I was so excited when I received an invitation to speak to the Young Women of Vision (YWOV) mother/daughter group in Orange County in February. This amazing group of women was preparing to serve in Belize this summer. Monica and Tori Younger are part of YWOV (to read more about YWOV, click here). Tori, her older sister and dad have served with me in El Salvador and they wanted me to speak to the group as they prepared to serve in Belize. I had no idea what God had in store for all of us when I arrived that evening. I shared my personal journey in missions, my passion for doing short-term missions well and told the story of the quinceanera that we had hosted in 2012. When the women heard that our team had been invited to throw another quinceanera this summer, God moved powerfully in their hearts. By the end of the evening, they canceled their Belize team and committed to the quinceanera. It was an unforgettable evening.
The YWOV group has spent the past five months fundraising, shopping and collecting dresses, shoes, jewelry and hygiene kits for the teen girls that we have served this week. This group of CALIFORNIA girls definitely knows how to throw a gala. They can shop, they can dance, they can bring on the bling and they get the job done!
Our team has been blessed to serve alongside some volunteers from Kentucky this week who were amazed by the dresses, jewelry, shoes and gifts we brought for the girls (not to mention the skills to do makeup, facials, hair, etc.). They've been joking about how the California teams are "high maintenance" (yes, we bought some more mirrors for the mission house this week), but God has truly used our resources as Southern Californians to bring hope and healing to the young women of El Salvador. We are humbled and overwhelmed.
WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS without the incredible group of mothers and daughters from Young Women of Vision. They went "above and beyond" to bless these girls and make it a night to remember! THANKS YWOV!!! It has been such a blessing to serve alongside you this week!