This month brings some great challenges/goals for ministry. It seems like this month is a time when most are more generous with their time and resources for ministry/giving than at other times of the year. In the past our family has bought toys for our church's Christmas Store for families in need ~ which was not only fun for us to participate in but deeply touched our hearts to watch the parents "shop" for the gifts for their children. We've bought food for our church's food pantry which serves the community year round. We've packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and worked at the relay center to pack up 1000's of boxes. And honestly, none of these things are done to bring any accolades or recognition to us ~ the Lord has allowed us to do these things and has given us the provisions to do them.
As a single Mom for 9 years ~ I was on the receiving end many times of others generosity and service. We received restaurant meals, toys/gift cards at holiday times, driving lessons for my boys, paid health ins. for 2 years, a paid for Mission Trip to Canada, and many more. Not to mention all the prayers, hugs, kind words, etc. I was blessed many times and now can give just a little back.
This week I heard about a ministry, a friend of mine in GA, started. She & a small group of friends decided to get up early one Christmas morning (5 AM), about 7 or 8 years ago and take coffee to downtown Atlanta & serve homeless folks. The first year they had plenty of coffee but ran out of cups ~ the folks were going through trash cans to find anything they could drink out of for that free coffee. This ministry has grown by leaps & bounds since then. This year, they will take coffee, food, personal care items in baggies, socks, coats, hats, gloves, and much more. Whole families get up early and drive downtown to minister to forgotten folks. They are serving in the Lords name and are only able to do it through the generosity of others. Her children don't mind giving up part of their Christmas morning fun ~ as her 14 year old son stated "these people need us to love on them". What a great attitude from a young man. Life isn't all about us, its about giving and serving others in Christ's name.
34. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35. For I was hungry and you gave me food: I was thristy and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.
36. I was naked and you clothed Me. I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.'
37. Then the righteous will answer Him saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38. When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You.
39. Or when did we se You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
40 And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I will say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."
Ministry doesn't have to involve many hours or lots of money. You could bring a smile to a childs face with a dollar store stuffed animal, or warmth to someone tummy with a can of vegetables or a hot cup of coffee. You could comfort someone with your smiles, prayers, and hugs. Just be willing to let the Lord work through your life. You will be blessed beyond measure.