The plans are made. The giving has begun. The faces of these students are priceless. The blessings are returning to us, as we see Jesus reminding us, "Feed my sheep".
Our first stop - A prayer warrior for others. A constant in the ever changing winds that surround her and try to steal her joy. She will have none of it. She will give her last dollar to someone in need, even when her gas tank is empty and her cupboards lay bare.
The blessing.. $500 in grocery cards, $100 in gas cards.
The response.. overwhelming joy as hugs and kisses were spread over these students faces. They were speechless by this woman's outpouring of thankfulness to a God who never forgets. She shared with them a few of the struggles her family has seen and thanked us for being obedient to God's call.
Later she shared some of her blessing with a single mom, in desperate need. The blessing is multiplied.
Next stop - A young high school student, concerned for his mom, struggling to provide for he and his brother. Forced to move out of their apartment and into a house of an older couple. Things are hard and he sees his moms stresses of the everyday. He wants more for her.
He is a gentle young man, always quick with a smile and a thank you.
The blessing... $300 in grocery cards and $100 in gas cards.
The response.... a young man grateful for helping his family. A smile and a huge thank you.
Soon to come.. a gift card for him as he prepares for college. There will be things he needs.
Another stop - a student who has struggles. She and her mom live in a trailer that has seen better days.
Help has been given and accepted before. More is needed and we feel inadequate here.
The blessing... Gas card and grocery card
The response ... her warm smile and a thank you.
One more stop for the night - wow, this is a hard one. A young student who has had struggles with depression. The family is in financial crisis. One of our students from our group speaks of her. We want to bless. We decide to give gas cards and grocery cards worth $400.
During our planning a text is received. It is the girl, telling our student that her 18 yr old brother killed himself. We are speechless. The gift seems so meaningless now. What do we do?
Our student delivers the gift cards to her and comforts this young girl. Her mom wants to know where to send a thank you. They need money to bury their son.
The needs are great. The feelings are overwhelming and we feel helpless.
There are more plans.... Known To Me - money to help build a kitchen in Africa to feed orphans who come every day, hungry and alone.
A blessing on a student who is not the popular girl. Usually the butt of jokes and mostly alone. The gift of friendship is given first, through one of our students who shares the same school halls with her. We will choose gift cards for a graduation dress and a chance that rarely occurs in her life. A little shopping that every teen enjoys.
There is another student in need, one pregnant and feeling alone. Her parents are struggling financially.
A single mom, who needs help with her rent. A young married couple who found themselves short this month. They didn't ask but love was expressed.
We are not done..we are waiting on God for the next step. Trusting that He will show us. The needs are great and sometimes you may feel that you are putting a band aid on a gapping, bleeding wound or that maybe if different choices were made , there would not be these problems.
But..... be careful, that is muddy water and dangerous.
Jesus taught us compassion and love, not judging the walk we have not traveled.
Let us love as Jesus loves, with mercy, grace and open arms.