About the Author

Jill is a writer, speaker, pastor, and author of five books. She specializes in faith and the next generation. She likes to travel, grow flowers, and break into random musical numbers. She believes in grace, kindness, justice, dark chocolate, and Earl Grey.

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  1. All the yeses to this: “It’s going to take grit on my part to run against a wind that blows away from grace, welcome, kindness, and purity.”
    And I was already overwhelmed with your story, but when you shared that you let the Wind blow you toward being an ESL teacher for refugees, I had to stop and ask God to show me how I can help interpret and navigate the world for those who need direction.
    Blessings to you, Jill.

  2. Jill,
    What a beautiful story/testimony you weave when we dare to step outside our comfort zone. I know that God calls us to do that a lot more than we realize – we have just become adept at tuning Him out. When God called me to enmesh my life with strangers from the Middle East*, I wish I could say I stood up and said, “He’re I am, Lord. Use me.” No, I looked more like Jonah running in the opposite direction. I am so thankful that God is persistent and I can’t imagine my life apart from the deep brown, soulful eyes of the orphans in the Middle East* – a country they were born into, but one that fills them with terror at every turn. When I look at them I see a young Jesus, because He most likely looked more like them than He looks like me. What if we ALL took a giant step outside our comfort zones and allowed our lives to be enriched by people (God’s children) who, on the outside may look different than we do, but on the inside have hearts that need Him? Wonderful post and love how that one step has called you into a ministry! Thank you for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx
    *Specific country withheld for reasons of safety

    • Bev, that is beautiful. I love seeing your heart grow toward them. Isn’t it the truth that when we just meet the “different’ people things completely change?

  3. Awe, thank you for sharing that, Jill. I’ve been asking God to open my eyes to those around me who need His love. To be able to be that tangible love for others — really is its own reward. It’s reciprocal in nature…the gift is in the giving. Thanks for sharing this sweet story of unlikely friendship, Jill–it’s inspiring. 🙂

  4. Wow, so beautifully written!!! Thank you for the challenge to step outside my comfort zone. The rewards are immense for all. I will definitely save this one to reread again and again.

  5. Great post. It’s the reverse of what I have lived. God sent us over seas, first to Bolivia then a few years later to Papua New Guinea. I realized He had prepared us being staff at a church that was super evangelistic. We took 800 bus kids one summer to the zoo…unchurched children, that was by far harder than anything we experienced over seas. We now reside in the states due to our health as Member Care reps for our mission. Your post lifted my aching heart for the hardest thing we face returning to the states is the burden of ease that has taken over the church. also the burden of “stuff”. It’s a me world with most in the church but it does not take the responsibility off me to give of myself in some area. Just cause it’s a 1st world culture problem I do not have to have that problem myself. God has allowed me to teach a bible study, lead and disciple a young women in great need of practical help along with her spiritual life. Again, great post.

  6. Jill,

    Awesome testimony! It takes grit, determination and conviction to run against the wind of this world. Speaking love to those less fortunate than I. Each month our church makes desserts while another church makes main course for “Feed the Multitude”. This organization feeds the less fortunate in our area. I go each time & help fill trays with food. It is a blessing to do that as it makes me realize what I have & quit complaining about stuff. Also I spent the last 4 years assisting in the care of my aging dad. It wasn’t always easy. He moved into an assisted living in 2014, but still the late night calls & leaving work almost weekly to attend some doctor visit was a part of it. God helped me to navigate the realm of dementia-in all forms. Now I feel “qualified” to help others in the same situation. I have loads of information about hospice, home health & assisted living facilities. While he was in the last assisted living facility I would go visit 4 times a week-I had quit my job. Each time I would try to talk with the other residents and try to cheer them up. I know it’s hard living with mental/physical problems. Also when family can’t visit that much life gets lonely.

    Blessings 🙂

  7. Jill, this is so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing and helping us remember we are all foreigners and strangers in this world and we all could use a friend.

    • Thanks you, Amelia. I love knowing someone might even smile at a person who is different than they are after reading something I said. It’s all grace.