Thousands of lives have been impacted at Jubilee REACH over the past 10 years. Here is Julie’s transformation story:
“It’s really quite remarkable what has been accomplished in the 10 years since its launch in 2006. I’m proud to be a part of the story and the ministry that transformed the lives of the many young people we served both in the After School Program and Art Studio Program.
"If I’m completely honest, the life that changed most was probably my own. What few people know is that shortly before my arrival at Jubilee I suffered from fairly serious depression; so much so I’d actually considered taking my own life in January of 2009. After battling infertility and suffering a recent loss, I’d kind of given up. The night I planned an end to my own life I had the oddest thought pop into my head: I swear to this day I actually heard the Lord say to me, 'Well, it’s really too bad because by doing so you will never see Jubilee REACH.' Now, that may seem an odd thing to hear at a moment like mine. But, thankfully, when I heard the Lord speak to me directly about Jubilee I also recognized He was trying to get me to think beyond my own circumstances of hopelessness.
“At first, I didn’t really understand that but now I do. As is commonly known, a feeling of hopelessness is common among those who suffer from poverty, isolation, and abandonment. And because of it, it’s easy to forget how valued and treasured one’s own life is. Jesus paid the ultimate price because our lives matter to our Father in heaven. And, while I couldn’t 'fix' my own circumstances immediately, I could try to walk alongside kids who might be suffering too. I admit I didn’t recognize that immediately either and it took time to establish and build relationships with kids I served in the After School and Art Studio Program. Serving them gave me purpose and perspective. 'Purpose' by serving and contributing, and 'perspective' by seeing them (and myself really) through Jesus’ eyes. If I could believe He loved them, then just maybe I could believe He loved me too.
“What I am most proud of, isn’t the volume of accomplishments through the Art Studio – though much was accomplished. I am most proud of the relationships I continue to have with several of the girls I served. I love them dearly and I am proud of the young women they are becoming. On the surface it might look like JR gave them a safe and fun place to rest after school. But I believe through collaborative effort of Jubilee staff, volunteers and ministry partners - Jubilee gave each of my girls hope. Make no mistake, they worked hard too! Each one has contributed to her own success and to their peers. Because like me, they were willing to take that first step towards wholeness and like me, even when they didn’t know it. Coming to Jubilee REACH was that first step.
“Jubilee REACH provides opportunity towards wholeness. I take what I learned from JR and seek to apply it where I am now serving in the Tacoma area. I am enormously grateful for the opportunity I was given while serving with JR and it is my hope to model what I learned and use it to 'love my neighbor.'"
With a grateful heart,