Giving to others in need is so simple. Even kind words or a smile can make someone’s day. I know this from my years in the Outreach Ministry of my church. Besides the tangible things people may need…being treated with human kindness and dignity goes a long way.
Love Thy Neighbor Outreach (LTNO)
That is the name of the Outreach Ministry at my local church, Abounding Grace Ministries, COGIC (AGM). The Bible tells us that it does no good to simply speak over a person’s life by telling them to be warmed and filled and not give them the things necessary to be warmed (clothes,coats) and filled (food) when you have the ability to help.
LTNO, strives to do just that by meeting the needs of the outer man with tangible blessings. As our God provides and even expands our resources, we will continue to reach out to help people in need – in times of need.
It was not until I reached adulthood that I realized my family growing up was probably considered either low income or poverty level. But, somehow my mother made it work. She and my Dad separated but not divorced for many years. I think my Mother was one of those hurting people.
She had so many children to raise with no help from estranged husband, even though she did have the assistance of a new man in her life. In my house, we couldn’t have nice things, we were not the sort of kids who took care of our nice things in the house, laundry piled up, dishes in the sink and a Mother who worked so hard, that she was too tired to see to her household sometimes.
I mentioned our low estate in life to say that we, and my Mother were’nt always treated with dignity. She did what she had to do to take care of her large family, even if that meant keeping her mouth closed when spoken to with condescending remarks by social workers, other family members, and putting up with that man in her life. That’s all I’ll say about her man because he passed away and I don’t want to speak ill of him.
I’m thankful for the pork n’ beans, beans & cornbread, cold cereal, bread, school lunches, and being treated with fried chicken on Sundays. I’m thankful for the used clothes people gave us. I loved going to the thrift store with my Mother. I appreciated everything that was given to us (I didn’t realize we were receiving charity).
I’m Paying It Forward
My Mother had a heart for hurting people. She took action when ever she was able. I didn’t have that kind of concern for people until well into adulthood and being an active member of my church. I found my own niche in the church and got started with collecting used clothing for the needy.
For a short period of time, I worked/volunteered at an office that helped hurting and needy people. Sometimes, all a person wanted was to talk. Others needed help in finding a job. Still others called for Pastoral counseling (the director and my co worker was a Pastor).
I started to feel drained of life because the task of helping people and feeling their pains was simply overwhelming. It’s no wonder people have mental breakdowns. Life can be too overwhelming for some minds to take.
Still Got It!
I’m a lot older nowadays, but my passion for outreach is still hot. I mentioned being a lot older because I wonder how I do some of the physical activity I do. God’s grace is sufficient. He giveth more grace as the burdens grow greater, God sendeth more strength as the labor increase…
My Pastor and I are up before dawn, picking of bread and other food items. We are commited to feeding our Community.
Sock It To Them
Every Wednesday evening at 5:00, I, my Pastor, and others, serve hot meals to the community. These meals are free to anyone who walks through the doors. Not everyone who joins us on Wednesdays are Needy or Homeless, but some are. There is something I learned about people who are Homeless, and that is, having clean socks and underwear are a high priority and very much desired.
People deserve clean clothes, to be able to take a shower, someplace to sleep, and a hot meal to eat.
You have been blessed to be a blessing to others. If you would like to participate in giving socks and/or underwear to the Hurting, the Homeless, the Needy, you are welcomed to do so through my church. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be Blessed Everyone and Be a Blessing
the Good Stewart