Meet the Staff: Jenn Holden

JennHoldenWEBBack2Back staff serve the orphan child worldwide in varied positions. Whether serving abroad or in the U.S., each missionary fulfills a unique role in the ministry, leveraging his or her God-given abilities for the Kingdom of God. This month, we chat with Jenn Holden, co-captain of Casa Hogar del Norte in Monterrey, Mexico.

How do you serve with Back2Back?
As all of our staff, I wear many hats. I schedule all logistics for visiting mission teams, as well as participate in their weekly schedule by debriefing, training staff in Play with a Purpose and translating various programming during their time here. However, my favorite job is connecting with the 41 children and 14 caregivers who live and work at Casa Hogar del Norte, serving as a co-captain alongside David at the children’s home.

What prompted you to begin serving with Back2Back?
In college, I felt God was calling me to surrender my plans in exchange for deeper dreams He had planted inside of me. For me, that meant pursuing a call to serve the orphan child, a passion He had grown in me through youth group mission trips to an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. Friends loaned me Reckless Faith by Beth Guckenberger and God spoke to me so profoundly through that book. The stories described were the ones I dreamed of living. So, I went on a five day trip to Monterrey, Mexico for Thanksgiving 2011, and less than a year later, I left my Ohio life and moved here.

What part of your job are you most passionate about?
I deeply love the people at Casa Hogar del Norte, a children’s home Back2Back serves. My heart bursts with affection for the kiddos, but Jesus really brings me to life, as I love the caregivers there. With the children we serve, we need to build a bridge of trust, so they can come to understand the Jesus who sent us, in all of his truth and grace. I believe the same applies to the caregivers, grown up versions of spiritual “orphans,” just like me, just like all of us. If we can be agents of healing, refreshment, training and growth in the lives of the caregivers, they will in turn be empowered to be agents of the same in the lives of the children. So, I am passionate about the kingdom of heaven touching earth in all the lives at del Norte.

What is something God has shown you or taught you over the past year through your experiences with Back2Back?
The more time I spend here, the more I am convinced there is little I can do, and so much that only Jesus can do. On a daily basis, I move my feet and do my job in hopes of a miracle – that Jesus would heal caregivers and orphaned children, REstoring them until they are completely dependent on Him and interdependent in their communities. That is something that, as much as I want to, I can’t accomplish. This is not even something Back2Back can accomplish. However, it is absolutely something Jesus can and will accomplish!

You’re leaving your house or apartment – what do you always have with you?
I always have my pencil pouch full of colorful G2 pilot pens, a few sharpie and my mini-antibacterial gel, which ironically I rarely use. But, the children at Del Norte absolutely love it, and it gives me a great opportunity to say “yes!” when they use their beautiful words to ask me for some. We fly through that stuff.