Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Grace Enough"

(by Echoing Eternity)



{If you didn't click the "play" button, you totally should! While the band no longer exists, it consisted of some really great guys. The singer is our friend Jeremiah, whose wife is one of my dearest friends.}

I've briefly mentioned the local mission trip that is coming up in May, but I haven't really said much about what we'll be doing & why I'm so excited about it. Our church actually has several outreaches going on in our area during the same weekend. There will be a group doing some work at the nursing home and another group going to the prison (where my baby brother is) & providing a carnival-like atmosphere for the inmates and their families. Where I will be involved is with an in-town mission to a low income area. We'll be sharing the love of Jesus through VBS, Youth Events & Sports, Door-to-Door Evangelism, Food Outreach and prayer.

Last night, a few of us went to the site to look around and talk to a few people. A little incident occurred while we were there, and it reminded me that I really need to be praying for these people. They need Jesus. And they desperately need the grace, peace and hope that He alone can provide. I know that ~ not just because we visited the area last night, but because I've lived it myself.

I know I've mentioned the financial instability I experienced while living with my mom when I was in high school (in my ED story), but I think that's all I've ever said about those years. As I said in that post, we were on food stamps ~ but I don't think I mentioned that we lived in government subsidized apartments. Due to the fact that my mom's MS prevented her from working, the only income we had was $240 a month in child support from my dad. Rent was based on my mom's income, so we were able to live there for free. Even still, it took over two years for my mom to be approved for disability benefits ~ so needless to say, times were hard. I remember digging under the couch cushions to scrounge up enough change for milk a time or two. I also remember walking to the store to buy it, because we didn't have money for gas. I know that there were/are people in even worse situations than my mom and I were in, but it was certainly a very hopeless situation for us at the time.

The best thing about it all is that I knew Jesus and had a wonderful church body that helped support us. God not only provided for us, but He gave me a hope for the future. He also opened the doors for me to work in a job training program at my high school during the summer after my freshman year. I was fairly intelligent, so I was actually able to work in the superintendent's office rather than doing maintenance and yard work like most of the other students. I started working a "real" job as soon as I turned 15, so that I could help pay the bills. My senior year of high school I only needed one more credit to graduate, so I was able to participate in the vocational education program (where I only had a half-day of school so I could work the other half). There again, I was able to work at the bank rather than the manual labor that a lot of students did. I'm not trying to brag ~ I just totally see God's hand on me during those years, and I know that He showed favor on me. We still struggled financially, but I can't even imagine how bad things would have been if I hadn't worked.

I don't say all of that so you'll feel sorry for me. I'm just trying to express the fact that I know how these people feel, and I hope that helps me minister to them. I look forward to loving on the kids who come for VBS and sharing the love of Jesus with the teenagers and moms as well. And I love the people that I'm serving with! They are just a bunch of people from all walks of life who love Jesus and love the people who need Him. And I'm so excited to serve alongside them!

Amy

6 comments:

Messy Mom said...

That is awesome! I can't wait to hear what God does in this, and through you, and of course FOR you, because we all now what a blessing and time for growth comes with helping others.

Laura said...

That is so awesome! I'm really inspired that you're sharing your story and using it to lead others to Christ. God is good. :)

RR Mama said...

What an awesome testimony. I love when you can see Gods hand in your life and how he has changed you, covered you, provided for you, and most of all loved you. Oh and by the way the flowers blooming in my shrubs are Azaleas. The are so beautiful when the bloom but they only last about two weeks then it goes back to being a year round green bush.

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

You are amazing Amy. How wonderful for you to use your experiences to touch others, to help others, to show them hope. You are a blessing. ♥

lewiston said...

it's really neat to see how our experiences cultivate a compassion and understanding for others. admittingly, i would have a diffult time relating to these precious people because i didn't grow up like that, but it's so wonderful that you are joyfully ministering to them Jesus' love.

Brooke said...

its amazing what God can do when we step back and let Him!