Christie has a spunk and determination that amazes me all the time. With a soft heart but hands ready to get dirty, I have been inspired and moved to greater acts of godliness and kindness through her example.
Aside from marrying my brother (good choice!), and bearing one of the cutest children ever to be born on this earth, Christie has a passion and zeal for God that is lived out in everyday life. If she's not planning a block party, she's inventing new and creative ways for children to develop their own relationships with Jesus.
Not only that, but she and my brother are Compassion Canada Advocates. She's travelled to developing nations, met with leaders there, witnessed various levels and forms of poverty, and is always wanting to learn better ways of supporting local people in those nations. Handouts don't work. Little church trips aren't good enough. Her heart wants to see relationships built between peoples of the earth that model God's love for us… not Christian duty as it were. It seems, too, that Jon and Christie's sponsor children, while they certainly benefit from Compassion's program, have had a greater influence on Jon and Christie. They love them with an everlasting love… the one thing we all need from Christ and one another every single day.
When I first started this blog, I was determined to keep my family out of it as best as I could. Dealing with issues like violent pornography, the selling of children, and my outspoken opinions on tense issues, I wanted to protect them and keep them away from potential harm or backlash that was not theirs to face. I also wanted to keep my calling and my family life separate, but I'm learning this simply won't be so. Over time, as I've watched all my family grow and work and choose how they are going to live, it became clear that it was okay once in awhile to include these true inspirations, of which Christie is certainly one.
So often we lament the apathy of the western Church… how people simply don't care anymore about rooted spiritual growth and faith out of which flows wondrous works. But here is a genuine example of faith and works. I am so truly thankful that Christie's in my life and that God's given me someone to look up to, be encouraged by, and to work alongside of.
Take heart, church. There are more people like her out there.