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One Love – One Heart

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but did not love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” -1 Corinthians 13:1-3

My name is Sara Cox and I am 17 years old. I have been in Jamaica on my very first international mission trip this week and it has been life changing.

I wanted to write about love because I don’t think we realize how important it is. Look at that scripture again, even if I understood ALL of God’s secrets – even if I had such faith that I could move mountains – even if I gave EVERYTHING I had to the poor – if I don’t have love, then I am nothing. My life is worth nothing if I don’t have love.

In America, we have everything we need. Most of the time, we also have everything we want and it’s served to us on a polished platter. The people I’ve come in contact with in Jamaica have so little — we walked through a neighborhood that was filled with shanty houses (some only had a kitchen and one bedroom) and within those homes were many children and little food.

Although Jamaican’s have so little, they love so big. Their hearts are made of solid gold and they love in a way that I’ve never seen before. I’ve never had sweeter hugs or mangos given to me “just because” in America. The people here have JOY. They are some of the most joyful people I’ve ever seen. The Jamaican culture is so friendly and peaceful and LOVING. It blows me away how much they love and ask for nothing in return.

I think it’s kind of ironic that we go into these countries to help the poor and be the hands and feet of Jesus but maybe we’re the ones who are missing something. The love within the hearts of these people far outweigh the material things we have in America. It is my prayer for our country that we can learn to love each other as Christ has called us to love.

A few months ago, God began teaching me to live by one phrase: “Just Love”. It’s super simple but it means so much to me. We over complicate EVERYTHING. Literally, everything that we have in America is complicated, but God just wants one thing from us: to love. If we could learn to love, we would have everything. Everything will fall into place if we could just learn to love one another.

Being a missionary does not always mean signing up for a trip with AIM and getting a passport. We have to be missionaries in every single aspect of the way we live. To me, we can tell a better story by our lives than by our lips. Therefore, please love those who are around you. Love on your coworkers, love on your kids, love on your neighbors, love on that lady who’s in the Kroger check-out line. Maybe that looks like a word or encouragement or a random act of kindness. By being in tune with the Holy Spirit, you will know how to love those around you. THAT is the gospel. Love is the gospel. And the people of Jamaica know that so well.

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