Thankful Thursday!

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had an amazing November and Thanksgiving holiday. I was able to visit the great state of Texas and let me tell you, it was a blast! 10/10 would recommend going. Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can begin to focus on one of the best holidays of the year…Christmas!! I love Christmas time and how much joy and excitement everyone has about the holiday!
 Christmas is a great time to see and understand the real reason for the season, and as we all should know that real reason is Jesus. This time of the year is a time when we can look at the birth of Christ and see a new beginning in maybe ourselves, a career, a relationship, or a new adventure in life. Jesus can show us that there is so much more out there for us through self-exploration or the world around us. This idea of self-exploration goes in line with our give back initiative for the months of November and December. As mentioned in the blog posting from last month, our give-back is for two lovely ladies participating in the World Race. After doing a short little virtual interview with these two ladies I have learned about what the World Race is and why this is such a great opportunity to grow and entrust in God’s grace!
Basically, the World Race is an 11-month, 11 country mission trips around the world to countries who need help within their community and to share the love of Jesus. Both ladies found that they needed something in their life to change or ‘shake’ their perspective on the world around them. So, both Laurie and Nicole turned to prayer and found that God was calling them to embark on this journey of the World Race.
Question #1: What countries are you visiting and what drew you to visiting these countries?
Nicole: “I am in my 4th month of the 11-month journey and am heading to Cambodia within the next week! I have already been to Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Vietnam. After Cambodia, I’m going to Thailand, Myanmar, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.”
Nicole found herself drawn to this journey simply because she felt as though her worldview needed to change. She says that most of her life she has been living in brokenness and selfishness and wanted to change her connection with the Lord and serving others was the best why to release those feelings she was having.
Laurie: “My trip does not begin until January, but I will be traveling to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, India, Nepal, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Romania, and Portugal.”
Laurie felt the most drawn to this route because it was the most diverse and she is looking forward to experiencing how each country worships and loves differently. She has found that working on the mission field is her purpose in life and God was calling her to go on this specific trip. And after seeing Nicole post about it on Facebook she told herself that this was it and had to go!
Question #2: How challenging is breaking the cultural barrier between you and the country you are in? / Do you think it will be challenging to break the culture barrier between you and the country you are in?
Nicole: “I don’t believe there is such thing as breaking the cultural barrier, there are ways to adapt and communicate to overcome the difficulties of the barrier. To say it is ‘breakable’ alludes that it shouldn’t be there.”
Nicole says that directly placing herself in the cultures around her has been the best part of the trip so far. She says the different languages, music, food, customs, holidays, and the concept of personal space and trying to find her place in all of it, has been the best experiences so far.
Laurie: “I believe that each country will present its own challenges with breaking cultural barriers and am hopeful that God will use me to overcome those challenges.”
Laurie tells me that while in these countries, each ministry could look different. Her team will be teaching in schools, doing children’s and women’s ministry, or working and ministering in orphanages.
Question #3: What do you love most about Illume Boutique? Is it the products they offer, the give back initiatives, the meaning behind the entire business, the lovely owner/boss lady, or just everything that Illume represents?
Nicole: Without a doubt, my favorite part about Illume Boutique is the owner and her passion for helping others. She has built this entire brand from her own creativity and designed it to show the graciousness of our Father to individuals in her community.”
Laurie: “I love everything that Illume Boutique represents. I’ve always respected this business because they continue to support charities and non-profit organizations. The desire they have to give back speaks volumes and it is a wonderful witness of the Lord’s love.
Well everyone, I hope you were able to stick with me through my interview and enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!! I also hope that reading how these women are taking control of their relationship with the Lord has inspired you to become a force of change in the community or even with yourself.
I hope you all have a good rest of the month and decide to find the perfect gift for yourself or for someone else and help give back to these ladies!
See ya again next month!
Written by: Kylie Lopes

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