Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Growth in Broken Spaces

Blog post written by Jamie Mathisrud
Newport Beach, CA

Photo taken @ another orphanage

As we walked into the orphanage today, I was immediately struck by what I saw on the ground beneath me: severely cracked cement, and within every crevice, small sprouts of moss had begun to grow. Over and over again I saw this. And it was immensely significant because it reminded me of the way God works. See, we had the opportunity to meet many young women who were orphaned. And though their stories are all so different, they share one thing in common: deep, widespread, prevalent brokenness. Brokenness of heart, of relationships, of home, and of self and identity.

One girl in particular was visibly broken - you could see it in her eyes and countenance. The other girls' shrills of excitement about the quinceanera and the pretty dresses didn't resonate with her; she didn't want a dress, and didn't even want to go to the party. Nonetheless she obliged and walked in with me to look for a dress. She wanted a shorter length, black dress with no frills. At last we found one, but it was long, so we agreed to shorten it for her. But something struck her inside and her demeanor shifted. Her eyes filled with tears and I could tell she wanted to leave. I told her she was free to go...but not long after, my friend Sandra and I went to find her. She had hidden herself alone in a room at the orphanage. After a long time of trying to tell her how beautiful she is and how worthy her life is of celebration, the Spirit led me to ask her: has someone in your life told you that you should never wear a dress? She began to cry and said yes. And for this reason, she didn't want to wear one. I told her she would be the first person I would look for at the party, and that I'd have the dress ready for her to wear. I told her I'd pray for her for the next two days -  that she would believe that she is worthy, beautiful, and truly a princess in the eyes of her loving Father.

Like the cement floor, this girl is full of brokenness. And just as the moss dared to burst forth from the cracks, it struck me as evidence that God brings life and newness out of our brokenness. 

I invite you to join me in praying for this precious girl, that Jesus will bring life from her brokenness and that she will become an "oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor" (Isaiah 61:3).


  1. Beautiful Jamie! Thanks for sharing. I will join you in praying for this beautiful gal loved by the Lord!! Xo lee

  2. Amen Leanne! She was at the party last year, I'm sure you would remember her.

  3. Jamie, that is beautiful. You are an amazing writer indeed. What an amazing mission for you to bring God, love and encouragement to help heal the wounds of these women. I know you were not looking for kudos by posting this, but all the same the world needs more people like you.
    God bless you in your journey.

  4. Jamie, this beautiful story made me cry. I am so happy that you and Hannah are down there showing these girls confidence and self worth. I am so fortunate to have you as my sister and my niece. This story brings me back to our Old Navy shopping trip, i didnt want to show you guys my jeans because I didnt think I should wear skinny jeans. Both you and Hannah made me put them on and said your buying those. My favorite part was Hannah saying "you got to work with what you got" and that made me feel more confident anf beautiful in what I was wearing. Thank you for helping me and thank you for helping all of those girls down there find there confidence and beauty. Love you both so much and I cant wait to see you at the end of August!!
    Erica Beemer