From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope

I started blogging about my journey in writing, editing, polishing and publishing my book, From Tears to Triumph. Now that the book is published, I will blog about aspects of the book: finding hope, making sound life choices, The Children of God, Costa Rica, sex-trade, redemption.

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Mission Possible

Posted by on in Reaching out to others
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 Helping Hand -r21Someone recently asked me about my “mission.” At first I thought, “I’m not involved in any mission work now,” but after thinking and musing and praying about the question for a few days, a light bulb came on. I’m a Christian. Of course I have a mission. I have a mission and you have a mission, too.

Yes, during the days of The House of Hope, as described in my memoir, From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope, I had a well-defined “mission.” I directed a halfway house and advocated for street girls, runaways and underage prostitutes in Costa Rica. I was a bona-fide “missionary.”

But when I returned to the United States, I became a “civilian” as it was—an ordinary go-to-church-believe-in-Christ Christian. I devoted my life to my family and also to my clients when I began work as a counselor. Was that my “mission?” I never thought about it in those terms.

I lived my Christian life and left the “mission” work for those who venture around the world saving lost souls or for those who selflessly open shelters and missions and help others in the name of the Lord.

But wait…aren’t we all missionaries, every day of every year?

YES, we are. Here’s how I now see God’s divine hand in my life. Every day I wake up and say, “What do you have for me today, Lord?” and then I set out to be a missionary…to be an angel used by God.

Last year, in Mexico where I live part of the year, I strolled without a care down the street to buy fresh tortillas when in front of me, on the corner, I saw a starving dog--a Doberman Pincher so skinny and weak she could hardly stand up.

The mandate was immediate. "Rescue that dog!" It was like lightning struck my heart with compassion and I set out to save that dog. It’s been nearly a year now and Frida the dog is healthy and happy. It took two surgeries, lots of food and nutrients, friends in the neighborhood to feed her while I was away, forming a relationship with the owners to teach them how to care for her and how make dog food out of rice, beans, tortillas and meat scraps from the butcher. Frida was saved and I’m delighted that God (yes, I believe it was God’s doing) placed her in front of me that day and gave me a heart for her.

The list is long of the animals and people God has put in my path. Sometimes it's holding a friend's hand as they pour their heart out, or paying the grocery bill for the sad-looking women in front of me in the grocery checkout line who is frantically counting her pennies, or driving a neighbor to the doctor because he/she can no longer drive. 

EACH OF US is a missionary and we’re on a “mission” every day-- a mission possible. Buildings don’t contain us and we don’t have financial advisors and pamphlets to tell the world about us. But God needs us and uses us. We just need to be alert, and have a willing heart and kind Spirit.

I’d love to hear about YOUR mission. Write and share with me!

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Award-winning author, Linda Bello-Ruiz, was born and raised in Redwood Valley, a small grape growing community in Northern California. Linda co-founded and directed the House of Hope—the first safe-haven for street girls, runaways, and sex-trafficked minors in Costa Rica. She was a twenty-three-year-old college dropout when she took on the project, and relied on her faith and determination which was much bigger than her curriculum vitae.

After her return to the United States in 1976, she went back to college and earned her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University. Ms. Bello-Ruiz worked in the vocational rehabilitation field as a bilingual counselor for twenty-six-years, and as a vocational forensic expert on disability for five of those years.

Linda is president of The Authors Resource Group and Faith Writers of SCLH, a member of Inspire Christian Writers and Destiny Church, and is an active member of the Northern California Publishers and Authors group and the United for Barra Association in Mexico, and an Ambassador for Courage Worldwide.

Ms. Bello-Ruiz speaks to clubs and organizations on her experiences in moving beyond despair into hope—advocating for groups whose mission is to combat sex trafficking and provide a safe haven for girls rescued from the sex trade.

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