In big ways and small ways, rescue always makes a difference!
Last winter, a discussion came up between a friend and I. We were talking about ways to help with the needs of homeless shelters.
At the time, her son was engaged to a girl whose father worked with a homeless shelter in a nearby community.
He'd been involved in it for quite some time, and had learned the ropes of what works, and what doesn't, through trial and error.
As my long-time friend told me of the love this man has for displaaced people, my mind began to churn with thoughts of actions I could take to make a difference.
Scripture teaches of faith, and how it had to be accompanied by works, or it was motionless and dead; never coming to life and breathing.
There is something wonderful and sacred in doing something to help someone else, just because we want to, not because we're forced to.
Jesus did it for us, and He expects us to do it for others, in whatever way we can.
There is nearly always a way to help someone else in need. It could be a word of encouragement, or remembering to bring their need before God in prayer. It could even be something as simple as a smile, or a hug. God is excellent at turning even small and heartfelt gestures into huge blessings. We may only have a little, but He can still turn little in much.
Gaining from gifting ...
My husband knows the value of giving. He has always been in habit of giving to food drives, especially during the holiday seasons. Even when we had nothing to give, my husband found a way to give anyway. It's just the way he is.
While I talked with my friend, I began thinking of how to get others involved and considering what other ways groups of people might be able to help. One of the things my friend filled me in on was how many shelters require that everyone staying there must leave at 0600.
I remembered this rule amongst other shelters I'd come across, during the years I drove a school bus in a large city. My bus route took me by a shelter in the downtown area of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Early in the morning, people would be leaving the shelters, heading out to the streets for the rest of the day. On dark and cold winter mornings, they were bundled up, and carrying all they had, as best as they could. I knew they had faces somewhere under their hats and tightly wrapped scarves.
Many were mentally ill. Some were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some would beat on my bus door. They mistook my bus for a city bus and couldn't understand why I couldn't open the door and let them in. There were times I had to proceed very carefully through intersections in that area, just to ensure they didn't manage to come in through the emergency door at the back of the bus.
To protect their things from being stolen, many carried all they owned in backpacks, but their backpacks didn't last long due to the constant wear and tear. My friend told me that the man who works with the shelter had shared with her how excited they were when new backpacks arrived. They were readily taken by people in need.
While she explained about the backpacks, it occurred to me that the school year would be ending soon. Most of the school children would be getting new backpacks when classes resumed the next fall. Many of the backpacks being used by the students, at the end of the school year, would end up in the bottoms of closets, donated to second-hand stores, or even tossed into the garbage to be thrown away.
I decided to share my idea with my pastor, Rev. Greg Morrison, regarding backpack collection for the shelters. He was very receptive and got on board with the idea immediately. He agreed to speak to our congregation about donating their childrens' old backpacks to the church, where they would be distributed to shelters in need.
Before long, people started bringing them in to donate. They also began sharing ideas on how to come by more of them at little to no cost.
When Spring brought warmer weather, my friend Cathy Wagner, who loves to go yard sailing, started buying them up on her outings, for very little money. The word continued to spread, and people responded. They continued to bring in backpacks, all summer long.
Before they're distributed, the packs will be prayed over, asking God's blessings and protection on the new owners they'll be given to. Hopefully the packs will make life a bit easier for them.
I hope the story I have shared continues on to breath and live in some other community, and then continues into another town, and another, and another. Pay it forward. It is good to give. God bless!
In many cultures and faiths, helping with those who are less fortunate than we happen to be, is taught and practiced. My trust for all I have is in Christ Jesus alone, but I also believe in being a good steward of this planet He created us from.
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, "Depart in peace", be ye warmed and filled, not withstanding ye give them not these things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Before I close, I would like to mention how thankful we are in my neck of the woods, for the recent rains on our parched land! Now many of the fields look lush and green, when only a few weeks ago, they looked like death on the ground.
Life has been renewed by the grace of God.
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marcoujor, Virtual Buskers’ Guild
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