Through the Eyes of a Blue Shirt

April 30, 2015 by Madeline Friend

Maddie_next_truckIn the realm of Amor, the blue shirt is iconic. Staff sweat in its polyester goodness and participants marvel at its novelty, wondering if the team members ever change clothes. The beloved blue is so popular that we have even sold a t-shirt version for participants in our Amor Store. Before I came on staff with Amor as a Field Specialist, I had wanted to be one of the “blue shirts” for many years.

Maybe my story is similar to yours: after participating on a trip to Tijuana with my high school group from Christ’s Church of Flagstaff, Arizona, I was hooked. The Lord drew me in, humbling me and teaching me about His heart. God prompted me to take part in as many trips as I could, so over the course of five years, I participated with Amor on five trips to Puerto Peñasco, two to Tijuana, one to San Carlos, and one to Cancún for the Global Gathering.  Each trip inspired me more and more to develop my relationship with the Lord.

The diversity of the locations where Amor works with local communities is stunning. Though the rocky hills of Tijuana and the humid jungle of Cancún are vibrant, the desert beach community of Puerto Peñasco is most familiar and beautiful to me. After many years serving this waterfront community where many Arizona vacationers frequent, I was excited that my first assignment as one of the blue shirt Field Specialists would be in Puerto Peñasco.

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Though the differences between the role of a Field Specialist and the role of a participant are notably varied, a common thread of service, laughter, soreness, and fellowship ties them together. No matter your role, the Kingdom of God is an experience in unity. At Amor, we often talk about “putting down what separates you and picking up what unites you—a hammer.” Within this unity, we are surrounded by Christ and His body of believers. As it says in Colossians 1:17, “He existed before anything else, and He holds all things together” (NLT).

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I know God is intimately involved with each aspect of our lives, “working with awesome skill to smooth our rough edges and bring forth from our souls the brilliant loveliness of Christ” (Barbara Johnson). I know He used his incredible skill to bring me from a participant on Amor trips to being a full-time blue-shirt. I know He beautifully created the communities where we work and the people we work with, divinely encouraging us to learn from each other. I know how deeply the Lord cares about us. And finally, I know this: “At the right time, He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in Heaven and on Earth” (Ephesians 1:10 NLT).


 

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