Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Stories catch our attention. It is stories that help us gain perspective on life, problems and our purpose. Through the impact and work of our back2school outreach there are stories that hit my heart, and that I want to share with you.
A man at one of our partner churches told me about a kid whose shoes were way to small. When the child took off their shoes, the person measuring their feet had to physically straighten out their toes to find out what size they were. This child’s shoes were way to small. Through the process of getting new shoes and having their feet washes the child talked about their dreams, what they want to be when they grow up. It was eye opening to say the least.
What gets me the most is how so many of the children we serve don’t hear that they can be anything that they want to be. Look up. Aim high. Dream big. God has a great plan. Those are things that all children need to hear, and it really is amazing what some one who cares can do for others.
One of our volunteer team members sat in front of a young man a few years ago as the child shared that life in their house was tough. The volunteer listened, showed they cared, spoke words of encouragement and prayed with this child. What is amazing is what has changed in the last few years. This child’s family moved to a new town, and he has begun to believe what God says about Him. The smile on his face speaks volumes.
I listened yesterday to one of our ladies talk about a little girl who was getting her feet washed. This precious girl shared that although she is a Christian that she is scared because her daddy and family don’t like God. What happened in the moments to follow is why we do what we do. This lady volunteer asked to talk with this girl and her dad, and after listening to the man’s story our volunteer asked the man if he would like to accept Jesus. He did. I love how God brings people to see Him in creative ways.
As we were cleaning up I saw a small bag sitting over next to a wall. In the bag was an old pair of shoes with several holes in them. Our back2school outreach shares shoes and washes student’s feet, but the reason we do this is much more than shoes. We earn the right to talk with these students and their families about their God given potential. What a blessing and an honor it is to serve people.
Not all the people we serve are poor. Not all the students need shoes or a backpack, but by sharing what we have we make a difference in many of the people we encounter. In fact we are being able to impact lives of people we haven’t even met.
Serving people helps us gain perspective. Gaining perspective keeps us going, keeps us serving, keeps us praying and keeps us seeking God to change lives.
A friend texted me this quote: if your church closed today, would your community be affected? I’m not sure where the quote came from, but I do know without perspective we will not make the difference God calls us to make. Our communities must see the love of God lived out loud.
God uses the small things to magnify his name – Manny Ohonme
James 2:14 NLT
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?