in extreme poverty, women who have suffered physical and emotional abuse, women coming out of prostitution, teenage and single mothers and their children, vulnerable elderly women, and undocumented migrant women fleeing political upheaval in neighboring countries. Casa Transforma offers a Christ-centered environment for healing, empowerment, and transformation. They've even been awarded accolades from the United Nations for their work in social entrepreneurship and community innovation. I've learned so much just from talking to their founder! It's going to be an awesome trip.
In fact, God gave their founder, Vanessa, the words “holistic health” for 2019. Vanessa was noticing that the graduates of her programs were professionally equipped to do their jobs and run their new micro-businesses, but many were only working 3 weeks of each month...because they were running themselves ragged and getting sick! Casa Transforma wants to integrate education on wholeness and wellness: how to care for ourselves in mind, body, and spirit. Enter our Wholeness Journey Team!
We are going to have the unique opportunity to pour into both the women and staff of this catalytic organization -- making a lasting impact in the lives of women in need.
Our team will:
If you have any questions, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on instagram at @MissionaryYogi
Some people my not know that I had the joy of co-founding a faith-based, agricultural non-profit 8 years ago, Field of Hope. The organization's birthday celebration gave me the opportunity to reflect on the past 8 years.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
In 2009, I embarked on a journey that I easily thought would be the greatest adventure of my life, an 11-country, 11-month mission trip experience: The World Race. Traveling around the world within a calendar year not only stamped my passport, but forever etched my heart. Sure, I found adventure, but more than that...I found purpose.
Perhaps the question I get asked most often about my experience is how I chose Uganda as the country I'd return to and engage in long-term ministry. I can't help but to hesitate...to smile...and earnestly respond...
Uganda chose me.
Only God could pluck an Illinois farm girl and plant her heart and feet into the Ugandan soil. How could I not return?
Now looking back over the past 8 years, I can appreciate how sincere but naive we were when co-founders, Mike and Cathy Hafner committed, in the faith of Ruth 1:16, to "go wherever I would go" and Field of Hope was born.
What has surprised me the most? I thought it would be easy. Find a problem. Insert a solution. But it wasn't easy...the good things rarely are. Instead it was messy. It required more commitment, more grit, more resilience than I knew I had. There were cultural misunderstandings, disappointments and learnings. But you know what I also realized...God wasn't just up to something in Uganda...he was up to something in me. I think it is easy in the West to think we have it all figured out...through our efficiencies…technology and solutions...but Uganda has given me far more than I'll ever give. God knew what he was doing when he brought us together. He knew I needed Uganda.
Still today, I need Uganda to remind me of the beauty that comes from the broken, the value of faith over comfort and relationships over resources…at the same time reorienting my relationship with resources.
As I think about the success of Field of Hope over the past 8 years and our stewardship of the resources that have been provided, I accredit it to the culture and commitment to integrity and humility that is ingrained in the organization and our leadership. We didn't know where we were going when we took that first step. And sure, we made a few missteps along the way as we dove into this agricultural development space. But if you remain humble...teachable...committed to doing the right thing...the Lord will show you who you were created to be.
I believe that's true of a non-profit organization, but it is also true of you...of me...of each of us.
We don't have to create our identities or the purposes that we were put on this earth for...instead we get the joy of discovering them as we walk with God. I believe the Lord destined Field of Hope to do good works, prepared in advance for us to do...and then He set us on the adventure of humbly discovering what those works were...and transforming each of us through the process.
The journey is not over. In many ways, it has just begun. The Lord has led us to new ventures and more partnerships than we could have ever predicted when we took those first steps 8 years ago…but I pray we will always have that Ruth 1:16 faith to “go wherever He would have us go.”
We are an organization...made up of people...pursuing His purposes in the world...which God prepared in advance for us to do...
Will you join us?
*originally posted on the Field of Hope blog
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Hi - I'm Brandy. I'm a farm girl at heart, but currently hang my hat in suburbia. I love my family and the roots they gave me...roots which provided enough courage to fly. I fell in love with Jesus in my twenties followed by Africa and my husband in my thirties. I'm fascinated by the tapestry God is weaving with our lives and the purpose behind each of our unique threads. I'm passionate about moving people closer to who they were created to be...closer to Him.