I miss you all so so much. I miss talking to you guys, hanging out, and knowing what’s going on, but I know that it is important for me to focus and devote my time here in the city of Oakland. In one week, God has already begun shaping and growing my heart. Through everything that God is teaching me, there has been a recurring theme: it’s not about me serving them, but about us sharing our lives together.
Before I came to BayUP, I thought my life was better and separate from the people we will be serving in Oakland. During one of our sessions, I learned that many of the sexually exploited youth are really similar to me. A lot of the young girls are born in America, lured into sex trafficking because they seek love that the media and dominant culture portrays, and become trapped and exploited after initial attention from the traffickers. I always thought of these sexually exploited youth as people who either live in far away lands or came from far away lands. I didn’t realize that many of them are just like me — born and raised in America. This realization, among many others, has helped me understand that my life is not so different from the people here. I have also learned that I am not any better than them, but everything that I have in my life is just a product of the privileges and opportunities that I was born into. It is hard for me to understand why I was born with so much blessing and what to do with that blessing, but acknowledging that everything in my life is out of God’s grace and not by my own works is the first step to a very long journey of surrendering my life to Him and His plans for my life.
Honestly, I don’t think I am actually sharing my life with the people of this city yet, but it is my prayer that there will be chances and divine moments where our team and I can really create an us with the people of Oakland.
-Kimmy, 6/27/11 3:10PM