I Will Give Before I Take

That line was part of our world changers decree this summer in Mexico…(funny story of how one of the girls on our team got it backwards, poor Gracie).  I think as Christians that’s something we all take pride in, that we give to others before we take.  Or at least I hope we do. 

For a couple of months the Singles ministry has been putting together a service day project…as mentioned in a previous post I was not really happy about the participation numbers from everyone.  To be honest, I was downright angry.  As usual, God got ahold of me on that one…but it took until after we were done serving at Water Angels Ministries that it happened.  He also laid into me in regards to my addiction for others’ approval…as I worried all week and all morning about the other work-sites…whether everyone was enjoying the work and things were going smoothly.  He tapped me hard on the heart and just asked, “If they are serving to bring Me glory, why are you worrying about anything else?” That’s when I saw God using the Restore Project to change me on mindsets I didn’t think I could change…and truly I couldn’t, He had to do it.

I worked with the majority of the 20’s class while at Water Angels, and had a blast getting to know them and a couple of ladies from the 30’s class (I think).  It was great getting to serve another ministry in Knoxville, while kids were being ministered to upstairs by two other faith families from Knoxville.  How awesome is that? I love that picture, of Christians coming together to serve God and bring Jesus’ name to a community…regardless of denomination.  It was just awesome!  We even had a little fun upon discovering quite a few pants donations from what seemed to be one man.  I overheard a guy who had come to help ask the homeless woman who comes on Saturdays to help out if he could get information about coming back to serve…he has also brought his son with him to serve, which is truly amazing.  Sharing in serving as a family…

I also got to talk with Robert, who had been helped by Water Angels some months ago and now gives back by giving his testimony and helping when he can now.  He’s opened his home to other homeless so they can get back on their feet again…even working with the State to get one man his license and medication straightened out since the man has constant seizures.  I was blown away by what he said to me, because it’s been on my heart for a while now and exactly what I read from David Platt in the small group study we’re doing….”God’s blessed me so I need to be out here helping others receive His blessings.”

I stopped by the Moreland Heights site to see how things were going in the afternoon, and just had to smile…There were people digging with their bare hands in dirt to get weeds out, plants flowers and help beautify an elementary school for the staff and students.  They were doing it with smiles on their faces and God in their hearts.  It was great to see that in action.  They were working with several volunteers from the school to spruce up the surrounding parts…I thought that was great.  The weather couldn’t have been more amazing for this project either!  I’m so thankful that I am a part of a ministry that gets outside the walls of the church, that isn’t afraid to step out and be the light to the world, regardless of where that is exactly, and that gets us uncomfortable so that God’s glory can be seen. 

I ask you to pray that what we started on Saturday wouldn’t end when we finished…that it would continue in the hearts of those we ministered to, and also in our own hearts.  That we wouldn’t be the same…that we couldn’t…and that God would give us that passion to not settle for one Saturday of serving, but a lifetime of it…

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