Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Setting an Example



Sometimes we complain about Christians not stepping up to the plate but the more I learn as a sidewalk counselor to abortion-minded women, the more I see committed Christians all over the place giving of themselves and their resources. Yesterday, I came upon one that made the rest of the day shine for me. This sparkling servant of the Lord, Emma, is 12-years-old, about to enter middle school.

I met her when I chanced upon a remarkable ministry to the disadvantaged. It is called Caring Connections, located in Charlotte, NC (full contact info at end of blog.) The director, Louise Mills, told me that she would love to have me come in and gather the supplies I needed for a woman I counsel who chose life for her baby over abortion. I explained what I needed and she assured me they had plenty of resources to help me.

I arrived and was greeted by Louise and then taken to a neat and organized room filled with clothes for people of all ages. Louise told me that clients could come every 3 months to pick out clothes, completely free of charge. The clothes were used, but in excellent condition. Some looked unworn. She introduced me to a grandmother, sorting the clothes, and the vivacious 12-year-old Emma.

"What do you need?" Emma asked brightly, "I will help you!"
"Well, I need a baby bath that Louise already put aside for me and newborn to 6 month clothes."
"I am happy to help you!" she said. As she helped me sort through the clothes, she ooh-ed and ah-ed over how cute the little things were. When I inquired, "How many am I allowed to take?" she told me, "As much as you want! We are about to get in a new shipment. Please, take all you need!" The grandmother concurred.

As I gathered the clothes, I asked Emma, "Do you like working here?" She was so overflowing with goodwill and bubbly kindness that I wanted to pack her in with the clothes I was gathering and bring her home too!
"Oh yes," she said, "I LOVE it!"
I smiled at her, "What do you love about it?"
"The people we serve," she said immediately.
"What about them?" I asked. Honestly, that was not the answer one would expect from a 12-year-old.
"Their stories," she said, "Like, so many of them come in and they have a houseful of kids who have no shoes, and no beds. And I get to help them get beds, and clothes, and food."

She smiled broadly at the grandeur of such a privilege.

"You are a little missionary," I said, "What a lovely servant of God!"
"Oh thank you," she said sweetly, "I started a Bible Study at my school. It isn't a Christian school, and we didn't have one. No one else dared to ask the principal. So, I asked. I just had to be sure I didn't ask anyone directly to join, so they wouldn't feel bad or feel pressured. But I put up signs."
"Did you get many kids?" I asked.
"Oh tons!" she said enthusiastically.
"Is it before or after school?" I wondered.
"During recess," she said.

Imagine that! This little dynamo on fire for God had gathered "tons" of kids willing to give up their recess hour to study the Bible. And she volunteered her summer to help disadvantaged people, down on their luck, gather the things they needed to make it through another week. And she did it with effervescent joy. Customers came in, an older man and woman. Emma scurried to help them find just the right clothes.

"It has been a complete pleasure and blessing meeting you all today," I told Emma, her grandmom, and Louise, as I gathered my bounty to leave. "Is it ok if I tell others about you all?"
"Oh please do," said Louise, "Get the word out! We have so many resources to offer and it seems few people know of us to take advantage of it." I verified it would be fine for Cities4Life Sidewalk Ministry to put her on our resource page. We discussed bringing in the women C4L works with who needed baby supplies.
"That would be wonderful!" she said.
"Can I help you carry all that to your car?" asked Emma happily.
"Oh no, I can handle it, but thank you." She had already lifted so much  of the day's burden from the struggles I'd encountered that week.

Who would have thought that a lesson in selfless, joyful service in the Lord would have been taught to me by a little girl about to enter middle school? Makes those of us sitting back and letting everyone else do the Lord's work feel a little sheepish, doesn't it?

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Caring Connections - Garr Church Ministries
Louise Mills- Director
Church phone: 704-568-7700
Cell: 704-661-0194
email: office@garr.org
7700 Wallace Rd., Charlotte, 28212
Tuesdays 10-12 by appt.

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Dire need to help mentor women whose babies were saved from abortion-- please  contact Lisa Metzger at lisametzger@cities4life.org

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1 Timothy 4:12 

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a blessing you are to have allowed that same joy that you experienced to continue bubbling out for others to enjoy and ponder as well!

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