Here at Youth 4 Orphans, we are making an impact through the generations. Our friend Serena Josephson shares her story with us during a recent conversation.
Serena grew up in a Christian home and always knew the Lord was placing missions on her heart. As the years passed and the busyness of work and family increased, she became unsure of God’s plan to use her in this way. She had fulfilled the calling of becoming a registered nurse, a loving wife, and a devoted mother. But wasn’t there more God needed of her? Matthew 25:40 was the reassurance she needed, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these my brothers and sister of mine, you did for me.” Serena knew that Jesus was calling her to go out and be His hands and feet by serving others.
“Mom, you need to go to Old Bight Mission in Cat Island. I know you will love it” stated Emilie, Serena’s daughter. In 2015, Emilie took her first mission trip with Y4O, and it made a lasting & impactful impression on her; she couldn’t wait to share it with her mom. With those words and her daughter’s genuine love for the children at the Old Bight Mission Home, Serena knew she had to become involved.
Because of Serena’s dedication to serve we have had the pleasure of having Serena help on mission trips, on our board of directors, and as a mentor through the CORE Leadership program. She is making an impression on future generations that impacts our world in incredible ways. Our mission of spreading hope and God’s love is what resonates with Serena. She admires that our mission doesn’t stop with children in the Bahamas, Guatemala, or Haiti. Serena says “What resonates with me is that I can be personally involved in all aspects of our mission. I’m able to see the fruits of God’s work by serving others for his glory.”
Serena told us “Y4O has allowed me to serve our Lord in a real tangible way. By doing this, my personal relationship with Christ has grown stronger. My spiritual life has become even more meaningful because I see God’s good works at hand.” Serena dedicates time to mentoring young women in our CORE Leadership program. She considers it an honor, to watch firsthand, students grow and strengthen their spiritual relationship with God. She tells us she has learned from her mentees as much as they have learned from her. “Our young Christian leaders are the hope for our future! It is important that we invest and share God’s love with them so they, in turn, can spread the gospel good news to others.”
Serena genuinely wants the next generation of Christian leaders to remember that they are a child of God! She gave such a powerful message we couldn’t leave any parts out; “He loves you unconditionally. Nothing you do or don’t do will make God love you any less. God does have a plan for your life and His plan is always the best. Sometimes the process is painful and hard but don’t lose hope. Jesus told us in John 16:33, ‘the world will bring us tribulations but take courage: I have overcome the world’. You are the hands and feet of Jesus; others will see Him through you. Pray to God for wisdom, strength, and courage. Have faith, he will provide for and sustain you.”
Y4O is grateful for Serena and her family. Her daughter Emilie has been on 5 mission trips and completed 2 years of CORE Leadership and her husband Mark recently went on his first vision trip with Y4O! They continue to serve God and fulfill the mission of James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”.