by Kim Miller
What were you doing when you were twenty-two?
I was in my fourth year of marriage and our son, Zac, was two. On our Woven mission trip, I met a young woman who is twenty-six. I will not reveal her real name, ethnicity or where she lives exactly. Why? Because what I learned about "Linda" and the past four years of her life might put her in danger.
Something drew me to her table. I knew most of the women sitting there did not speak English, but I felt I should get to know them. The Woven discussion was about loneliness. How can you be lonely in NYC? There are so many people and so many things to do! Linda shared that when she is lonely, she sings to Jesus. When I asked her to elaborate, she mentioned having no family, climbing mountains and swimming a river to get here. Since her English was somewhat broken, I was confused. We had an interpreter at the table who was able to help this petite young woman share her story with us.
She grew up in a country far, far from New York in a region with little opportunity to earn a living. Professing Christ was also dangerous. At the age of twenty-two, she set out for the “Land of Opportunity”. After several plane rides, she landed in South America. She hid in the bottom of a car, walked, climbed mountains and finally swam a river to get to the United States. She hid from border patrol on foot and from the air, terrified that at any moment she, like some of her companions would be caught and sent back. After fifty-two days, she finally made it across the border into the U.S. Remember, she was traveling with no family at age twenty-two!
I sat there looking at her with my mouth hanging open! What do you say to something like that? To top it off, she was smiling the whole time she was telling this harrowing story! She said her grandmother told her that if she ever felt lonely or scared to just sing to Jesus. That’s what she did!
Finally arriving in New York, she learned to speak the language by working at a restaurant. After four years, she has her green card and received political asylum for persecution of faith. She lives alone and still has no family. She still sings to Jesus!
The cost of coming to America was $73,000. She recently paid this debt. Now, she is able to keep the money she earns. The only time I saw the smile slip from her face was when asked how she was able to pay her trafficker. I never got a clear answer, but the look on her face was so stricken, I could not bring myself to ask for clarification...I can only imagine what she has gone through. It makes me ill…. As we continued talking, her smile returned, with tears of joy that she is here! I wanted to bring her home with me!
I take so much for granted: my family, my church, my friends, my job, my transportation, my home, and my country. I don’t think daily about how blessed I am! I don't thank God as often as I should. I can sing to Jesus no matter where I am! Yet, most of the time, instead of reaching for Him, I reach out to friends for comfort and guidance. I will always remember Linda, knowing that no matter where she is or what she’s doing, she is singing to Jesus…
Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord,
among the nations, and I will sing praises to Your name.
2 Samuel 23:50
Father God, Forgive me for taking you for granted; for failing to thank you and praise You for the many blessings in my life. I want to sing to You when I am lonely, turn to You when I am scared. Please help me to remember that you are my refuge and strength. Only with You will I find true happiness and peace. Thank You, Lord God, that You never leave me. You are with me always. I praise You for delivering "Linda" to safety. Continue to protect her and watch over her. I praise You in Jesus Name, Amen.
May this be the perfect finale for your time with the Lord this morning.
Sing To Jesus!
I pray you will thank Him for the immense blessings He has bestowed upon you.
Sing...and be thankful!
I'm praising Him for your life, His provision for you...
I'm praising Him for you!
Kim is a vivacious woman of God.She makes me smile just saying her name. It's so wonderful to have her on my Woven leadership team at Newarknaz. We are still unwrapping her many gifts. I have so much love for this woman! We are Woven! ~Cindy
Kim and her best friend Mike have been married for 30 years. They have been blessed with two sons, Zac (married to the amazing Jackie) and Jake. They also have two rambunctious dogs, Jo & Dixie. Kim has been an administrative professional for 30 years. She enjoys encouraging and spending time with women of all ages.