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My Response: Julie in Michigan

My name is Julie Doll.  My husband and two children live in West Michigan.  I formerly taught first grade before having the honor of becoming a stay at home mom.


My husband and I viewed Reparando in October in Grand Rapids, MI.  We enjoy watching documentary films together and as parents of two busy little munchkins, who wouldn’t want a quiet night out at the movies?  Another reason we wanted to see the film was because our church, Immanuel CRC (Hudsonville, MI) encouraged us to go.  We support the missionary work of Joel Van Dyke in Guatemala.  We knew he was part of the film and would be at the screenings in MI.  His passion is inspiring and contagious and we always look forward to hearing from him.

At the close of the screening I felt my emotions being stirred up.  I felt inspired. I felt both HELPLESS (because my life was just normal. I was just going through the motions.  I was stuck in a rut and I desperately wanted MORE!) and HOPEFUL (I felt convicted to make a change, to put God and others first, to be generous, to get out of my comfort zone and to love unconditionally!)  I felt God calling me to GO! 

The very next evening I was talking to a friend who had also just seen the film.  We shared our reactions to it and we joked about wanting to go to Guatemala in the near future.  It turns out that God was in on the joke.  The next few days I talked with my husband, prayed, talked with people at church and decided to respond to the call and make this possibility a reality.
From the middle of October to the middle of November all the little details fell perfectly into place.  Myself and 2 other girls from my church jumped on the opportunity to help out at a Build a Bridge Art Camp in Guatemala City.  We had the pleasure of serving 63 beautiful children for a week.  We had the added bonus of meeting the Athentikos crew who also served at the camp.  It was such a blessing to spend time with them. 

The highlight for me was meeting new brothers and sisters in Christ…people who are passionate…people who genuinely care.  I can’t begin to name each person that inspired and influenced me that week.  But I do have to say that I had high hopes of meeting Tita.  Since I am a former first grade teacher my heart really connected to her story and her work in La Limonada.  I had the honor of meeting her at a screening of Reparando in Guatemala City.  In our brief conversation she assured me that my calling right now is to serve my family, to take care of my husband and my children.  That was exactly what I needed to hear.  I was given a new perspective on my role in life at this moment. It was refreshing and encouraging!   

God opened my eyes to see motherhood as a mission. I pray that I will be more intentional with my words and actions as I strive to love my family and raise my children to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.