Noteworthy #1: Jess Busch

Really, what I wanted from the beginning was for this blog to be about a lot more than myself. I want it to be a place for other people to have a voice.

Aside from highlighting various organizations, events and causes, I have decided to begin highlighting people.

Thus, a new weekly series: "Noteworthy people."

Please comment with ideas of people you know that I should be noting here. I want to sing the unsung.

What is it the most significant thing you feel you have done to make a difference in the lives of other people?

I’m not really sure if it’s the most significant thing I’ve done to make a difference in the lives of people, but the most significant thing I’ve done in my own life was living at an orphanage in Honduras for three months.

My main activities revolved around the farm. Twice a day, with the help of four teenage orphans known as the “lecheros” or dairymen and a couple other volunteers, I milked the cows, herded them to pasture, tried to tame wild Brahma cows, built fence…I also took care of the horses, gave toddlers and kids with mental handicaps horseback rides each week, and butchered over 100 chickens in a day! I also helped with the establishment of a restaurant/snack shop to reach out to the community, generate income for the orphanage, and teach the girls a skill. Some days I would help make tortillas for the younger boys’ home, or stay overnight in the clinic with a sick child…whatever needed to be done.

What was your motivation?

Ever since freshman year in college, during the annual missions conference, I felt God was leading me somewhere to do something…the feeling’s hard to explain, but so real and unique to times when I heard or thought about missions. After working professionally for 2 1/2 years after college, I decided to quit my job and go for it, not really knowing where I would go or what I would do but that I was willing to follow this desire God placed in my heart.

How did it change you?

You know how you always dream about what you want to be when you grow up? It has totally given me a direction for my life. When I grow up I want to live in some humble shack in the middle of some poor country, helping people grow their own food, and spending time with the ladies making native crafts and ministering to orphans along the way. I’m currently pursuing a master’s degree in vegetable crops, dreaming about when I can go back overseas. I come alive serving overseas…like this was what I was made to do. It is how best I can take all that God has given me and give it all back to Him, by serving kids and people through farming. I feel complete and purposeful.

Since your work involved an organization overseas, what are some of your favorite memories from being there?

My favorite memories…beginning every day by spending an hour outside, beside an avocado tree, watching the world come alive, reading my Bible, praying, and eating cereal. It was glorious. Walking the boys back to their house at the end of the day, after we herded the cows to the far pasture. The day’s chores were done and we would either walk back slowly, talking about food and girls and God, or run trying to splash each other in the puddles or kick a soccer ball around…and we’d always stop at the bridge to look into the water and watch the fish.

I loved walking to town, down the dusty streets along with guys on motorcycles, elderly ladies with umbrellas, men driving carts pulled by oxen, men on horseback, kids running around, old pickup trucks bumping along, chickens and cows roaming the streets… I loved the simplicity of every day and finding beauty in the little things.

What is your favorite quote?

“To all who’ve been born of the Spirit, who belong to eternity, stranded in time, and weary of struggling with sin: forget not the hope that’s before you and never stop counting the cost. There is a joy in the journey, there’s a light we can love on the way. There is a wonder and wildness to life and freedom for those who obey.” –Michael Card

Favorite picture you have taken:
It's not my favorite picture that I have taken, but it captures so much of what went on in Honduras:

Your favorite picture of yourself:

If there is a cause you are passionate about, what can others do to get involved?

Acknowledge what a blessing it is to have a full belly; there are so many people around the world going to bed with an empty stomach.
Look into organizations like Heifer International or World Vision that help people become self-sustainable; One Blood:One Mission drills wells in communities that have no water, and the Not for Sale Campaign frees modern-day slaves. More people are hungry and more people are enslaved around the world today than at any other point in history; it’s time to get the word out, stop the ignorance, and do something about it. (Look into these organizations, too, for Christmas gifts for family and friends).
And you could also donate to the “Let’s finance Jess to go back to Honduras” fund if you really wanted to.