Young at Heart

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Young at Heart

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 
— 1 Timothy 4:12

     Every time that I read this verse I get a feeling of urgency as if this verse is a battle cry. It may sound odd, but it's because this verse empowers me to act by reminding me that God doesn't care about my age; He cares about my soul.

     God doesn’t look at the external, He looks at the internal. He sees our soul and how it overflows into the way we care for others, speak up for change, and love others. He doesn't overlook us because of our age. Instead, He looks into us - past the messes, insecurities, and struggles - and He finds above all else a heart that beats only for Him and His people.

     We live in a time when young people are often overlooked and criticized for only caring about themselves. But I know the truth. I've witnessed first-hand the amazing things that young people do for others. I've seen how they passionately and vigorously serve others, how they overcome differences to come together as one, and how they are making a difference in our world. We are living in a prime time for young people to stand firm in their convictions, raise their voices, and set an example for others. Whether it's advocating for safety, marching to end racism, putting a red x on their hand to stop human trafficking, or speaking up against a bully, young people’s actions and voices matter like never before and have the power to stir up a change in our world.

     1 Timothy 4:12 is the battle cry of our generation. Our age doesn't stop us from being the world-changers God has called us to be. Instead, it propels us to set an example to other believers in the way we act, speak, and love.

     We are young at heart and that's exactly what qualifies to run full speed into the mess of this world with the message of Jesus.

 

Ashley Roman

Executive Assistant

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Giving Generously

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Giving Generously

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
— Luke 6:38

     There's an old proverb that says that whatever you give is what you will receive. Many people hear this phrase and immediately think of the countless ways in which their finances will grow astronomically. Of course, there's no doubt that God will bless anyone with a kind and generous heart, but that doesn't mean that He will only bless them in their finances.

     A generous heart might be rewarded in seemingly small ways - a smile for the soul, a quiet blessing, or even a pat on the back. Yet the nature of the reward is not what’s important in giving generously. What's important is to give wholeheartedly, without expectations and without boundaries. We become living embodiments of what Jesus showed us with His life when we help like He helped, give like He gave, and love like He loved.

     Once we know this, all that's left is to ask ourselves: “How are we giving?”

     Do we allow ourselves be vulnerable with our time, resources, and skills? Do we give freely and without limits?

     This is a reality that we desire, but that is also hard to reach because it forces us to reflect on our actions thus far and to evaluate the intentions behind our giving. Although it’s hard to achieve, it’s something that we continue to work towards by taking one small step at a time. I know it's hard to be selfless and give wholeheartedly without worrying about the soundness and implications of our decision to give, but as we give one small step of faith at a time, we’ll see how giving generously will change us and shape us.

     I know that Thanksgiving is still far off, but I want to extend a personal thank you to everyone who has helped us come this far. Thank you to all of those who have helped us stay and walk in the plans that God has for us. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered with us and given their time, effort, and talents. Thank you to the communities that have opened their doors to us and allowed us to impact others’ lives. Finally, thank you to everyone that has helped us financially. We appreciate every penny that has been so generously donated to us and we thank you for believing in the mission God has given us.

     Thank you all for your generosity. You’ve taught us how to be generous and you’ve impacted more people than you will ever know.

 

William Rivero

Service Liaison
 

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Come What May

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Come What May

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
— Psalm 16:7-8

     Somehow we’re already one month into the year and well on our way through the second. The rush and excitement of the new year are gone and we’re left facing the new challenges, circumstances, and opportunities that the new year is bringing along. For some, like it does for me, this year means graduating college and stepping into new roles as an adult. For others, this could mean starting at a new school, job, or role at an organization. The truth is that we’re all going to face beginnings in one way or another this year, whether a new opportunity or a second chance. With beginnings come changes and unknowns, which can be intimidating and overwhelming, to say the least.

     So how do we deal with the new beginnings we will encounter this year? How do we deal with the uncertainty and discomfort of the new and unknown?

We keep our eyes on God and trust Him in full surrender.

     When the world around us and within us is shaking and changing, we must look to our unshakeable and unchanging God – the One who takes care of us and counsels us. We may not know the ins and outs of what lays ahead of us, but we can put the One who does before us and trust His love and counsel. So when worry, anxiety, and fear try to overcome us, we look them straight in the face and praise our Lord in holy trust and surrender. 

     Not only do we keep our eyes on Him, but we also surrender all to Him. We make Him our “right-hand man” by seeking His counsel in all we do and following it, knowing that He’s leading us in His good and perfect will for our lives.

When we do this - worship and surrender – come what may, but we will not be shaken.

 

Geraldine Lara

Creative Team Producer

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The More of God

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The More of God

     Happy New Year to you all! We are excited and believe that greater things are yet to come for this new year we are kicking off in M.A.D.E. Before we move into 2018, we want to look back into 2017 and celebrate how God moved and used M.A.D.E. to impact its community. This year was one full of new service events and new opportunities as an organization! We had the opportunity to partner up with local organizations such as Steps to Success, which helps adults with disabilities work on their social skills. We also loved being part of National Rebuilding Day, which provides low-income families with housing repairs. Here, we were able to help paint the house of an elderly widow and beautify 2 local community parks! One of the most humbling opportunities we had in 2017, was being able to help the hundreds of people impacted by Hurricane Irma in September. We had just finished Made Known Camp when Hurricane Irma hit Florida and left so many families devastated; however, it was the perfect opportunity to truly make God known in our community.

     In 2017, we had over 490 hours of activities including capacitation classes, service events, camp rallies, youth camp, and several volunteer appreciation events. God’s hand was tangible throughout every month and our vision for the year of expansion came to life as we held service events as far as the Florida Keys and sold out camp! He multiplied our resources and led people like you to sponsor over 67% of camp! He guided us as we all grew spiritually and emotionally; the Elders even wrote the Issues Pt. 2 Curriculum! Thank you for being a difference maker throughout 2017 and we hope you’re ready for what’s in store in 2018.

     As we began this new year, we had been asking God to enlarge our influence and allow us to serve our city like never before. God is on the move and wants to use you and me to make a difference wherever we are. We are believing that in 2018, God will work through us to accomplish infinitely more than we can ask or imagine as Ephesians 3:20 states. We know that God’s plans are better than anything we can dream of, so we are putting all of our trust and hope in His more this year. We cannot wait to share this journey with you.

So. We. Run.

 

Ester and Ale

Co-Founders

 

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Even When

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Even When

The seasons change and you change, but the Lord abides evermore the same, and the streams of His love are as deep, as broad, and as full as ever
— Charles Spurgeon

     As the end of the year draws near, the concept of seasons has been resonating in my heart. We’ve all grown up learning about the Earth’s four seasons; we see how nature obeys them and constantly adjusts to its changes. Creation reminds us of the importance of being flexible and that the need for growth may require going through some “ugly” stages. During the couple of years I lived in the Northeast, I secretly dreaded winter, not because of the cold, but rather because seeing the trees so bare and dry was a painful reminder that that’s the reality of life. We all go through different seasons in our lives and some of them won’t be as picturesque as we’d hope they’d be, yet God has a purpose for every single season, week, minute, and second of our lives.

     I think we need to learn to find beauty in every season. That throughout our winters, we may hold on tightly to God’s promises over our lives and declare that there is always more. I’ve also been trying to embrace the season I’m in and understand that I may not be able to do it all right now but maybe in another season, in God’s perfect timing, I’ll have the opportunity to do so. We must remain steadfast and patiently allow God to work in us and through us; ultimately, the current season will come to an end and a new one will begin, with its own wonder to discover.

     Despite the constant change, I believe that there are two things that you’ll be able to find true in every season: God’s love never fails and you will always have the opportunity to make a difference. Like Charles Spurgon describes in the quote above, God’s love is the constant we can count on throughout the entirety of our lives. How comforting is it to have something that will never fail and never falter, even in this ever-changing world. This gives way to the second truth: because of God’s unwavering love, I too can consistently love this world, no matter what the season. I pray that whatever circumstance you find yourself in, you know that you have the Light of the World inside of you and even when you’re in a season when the sun sets early, you can shine through.

 

Ester Avero

Co- Founder

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Don't Tell Me God Can't Use Young People

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Don't Tell Me God Can't Use Young People

        “You are not able to fight against this philistine, you are only a young man and he has been a warrior since his youth.”  

 

                                1 Samuel 17:33

 

 

Have you ever thought to yourself: “God can’t possibly use me; I’m too young?” That way of thinking is not only wrong, but also against the Bible. All over the Bible there are young people slaying giants, converting kings, and even hearing from God himself.

 

    

King Saul, the king of Israel, had a very big problem on his hands. The Philistine army was in a battle with the Israelite army. That was a problem in and of itself, but just when he thought that it couldn’t get any worse, the Philistines brought out a giant named Goliath, and all the Israelite soldiers were afraid to fight him. But David, a young person, went up to King Saul and told him that he would be able to defeat Goliath. It would be normal to think that a young person would never be able to defeat a giant like Goliath, but the story goes on to say that David not only defeated Goliath, but also gave the Israelite army the courage to defeat the remaining Philistine soldiers.

 

This story shows us that God’s power is not limited by age. So the next time that you find yourself doubting the call of God on your life, remember that God can use anybody.

 

 

So what’s your excuse? Are you too shy? Too young? Too far gone?

 

 

The truth is that God can use you in spite of your excuses and shortcomings.

 

 

Whatever the thing that you think is holding you back from being used by God is the very thing that He will use to show His power through you.

 

Chris Murialdo

 

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Our Response to World Pain

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Our Response to World Pain

Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!
— Matthew 9:35-38 MSG

     We can all agree that September was one crazy and chaotic month, not only in Miami but also around the world. From natural disasters to political issues to terrorist incidents, we experienced times of uncertainty and despair. It’s extremely easy to put our eyes on what’s happening around us rather than fixing them on Jesus. As I kept reading the news about every issue going on around the world, the question that kept crossing my mind was, “How should the body of Christ respond to all of this?”

     Matthew chapter 9 paints a beautiful picture of Jesus responding to the needs of humanity. It tells us that Jesus walked around different towns and villages where He taught and healed not only the physical bodies, but also the spiritual lives of many. But what really amazes me is that when Jesus saw the crowd, His heart broke for them. In other versions of the Bible, it says that He had compassion on them for they were confused like sheep with no shepherd. We live in a broken world full of broken people, like you and I, yet Jesus decides to have compassion on us and make us whole again. The truth of the matter is that we have decided to judge instead of love, to hurt instead of heal, and to make a bigger mess instead of help.

     Our response to world pain should be that of Jesus. That when we encounter a hurt and broken world, we may have compassion on them and break for what breaks God’s heart. The world is in desperate need of Jesus and we carry the cornerstone of humanity (Jesus) in our hearts. The good news is that Jesus also gives us an invitation to join Him on this mission of showing His love to the world. The harvest is huge, but the workers are few. We will not know the need there is until we step out and encounter it. Let’s decide to respond in ways counter to the world’s pain, let’s make a difference, and let’s make God known everywhere we go.
 

Alejandra Alvarado 

Co-Founder

 

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Lead with What You've Been Hiding

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’
— John 4:39

Shame – a small word that carries a big weight. It’s the devil’s age-old tactic for keeping us from living in the light of the cross and from making a difference. Since the beginning, sin and shame have caused us to hide from God and from each other. Adam and Eve hid from God after they sinned, and we tend to do the same. We feel ashamed of our broken past and broken
hearts. We feel ashamed because we don’t measure up. So we hide. We cover up the dark, painful, shameful, and ugly parts of our stories, and while this keeps us safe from others’ judgement and rejection, it also keeps us from love, freedom, and ultimately, from making a difference.


But we don’t have to hide anymore when we believe that Jesus is enough for us and that He can turn the shame of our broken stories into a testimony of His victory and goodness. See shame will try to trap us into thinking that our stories disqualify us from knowing God and making a difference, but the truth is that God uses our stories to move in us and through us. When we let Jesus in, when we talk with Him like the woman at the well, we are loved, transformed, and set free; and this propels us to make Him known. 

The woman at the well was transformed when she spoke with Jesus about her story. So transformed that she ran to the people that she had been running from and told them about Jesus. The Bible says that many of the Samaritans first believed because of her testimony – her story. Suddenly, a woman who hid in shame was running courageously and freely with the message of Jesus. And we can do the same. Like the woman at the well, we can let Jesus into our mess and let Him turn it into our message.


Your story is powerful not because of who you are or what you can do, but because of who Jesus is and what He did. It doesn’t matter how broken or messed up your story is, Jesus is enough. He loves you and forgives you, and because of His crazy goodness you are free to live loved and make a difference. You don’t have to hide anymore. Give Him your story and let Him transform you. His love, grace, and goodness will overwhelm you in the best way possible and lead you to make Him known. Like the woman at the well, you too will lead with what you’ve been hiding.

 

Geraldine Lara 

Creative Team Producer

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