She laughs at the days to come...
This Hebrew proverb has NEVER even been one to describe me. I am an A-type planner, I can be rigid when plans fail, and I am lost with out my calendar. However, by the grace of God He has helped me to embrace my view strategic view of world but not be ruled by human planning.
Today I am excited to announce that I am returning to Spain! It is my goal to be there in January of 2024! With one year's experience under my belt, I can honestly say what I know is I don't know much :) In Spain last year. I learned, and learned and then I learned some more. I am so grateful for Gods grace that comes my shortcoming.
As I look to the future I am full of anticipation of what God will do in and through me. Thank you to those who have followed along with me and supported me through prayer and financial giving.
It has meant the world to know I have such a great community behind me, helping me to go where God is calling me.
All the best,
When I was 16 years old, a missionary from Eurasia who worked to rescue and restore women and child out of the Red Light District. She came and spoke to the collage-young adult group. My sister knew that I was interested in working with women and children in the same context, so I came.
My life was changed that night but I wouldn't realize the affects for years to come. The speaker shared she story of coming into this work and journey of faith God. As I sat there listening, what struck me was her simple encouragement of "do what you love and let God use it". That was it. Don't complicate it. Don't disqualify yourself because of lack of education or experience. Don't diminish what God can do with your "yes".
I look back at where I started when I felt the desire to help some how. I began doing DIY art projects and making headbands out recycled t-shirts and reading books on human trafficking.
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin" -Zechariah 4:10
So what ever "It" is for you, give that to God and let Him use it. Remain faithful and He is always faithful to us to complete what He started.
This is one of my favorite spots to view the city and pray. Today I want to invite you to join me in a week long prayer challenge. To begin the second half of my time I want to cover this city, the ministry, and the new beginnings home in prayer. Would you join me?
You can join me today by praying through this Prayer Guide found below!
New Beginnings is what it's all about for Project Rescue. We believe that in Jesus every person was created with a God-given purpose. It has been my complete joy in some small ways walk with women in their own "new beginnings" journey. From captive to freedom. From hopeless to powerful. From darkness to light. Jesus is the only one who can do this.
Just this week in the home we celebrated one of our own as she embarks on a chapter in life. She has graduated the program and moves out. There are of course, mixed feelings of sadness and joy but mostly we are so thankful for Gods redemption and light on this life.
Also, this week I met a woman in desperate need of help. She fled from her abusive partner as he started to talk about sending her away for a "new job". Now she is reaching out for help to reclaim and reestablish her life.
All over again, I am reminded why this work is so important! The statistic of sexual slavery can be discouraging but the work is not to help numbers, it's to help people. One at a time we will help people by the power and love of Jesus!
Hello friends! I am excited today to share a part of a FREEDOM STORY of a woman from one of our homes. As it usually occurs, traffickers go after the vulnerable.
This was true for *Nicoleta when she was sold by her mother into a sex club in Spain. She worked a several different sex clubs over the next 6 years. She lived and worked in poor conditions, was diagnosed with a serious condition and deceived by many people. It was one day, she met a member from our team that she learned of the home and program where she can received help. Nicoleta graduated the program in two years and today works in the home caring for other women have also been rescued from sexual slavery.
This is only one story of freedom, there are so many more- Praise God! Yet, with every one rescued there are hundreds and thousands still in need to liberation from this evil.
If you would like to participate in the works here are three ways:
*Promote and share the content of Project Rescue and other great organizations fighting against trafficking. Learn more about them HERE
*Pray for the anti trafficking efforts. I have created a basic Prayer Guide you can use to launch your prayers, found HERE
*Support through financial giving. You can give directly to Project Rescue home in Spain HERE
I am in slight disbelief that we are already in the month of February! Time is going by so fast. I am coming in to my third month of living here in Spain. Although, it has not been without some challenges, I am really loving being here.
Some of my mini wins of January:
I have learned my regular bus routes, as I take them almost daily. I have begun to explore my surroundings in the center of town. I was with out a working kitchen for a week but it got fixed (yay!). I found local roasted coffee and its heavenly! I began my Spanish classes and now I am beginning to understand the sermons at my church (haha!) as well as have small conversations with people.
All of these things, I will admit are not that exciting but it's part of settling into a new place. I am super thankful I get to be here. I am privileged to do the work I do. I help my team out about 4 times a week. I am slightly limited in what I can do until I can independently speak the language. So here's hoping it comes quickly!
Above pics: riding the bus to class and my street outside of the apartment.
Below pics from the Santa Barbara Castell where you can see the whole city!
This week I have been dwelling on the proverbs "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life."
Maybe, this proverbs is familiar to you, as it is for me. I have quoted it and had it quoted to me many times.
When I get bad news, hear of a friend receiving something I want, or feel as though I am getting the silent treatment from God, que Proverbs 13:12. The not so subtle reminder that yes, when you don't get what you want it doesn't feel good. As if I really needed a Bible verse to tell me this.
However, as I reread this verse again this week, I felt my eyes land on the part of the passage I had always overlooked, "a desire fulfilled is a tree of life". Did you see that "tree of life" not just a feeling.
To bring some clarity to my revelation this week, I also have to share a passage from my current read, Live No Lies by John Mark Comer. I will admit, I do NOT understand all of what this Portlandian pastor is saying but this line felt like putting my eye up to a Canon DSL as it focuses perfectly on it's subject.
"Our strongest desire are not actually our deepest desires"
Which is to say, yes when we are don't received our desire it is disappointing, it is heart breaking, it is sad. YET, WHEN (and I do want to emphasis the when), we DO receive our true desires, a deep desire it becomes like a tree, growing and producing life.
Today, I am living is a desire fulfilled. My life is a tree of life not because of anything Marissa did but all because of God's giving, working, refining, and leading me in this desire to serve his Daughters in Spain. I am so over come with joy to be here in this season. God receives all the glory and honor for this desire.
I am praying today for you and your desire that it would be for Jesus and His Kingdom. I am praying for your unfulfilled desire and any disappointment that might be there. Jesus never disappoints us.
All the best,
I have been living in Spain for just over a month. The transition overall has been great. Of course, there are always the fun challenges where I stand in a line at four different banks in 2 hours to learn I missed my window of the service I need. But, each day I am telling myself is learning something new. Whether I am practicing spanish with coworker, trying to buy produce at the Mercat Central, or how to finding my way around the city.
I am settling into my new home or hogar and it does feel sweet. As sweet as when I first can and visited this city. I am so grateful to be here and have the privilege to work with the Project Rescue to see women and children rescued and restored from sexual slavery.
If you would like to partner with me financially, I ask that you would instead consider giving your gift to Project Rescue to this ministry. You can do this easily and by using the same Giving instructions found on my Give Page. Here is the general giving link for AGWM and you can give directly to Project Rescue by enter their name.
Happy New Year to you!
Hola de Espana! I am so happy to say that I am writing to you from Spain. I arrived a few days ago in Madrid. It was bitter sweet to say good bye to my friends and loved ones including my home church family but I know I will see them all again soon. I am blessed beyond measure by my support team back in the States. They have prayed, encouraged and walked with me to this very point.
Since I have arrived, I have been resting and adjusting to the time difference (9+). I also have been able "practicar" my Spanish a lot with the women I am staying with. The team and people here are so very welcoming. I am very excited to continue to meet more people as I settle into my new home.
I am so thankful to be here and believe God has called me here as such a time as this. Only He knows what lies ahead of this year!
This has been the phrase that I say to myself ALOT lately. It's been a while since I have written an update here but as life ramped up towards my departure to Spain. If you are not apart of my newsletter family then you may not know, but since the last time I updated here I have completed my fundraising, got my visa and now am working on approval for travel.
Un dia a la vez...One day at a time.
This whole process has taught me a lot about working hard, being tenacious, and moving in faithful and also waiting, and waiting, and waiting more. But in the end it is all part of the process. I am learning to trust the process and that I need the process.
Un dia a la vez...One day at a time.
I struggle with this still. I would like to go at my own pace, with my own plan, and my own strategies. But I am learning that God knows what He is doing and He is doing something greater than I can understand.
My name is Marissa Deraya; Global Worker with Project Rescue serving women and children of Spain.
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