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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Celebrating Five Years of M.A.D.E.

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Celebrating Five Years of M.A.D.E.

July 10th, 2012 was the beginning of a new adventure for us. Our hearts had been tugged by God about uniting community service with discipleship in order to steer this generation towards being living examples of His love. I don’t think we ever imagined that it would get this far or that so many lives would have impacted. I definitely didn’t imagine that our lives would be the most changed by the individuals we have encountered along the way, yet God’s grace, will, and faithfulness has guided us through it all.  

In five years, we have done over 935 hours of community service and capacitation classes, and have impacted approximately 640, 980 people worldwide. However, the numbers only tell part of the story; it’s the testimonies that really paint the beautiful picture of how this generation has started to change the world. Stories of a 14 year-old realizing how God could use him to serve others when he thought he was talentless otherwise. Stories of youth who felt lost, forgotten, and lonely but discovered that with their identities set in Christ, they are found, chosen, and part of a family of difference makers. Only time will tell the lives that have been forever changed by perfect God’s plan, so we continue on.

We are grateful for everyone that has supported the vision God gave us five years ago and made it their own. For praying and encouraging us to keep going forward, but most importantly, for embodying what a difference maker looks like. We have dedicated our lives to build up a generation that makes a difference everyday and by the hand of God and with your support, we’ll continue on.

 

Ester Avero and Alejandra Alvarado

Co- Founders

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Motivations Speak Louder

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Motivations Speak Louder

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
— Romans 12:9 NLT

     We are commanded to love everyone around us – to share with others the same graceful, unconditional love that God shows us. Despite this, we often find ourselves in a state where we start to fake our love towards others. When presented with an unfavorable situation, or person, we face a decision between responding in love or hate, and sometimes we settle for a middle ground and choose to fake our love instead. We put up an empty facade of love in order to superficially fulfill the command given to us instead of showing the genuine love that we are called to express. Then, we justify our actions by telling ourselves that at least they have the illusion of love. Actions may speak louder than words, but motivations speak even louder.

     In order to truly love one another, our love must come from a genuine place because actions without genuine motivations are ultimately empty. Jesus lived his entire life as a model of love. He showed genuine want and care for everyone around him. He never poured out empty love. Instead, he embraced everyone's faults and problems with his unconditional, unfailing and perfect love. Just like Jesus truly loved us, so we must truly love others.

     In order for us to really make a difference in our community, we have to love like Jesus did. If we want to create breakthrough in today's culture, we have to come forward with a different culture than the one that is present. Living in a world currently obsessed with outer appearances and manners, presenting an alternative that provides a deep and real expression of who we really are and who we represent will break barriers within our city and community. Instead of encouraging a culture of superficial love, we must love others completely and genuinely. That is the only way to truly impact the lives of those around us and in our community.

 

William Rivero

Service Liaison

 

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