Thursday, July 22, 2010

School Clothing Ministry

What a blessing this week has been. This is our third year to give school clothes to the children of Maury County, however it was our first annual "give-away." Now, if I told you things went great from the beginning of planning until the last family was served I would not be honest, so bear with me as I share how BIG our God is!

When we began planning for this year we had a few items left over from last year in our possession. We began asking for donations of clothes to be brought to the church, but every time I took stock things were the same. I began to panic and ask God "Okay Lord, what next?" I began talking to other churches about asking their congregations to help collect clothes and all said they would. Wow, one more hurdle down, but still there were no clothes. Ryan and I went to camp with the kids just 2 weeks before the Big Day and I prayed even more. "God, what are we doing, did I miss something?" When we returned from camp-NOTHING had changed! I thought okay, we will help the first 20 people, but that is all we can do.

Four days before the Youth Mission week was to begin a few items began to drift in, but still not enough. I just thought God is going to have to make this one happen. I kept praying, reading scripture and relying on God to handle it. On Sunday, I gathered my first team of youth and we headed to the mission closet where the clothes are stored, I was scared! I open the door and almost fell over all the clothes! Our God is BIG! It took about an hour to gather all the clothes, I was speechless. God is so great! As the day went on I realized that even though we had a lot of clothes it was still not enough. Again, I went to God with it. The next morning my phone rings and it was a local church, they had a "ton" of clothes for us to come pick up. As I went to get the clothes I could not imagine what was waiting for me. When they showed me to the office that held the clothes I broke into tears. Again, our God was faithful! I now felt that we could actually do this, because they really had a "ton" of clothes. As Walker and I loaded up my van I sang praises to our mighty God and cried tears of joy. We still had two days before the big day and God never stopped working. It seemed like evertime the phone rang or a door opened it was more clothes! I mean what man could do this? NONE, only God!

The BIG DAY arrives and I will admit I was scared to death. I mean this was a huge deal. Again, our God is full of grace and mercy and he showered this ministry in both. The staff at church, the youth, senior adults, parents and others came out to help and help they did. People began lining up at 9 am, the give-away did not start until 4 pm, again, I panic. I stopped, went to God and said "God, you know what we have, you know the needs, you know who is here, You are going to have to make it happen." Clothes continue to come in up until moments before we open the doors. About one hour before we opened the door everything was done! We were completely ready for what was out the door. I again hit the floor, face to the ground and asked my Father to handle it all. At 4 pm we opened the door and the first group came in, the gospel was shares, they were registered and they got their clothes. This was a process repeat so many times over the next 4 hours. After the first several goups, I began to check on how our supplies were holding out and I could not believe my eyes, they were multiplying on the racks! I could only think of the loaves and fishes and how Jesus fed everyone with leftovers to boot. Our God is Big! Every time I looked at the clothes it seemed like nothing was changing, we still had clothes! Now, if you were in Columbia you would know how hot it was. People were hot, so we gathered bottles of water, but again it was not enough. A man helping gathered some money and sent some one to the store for more, they returned with 15 cases of water. God, was again meeting every need we had.

About 7 pm things began to slow down and people were only coming in every so often, but we still had clothes. Just before 8 pm as we were cleaning up and putting things away, our last family arrived. The family had 2 very small children entering kindergarten and I felt over whelmed. I did not see a lot of small items left. As I began looking, one of the people helping came out with 2 bags of brand new clothes! Someone had brought clothes while the give-away was going on we never saw them. What was there was a shirt for the girl and boy! Our God is GREAT! When they left I realized not only were the people blessed, but so was I. I saw a miracle from God that day and I will never forget it. Guess, what remember the bible story? We have left overs! Yes, we can continue to help others with school clothes as the new year gets under way. God, isn't he Amazing!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Youth Mission

This week at church our entire family is involved with our church youth group summer mission week. Ryan is heading up the crew painting at the church and I am heading up the school clothing ministry. The little ones are there too, they are adding to the week in their own sweet way. It is so amazing to see God work! God is so big and I have been reminded of that several times this week already.
Please pray for the youth and all the other adult workers as we finish out this week.