Our Adult Ministry Team’s MAD project for January—MAKING A DIFFERENCE project---has been, “SOCK IT TO ME!” We started out just collecting socks to distribute to the homeless in our community. We ended up with a landslide of socks, blankets, and items that filled up the Church hallway.
This specific outreach campaign is now over. Thanks to the TREMENDOUS response from our Grace Works’ family, we have collected:
1,080 pairs of Socks – I had hoped to collect 500 pairs, so we DOUBLED our goal!
125 pairs of Gloves
33 Blanket Throws
42 Coats & Vests
50 PJ’s, Sweat Pants/Warm-ups
Plus additional Shirts, Shoes and miscellaneous
THANK YOU for your generosity and giving to those who are less fortunate in our city! All donations will be distributed by middle of this week. We are working with Mustard Tree Ministries, H3 (Hope, Help & Healing), & Heroes Hand Up to distribute what we’ve collected. All three of these organizations minister directly to the homeless community. Jason Lane is directly involved with Heroes Hand Up, an organization who ministers to homeless Veterans. You can learn more about all 3 groups by going to their Facebook sites.
A HUGE THANKS to my Adult Ministry Team for all their hard work in collecting, sorting, and preparing the mountain of items for distribution! Jean Gammon, Pat & Junior McDaniel, Lynne Yarbrough, David & Carol Gibbs---what a blessing you
Our Grace Works mission team has partnered with Bess T Shepherd Elem School.
One of the needs they expressed was a large flat screen TV for the cafeteria. During meals messages can be scrolled to the student body as well as movies projected. Just one more way our church is reaching out to fulfill the needs of our community. As you know the GraceWorks card was a project sponsored by our youth program here at church, and what a wonderful thing to see at this Christmas time of year. Our youth addressing the needs of children in our community through our GraceWorks Missions Team. GREAT JOB!!!! and Merry Christmas.
Last week I had a meeting with brother Bill. The purpose of the meeting was to ask if there were any family’s in our church that needed assistance. My wife and I have adopted a family for Christmas for the last eighteen years but this year was a little different. Usually we try to find a family with children because other than the birth of our Savior, children are what Christmas is all about. However, this year due to our jobs and travel schedule during the month of December we would not have time to do our normal shopping routine. So we asked brother Bill if he could find a family who needed help with a house payment, car payment, or some other unexpected bill that had come up which they may be having trouble affording. Five days later I received a phone call from Michael telling me there was just such a family in our church. I am always amazed at the opportunities God places before us and how the simplest of requests are answered. Merry Christmas to all of our GraceWorks family.
Sometimes doing the right thing or a good deed can be hard, I was reminded of this just this week. As most of you know GraceWorks church recently had a fund raiser for our youth at Chuys. My wife and I thought it might be a good idea to see if other patrons in the restaurant would be willing to participate in the event, after all they only had to hand in a red flyer with their receipt and Chuys did the rest. The first attempt was greeted by two men who said absolutely not to my wife because they were atheist and wanted nothing to do with it. The second attempt was a husband and wife that turned out to be deaf, however through pointing at the flyer and hand gestures they smiled and agreed to participate. The third attempt was the toughest. I ask two men and a young lady at a table if they would be interested in helping out. Their response was no, we just want to be left alone and why are you doing this in a restaurant anyway. I told them it was because the restaurant was sponsoring the event. I was then told YOU PEOPLE NEED TO GO. My first emotion was shock, my second was anger, but after going back to our table of friends my third response was the correct one. I asked the waitress to please bring me their bill when they were finished. I paid their bill handed the waitress one of the red flyers for the youth program and ask her if she would do me one more favor. I placed one of the black GraceWorks cards that was handed out to all our members at church on the tray along with the paid bill and sent it back to their table. I will never know what may become of these three people, but My hope is that that they will have a better understanding if not a greater appreciation of the grace of God.
I had gotten a card the first weekend the kids were giving them out. Then the next Sunday one of the girls handed me another card which I almost didn't take from her as I already had one. The look of disappointment on her face was too much so I took it. I tossed the card on the flat area of my car dash board and went on. Four days later I am in Walmart grocery shopping when a guy taps me on the shoulder and tells me he had just gotten off 3rd shift at Amazon and needed to get something to eat for his family and wasn't getting his check nor food stamps for a couple more days and only had a couple of dollars til then. He didn't ask for money he just asked if he could add a couple of things to my order at check out. I said sure what do you need, he got a gallon of milk and a box of cereal. I asked "this is all you want?" he said that would get him by till he got his food stamps and pay check. In talking with him I found out he lives with his wife and 6 kids at the In Town Suites, a weekly hotel situation. So of course I couldn't just get a gallon of milk and a box of cereal so we got more groceries for them.
After we had checked out as we're walking to my car I remembered the Grace Works card on my dash. He helped me put my groceries in my car so I gave him the card. He said he used to go to church years ago and asked me where Graceworks was, when I told him the big cross on the hill he knew exactly where it was because he had gone up a few times and watched the construction of it but never saw it totally completed. I did invite him and his family to come visit and that I would meet them or pick them up as he was dependant upon his brother for transportation. He did not commit as he works 3rd shift at Amazon on Saturday nights but would like to try sometime.
I helped him put his groceries in his brothers vehicle, I did meet the brother as well. He told me more of his story, he has been in jail but has paid his debt. He, actually quoted some scripture to me. I asked how he knew about the bible, he said he did go to church when he was young but learned the bible while in jail. I asked if I could take his picture for the Grace Works website and he allowed me. Before leaving him I not only gave him the Grace Works card I, also, gave him my business card and told him to call me if he wanted to come to church or needed anything.
I don't know if I'll ever hear from him again or even if his story was true but I couldn't take the chance of NOT extending him grace. I figure the rest is up to God unless He hands it back to me and the young man does call me, then I'll do what I can. Sometimes I think not only WWJD 'What Would Jesus Do?' I think WGA 'Would God Approve?'
OK so this is my story of how God allowed me to touch someone with His Grace.
Thanks so much,