You know what I find amazing? Every time I start to get a little down while I am here, God gives me something to re-energize me. Yesterday’s came in a story on cnn.com, about a girl named Shay. Shay grew up in Illinois, and had a great job in Denver, CO working for a marketing company. Shay had a house, a car, and a dog. Then, in 2008, her world started falling apart. She lost her job. Then she lost her house and car. After spending some time angry at God (hey, we’ve all been there…) she felt led to do something to help the homeless. So she’s traveling across the country (all 50 states in 2010) to collect canned goods for homeless people. I was, quite simply, blown away. She could have ignored it, looked out for number one, and kept looking for work. Instead, she chose something greater. I kept thinking of Conduit’s “slogan” of living simply, so that others might simply live. She’s definitely someone who gets that. I went to her website, and donated $50. It’s funny. That’s the amount I felt led to give, and then immediately thought, “well, $25 is good, too…I’m unemployed!” But I quickly went beyond that. Even in my current state of being a full-time missionary (which still feels weird to me), I should be giving. I gave, and gladly. It’s always inspiring to see people who step up to help out people who need it. It’s why I am so proud of Nashville, and particularly Conduit and Journey churches. They’ve had cleaning crews out every day after this flood. I know other churches, have, too. These are just the ones I know about. It’s the amazing thing about the body of Christ. When the chips are down, we band together to get things done. Imagine what we could accomplish if we did the same thing and worked proactively instead of reactively? Could we really end poverty? The general consensus is that if every Christian in the world tithed, we could end poverty WITHOUT government intervention. I don’t know if that’s true or not (Bono says it is…and we all know to listen to rock stars, right?). I also know that I haven’t always done my part. My giving was always spotty, at best. But God has been working in me. I have given multiple times since being here. I gave to other mission trips. I continue to make sure I put $30 aside each month for Jemica. I gave to Shay. Just because I am doing what God called me to do doesn’t give me a pass. I haven’t always gotten that. At my church in Iowa, I played in the worship band. They collected the offering while we played. I rarely gave, and figured I had a built-in excuse. “I don’t make a lot of money, so I am using my talent to serve God, which is my way of giving.” Same thing with teaching Sunday School. Or Children’s Church. Or running a sound board. Or any other excuse I could muster. Oh, sure, i gave on occasion. But a lot of times it was from an abundance. I am learning the meaning of sacrificial giving. I fully expected God would change me while I was in Haiti. The change is different than i expected. i don’t know exactly what I expected, but this wasn’t it. As always, His ways are better than mine.
Ok, work notes! The white on the interior of the house is done! I can start on mixing the color next week. Things are progressing nicely. After I paint the color, and clean up, I will install the plumbing. I need to check to make sure I have everything I need. I have a feeling I will be asking a team to bring down some plumbing supplies.
Oh, for those who want to see what Shay is doing, visit http://www.shaykelly.com. I put a link to the right for you, too. God bless!