Here's a story.
A few months ago, the Johnson's (a family I babysit for) told me about a girl in the neighborhood needing childcare, a single mom of 3 (aged 1, 3, 4), who happened to find herself in a crisis situation. Ms. Johnson told me that she would need a sitter the following saturday (this was a tuesday). I was very reluctant, but agreed to think and pray about it ("prink"). After having heard about this girl (we'll call her Beth) and her difficult situation, my heart was burdened for her and her children. My eyes teared as I drove to publix from the Johnson's.
Later in the week, I said yes. I felt like I should do it because in my current state of singleness, as Paul said (1 Corinthians 7), that you are able to serve more freely. Also, my brothers and sisters from church living in the neighborhood have families of their own to take care of. So I did. That first time babysitting was difficult. But I knew it was the right thing. God had provided Beth a place to stay for free during the first year. I couldn't help but notice that the backyard was completely overgrown and the house a little run down. My heart continued to be burdened for her and her family.
A few weeks later I babysat once more. As I was about to leave, I asked Beth if she would let me get a group from my church to clean out her backyard. She graciously accepted. I wrote a few emails to some brothers and sisters from church who live nearby, as well as Allen (also from church), who owns a landscaping business. So, by the grace of God, the next Sunday, a small group from my church, along with Allen and his lawn WMD's, tore out all the overgrown weeds in Beth's backyard. After a few hours of work, the group and I walked to the pizza joint down the street to bring it back to share with Beth. When we got back, she had made a delicious pie for us to share. The fellowship was sweet and Beth was giddy with excitement.
The next week, Beth asked about the church we go to, as she was looking for a place of worship close to home. She started coming to 1027. I was so thankful for the Body of Christ that first day she came, as she and her children were welcomed with open arms. She made fast friends with people in the church and many others have helped care for her children.
Today, June 12, 2010, there is a group of about 20-30 people from my church and another church painting walls in her house, building a swing-set for the backyard, and a host of other jobs around the house. When I stood in the kitchen with Beth this morning, we were both overwhelmed by what God has done in our midst. He has provided for her so abundantly. I told her with tears in my eyes what a privilege it has been to see what God can do with little. I feel as if I gave my little lunch and God has fed a multitude.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Psalm 107:8