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Oct
16
2013

Julie Banh

 

My name is Julie and I am a recent Impact195 graduate and now serving as a mentor. Today I want to tell you that God can heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 says "He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds."

 

I was raised in a practicing Buddhist family. My family was broken. My mother was a workaholic and my father was a gambler; often they were gone. At the age of 10, I found myself taking care of my 1 year old niece and 8 year brother. I grew up fast. When I turned 12 my father's gambling addiction got out of control we lost everything and my mother filed for a divorce.

 

I had so much bitterness, pain, and hurt going on inside that I took it out on others and got into meaningless fights. My sophomore year of high school my father got sick and went into a coma. In my pain, I sought for attention and love in all the wrong places especially from men to fill in the missing void. After graduating high school I moved to Orange County for college and found myself drowning in deeper water. I moved in with a guy at the age of 18 who emotionally and sexually abused me for 3 years. I thought there was no way of escaping. March of 2010 I got a phone call from my sister telling me my father had just passed away. My heart stopped beating for a moment I was speechless and I rushed down to see him. When I got there I saw my lifeless father and felt so remorseful because of our broken relationship. After my father's passing I fell into a deep depression. I finally got the courage to leave the guy I was living with and went off the deep end.

 

I got into the party scene, and I was drinking and using drugs to numb the pain. And on September 7th 2011, I was planning on taking my life. I called my sister and I told her I couldn't live this life anymore and she told me to trust God. That night I fell to my knees and cried out to Him. I remember desperately calling out to Him and saying God I don't even know if your real, I've been Buddhist all my life can you even hear me? I need you, please come help me! I felt an overwhelming presence and His hands over my shoulders, that night was my first encounter with the Jesus.

 

God ended up leading me to Impact195, the discipleship school of the Rock Church, where I spent a year at His feet, studying the books of the bible, and applying what I learned on weekly community outreaches.

 

This summer I was given the opportunity to go on a Impact International Trip to Jeremie Haiti. As we were driving through Port Au Prince I saw the result of the damage the earthquake had done in 2010. I asked God why would He allow this to happen? As we arrived in Jeremie I was still wrestling with God and trying to figure out why He had called me here. I walked around the town looking at these Haitians lifeless faces and idol worship. There were abandoned children wandering the streets taking care of one another, women seeking attention from multiple men, and young girls fighting with each other. As horrible as it was, it seemed normal to me because of my upbringing. The Lord spoke to me, “Julie you have something they don't, you have the Holy Spirit in you that has healed you and restored you.” Then He said “It’s not just their circumstances that break my heart it is that they don't even know who I AM and what I am capable of doing to restore what has been broken.” At that moment, I knew God wanted to use me in their lives.

 

On our 3rd day in Jeremie the team and I went into the town square to pick up trash. We ended up in a small alley near homes and a trashed beach. Children were surrounding us and were curious about what we were doing. We stopped for a bit to hold, play, and give these children attention. I remember there was a young girl who caught my eye. Her left ear was infected and it had started to spread. I quickly grabbed my wipes to clean and disinfect her ear before it got any worse. I asked her what happened, she said that she went swimming in the water and the bacteria started eating away at her ear. As I was cleaning her ear the Lord gave me this scripture from Ephesians 2:4-5 "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ." He continued to speak to me and said “Do you remember how you once were infected by your many sins, you were drowning in them and they were eating away at your life? But I sent my one and only Son to die on the cross for you, to wipe away your sins and make you clean, to heal and bind up your wounds, and to save your life from going down a path of destruction.” At that moment I knew God was calling me to Haiti and wanted to use me in their lives to bring the Haitians hope.

 

In 2014 I'm returning back to Jeremie to serve long term and come along side the Haitians to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Our team and I will be starting a Super Food Kitchen to feed a thousand unnourished children daily.

 

 

Perhaps there are some of you reading this that have a broken heart… and Jesus wants to bind up and heal you. I want to encourage you to approach His throne in confidence – to seek Him and find Him and He will meet you exactly where you are at... just call out to Him.