Linnae Gomez and her husband, Jonathan, were expecting a really good year for their floral and event design company — Asiel Design. But in March, all but essential workers in their home state of California began to shelter in place. “Within a week, everybody was calling and postponing [their events],” she says. And with that, their income dried up.
To save the business, they applied for a government loan designed to help small businesses weather the pandemic, but Linnae wanted to do more than just survive.
Using her gifts to serve
Linnae has a servant’s heart. She and Jonathan host Sacred Arts in their community, an event that gathers artists together for a show focused on spiritual themes. For the past three years, Linnae has used those celebrations and her time and talents to champion World Vision child sponsorship as a Child Ambassador.
“It was amazing to find a group of people who cared and who were living out their faith in a tangible way,” says Linnae about when she first joined the Child Ambassadors. “I felt like I was coming home.”
Helping in the time of COVID-19
When COVID-19 caused nationwide quarantines, Linnae searched for ways to engage her community and help infuse hope into her networks. She and Jonathan prayed for God to show them how He would have them respond.
Then she learned that World Vision had partnered with a church not far from their home — River of Life Church in Santa Clara. World Vision provided Family Emergency Kits filled with food, cleaning items, and school materials to help families suffering financially because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Linnae visited one of the distributions and took photos. Then back home, she worked on social media designs to help raise funds for and awareness of World Vision’s coronavirus response efforts.
“It’s an opportunity for me to show up; an opportunity for people to see light and see what is making a difference,” she says. “I felt really privileged to be in a position in my world where I could show up and do that. So much of my life I was in a place where I couldn’t.”
Linnae was the second of four kids — all who arrived within five years of one another. Her hardworking father struggled. They were barely hanging on. She remembers picking up boxes of supplies at their neighborhood church throughout her childhood. Sometimes the family ate at a soup kitchen. But instead of sorrow, those memories bring Linnae a sense of God’s provision.
“Whenever those things happened, it was like God was taking care of us,” she says. “We were not forgotten.”
At the Family Emergency Kit distribution, she saw some of those same emotions reflected in the faces of the people picking up the kits.
People shared their stories with her of how they’d worked so hard to become the best in their field. Then something they never could’ve anticipated — a global pandemic — knocked them down. Now they were laid off, looking for work, and wondering how to feed their families.
“[They] ministered to their soul — the food boxes,” Linnae says. “It is like God looking at them and caring for them and that’s really what they’re feeling.”
The food boxes offer physical and psychological support. “Security in an insecure world that [is what] it offers. That’s really powerful,” she says.
Linnae feels God speaking loudly in this time of quiet that COVID-19 has currently created in her life. She sees this as a time to understand the needs of humanity.
“We’re all going through something really hard. How do I connect my heart to people?” she asks. She believes that other people like her will continue to step up and do whatever they’re able to do. For Linnae, that means partnering with World Vision — using her art to raise awareness of World Vision’s COVID-19 response and child sponsorship programs.
And always finding a way to ensure that children in need are not forgotten.