Jennie Piedalue is an Intern with ZOE Projects. A passionate and gifted young woman, we decided to catch up with her this summer and hear about what motivates her to be involved in ZOE Projects.
Why don't you tell us about yourself?
My name is Jennie and I am currently a 22 year-old student at Summit Pacific College in Abbotsford, BC. I just finished my first year in the Pastoral Theology program.
In the future I would like to minister in a church and maybe even church plant.
I really want to live with open hands and let God determine where He wants to place me in terms of work.
I was raised in Victoria, BC, which is a beautiful city that I was very blessed to live in.
What was the city of Victoria like to grow up in?
Living in Victoria shielded my eyes from a lot of what was happening in the world. I grew up in the suburbs and attended aprivate Christian school so I was quite sheltered.
I went to school with many privileged students and I was unaware that others lived very differently.
If you grew up shielded, how did you begin to learn about social justice issues?
My knowledge about social justice has increased in the past four years. Our church had invited global workers to speak to our community on this issue and I watched a documentary about human trafficking that made it very real for me.
I started to make connections with other people in the church who felt the same way about these things.
I was shocked to learn how prominent human trafficking is, even in Victoria,
the very city where I felt the most safe.
One of our first ZOE projects, with Monique Shaw was particularly impacting for you...what about Monique's ministry impacted you so deeply?
After hearing about Monique, I became much more emotionally invested in this issue. Monique is an amazing woman who has so much compassion for these women that she was moved into action.
I love seeing that action, because most of the time we look at an issue like human trafficking, feel discomfort about the situation, and move on because we believe that it is too big to make a difference.
I love that Monique saw a need, and actually moved to do something about it.
What motivates you?
We are to defend the weak and the fatherless and care for the widow and the orphan. This is how Christ acted when He was here on this earth and this is the example that He calls us to follow.
I want to be like Christ.
I want to see a need, and not turn a blind eye.
I want to walk in the example of Christ and I want to believe for change and that He will use us to help others who are treated unjustly.
What is the biggest obstacle for young Canadian women to respond to the needs?
Most of the time I think Canadian women don’t actually believe that they can make a difference.
But I think this is really us saying that we don’t believe God can work through us.
This is a heart issue that we must get over.
We need to remember that God has equipped us to do His work, and the beautiful thing is that we are all equipped in a unique way. God did not create us to all do the same works of justice. We have different gifts and we need to use those gifts to glorify our Father.
Too often we look at ourselves and think that because we can't help in a big way, that we shouldn't do anything at all.
But if we are faithful with the small things, then God will continue to give us bigger and bigger things to be faithful with.
God wants you to do the small things too.
What would you say to other young Canadian women who may be reading this blog?
I would say "raise your awareness"! Be engaged in the world and allow yourself to see what is happening outside of Canada.
Thankfully, the issue of human trafficking as well as other social justice issues are continually being brought more and more into the light and people are starting to take action and take initiative.
Any final thoughts?
One of my favorite verses is Micah 6:8, which says
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
God gives us instructions to live out our lives as Christians and that means treating people the way God treats them. It means looking at people through the kingdom perspective and allowing the feelings of empathy and compassion for other's problems to move in our hearts so that we cannot help but jump into action. We need to break down our walls of entitlement and discomfort and respond to those in need.
We couldn't agree more! Thanks Jennie for sharing with us...and thank you for the work that you do with ZOE Projects. You are a gem.