Just recently, the Lord orchestrated something cool at our office. Volunteer Judy Allen was meeting with a young woman whose situation seemed overwhelming and rather helpless. After the loss of her father, this woman has been homeless for three years. Friendships have never lasted in her life and she has been discarded as “trash” by her family. She suffers from a degenerative eye disease as well as addiction. Meeting with Judy, her physical demeanor conveyed hopelessness. As a seasoned volunteer Judy knows that sometimes she only gets one chance with a client and has learned to capture that opportunity. For close to an hour they talked about this woman’s fears, about relationships and the difference between toxic and healthy friends, about how her physical presentation showed that she was depressed and weighed down by the “weight of the world”. Judy specifically took time to encourage her and speak truth and love into her life. Not knowing how SERVE would be able to help this client, Judy went to Tim and together they prayed for her and for the Lord to show them how to respond to her need. Judy felt the Lord guide her to ask this woman about her life journey; what are her interests? What does she want out of life? She was hopeless on her current path in life, but she could remember a time when she was working at a pet store and the humane society when she felt good. She was gifted at working with animals and they brought her great joy! Such a time in her life she had purpose.
At this point, Sean Sallis (youth pastor at First Baptist Church, formerly worked for Youth Dynamics) walked by the interview room where Judy was conducting the intake. Immediately this woman recognized Sean from the days she attended Youth Dynamics. Sean joined their conversation and immediately her demeanor changed. This connection with Sean lifted her spirit and her shoulders. Sean listened to her and spoke truth about how satan sees us in darkness and at vulnerable times and tries to keep us there. Before long, they exchanged contact information and there was now a sense of hope.
We often times don’t know how to help those who come through our office doors. We seek the Lord and he always comes through. For this woman, on this particular day, God orchestrated this meeting between her and Sean to bring a sense of hope during a dark time. She confessed that she hadn’t even wanted to come in to SERVE that day to ask for help. This ministry is entirely in God’s hands. Judy was able to spend an hour and a half with this woman, and although SERVE did not assist with anything tangible, she left our office with a renewed hope and a connection back into the Body of Christ. Isn’t that why we do this? To see lives changed? Not every story is like this. In fact, many clients come through our doors and they DO receive tangible help; whether that is in the form of a meal, clothing, hygiene items, or electric bill. The one thing in common with all clients is that each receives love and prayer from the people of God. Our office volunteers may be the only people praying for that person or offering them words of encouragement.
Judy says that, as a volunteer, “I believe my best faith message and action for clients is, when appropriate, to convey His light in my life, share how I have wavered on my faith journey, and tell how the Lord has stood with me and what He has done for me in my dark moments, just relying on the faith that those seeds will take hold when God chooses.”
And we say, “Thank you, Jesus” for continually working in and through our lives as we wal k with you.