Friday, June 30, 2017

When We Had a Little Taste of Heaven and Wanted More

I'm still savoring yesterday, so bear with me as I get to the point. There's a lesson in here somewhere.

The memory of last night will be with me for a long, long time. Tears sting my eyes as I think of it. 

I know, you're probably thinking, "She was just putting toothbrushes and shampoo in ziplock bags..." but it was more than that.

During the days leading up to the packing party, donations poured in from every denomination in our area, from people with giving hearts who wanted to be a part of what God was doing. Hotel-sized soap, shampoo, lotion, conditioner. Boxes of individually-wrapped toothpaste, tiny tubes of toothpaste, combs, snacks, hand warmers, socks, gloves, deodorant, insect repellent wipes. It was an amazing array.

Finally, the day came. Tablecloths and flowers on the tables, buffet spread, supplies arranged. 

Before the appointed time, workers started arriving. It was a beautiful group of people I love dearly. We started packing bags while we waited for the last few volunteers. By the time everyone had arrived, people were so excited about the work that they hated to stop to eat.

The room was filled with laughter and conversation and love. Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and non-denominational church members worked alongside each other. No one wanted to claim credit for their group. It was all about serving our Lord. 

I stood at the back of the room and watched with amazement. In heaven, no one will care what the sign said in front of the church we attended. We'll all belong to Jesus and we'll all work together, just like we did last night. 

It was a little taste of heaven, and it was beautiful.

We  didn't just stuff bags, we prayed over them, too. We circled the bags and prayed for the ones who will hand out the bags and the ones who will receive them. We prayed that God would use the bags to provide an opportunity to introduce people who are in the most desperate circumstances to our God of Hope. We prayed that people would choose to follow our Lord and become disciple-makers themselves.

If God does even a portion of what we prayed, amazing things will happen. 

Before we were done, the volunteers did one more sweet thing. They prayer-walked our building. More big prayers. More hopes and dreams and anticipation.

We prepared 502 bags. Some of the last bags will receive a few extra items, but there was a good start, even on those. When we finished counting, someone said, "Let's do 1000 next time!" I hope we will.  

24 bags have already gone to Eight Days of Hope for use in their shower trailer during their next deployment. Over the next few weeks, more will be distributed to homeless ministries in our area and churches on mission across the United States. 

After everyone was gone, I sat at my desk for a few minutes and savored the sweet spirit that was still present in the building. It was a little taste of heaven and I, for one, wanted more.

I saw the body of Christ at work last night. We did more together than any of us could do separately. It's the way Jesus intended us to serve and I hope we'll do more of it going forward. 

Global Outreach International isn't a church. It's a place where all people who love Jesus can work together to serve Him, side-by-side. Last night, that's exactly what we did. I hope you'll join us next time. 

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40 niv
If your church or organization can use these personal care blessing bags in serving Jesus in our area, message me or comment below. We'd love to supply your need.
Please like and share if this blog post has touched your heart. It extends our digital reach in significant ways. Thank you.

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When We Finally Decide to Become a House of Prayer

If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Jordan, the digital world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

Or you can mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.