This past week has been an emotional roller coaster ride with the passing of our beloved friend and mentor, Eileen Shuff. I can't tell what the days ahead will hold for us, her husband Terry and Bull City Outreach Ministries...but there are two things I'm certain of...God is in control and Eileen is in a far better place. The hole left in our hearts right now is very real...but so is the presence of the Holy Spirit as our Counselor and Comforter...and to this promise we will cling! Sometimes by choice...sometimes by necessity...
In other news this week, we had a couple of needs brought to our attention. Each week we continue with our regular food outreach and fellowship in the local trailer parks, but we also had some calls/emails this week for additional needs. We always love to get those requests and see God use His body to meet those needs.
Our food pantry was pretty bare for food that could be used in family food boxes - but when we received the requests we responded in faith that we would have something for both of them within a few days. And of course we did :) Super big thanks go out to Lindsey Newsome and Denise Watts for their gracious food donations that allowed us to make these two family boxes.
We also were made aware of a need late Saturday afternoon for one of our regular Hispanic families. This is the one that we just bought the shoes for. They had moved out of the singlewide that they had been sharing with the other family - and into their own place. However they just did not have the $400 cash that was required for the electric and water deposits. When we went by Saturday night, Dean found them all in the living room surrounding a camping burner of sorts - and they were running a light with an extension cord that had been wired to their truck battery. What a sad sight :( Praise Jesus that almost as soon as the need was put out there, Ronald Perkins responded with a donation of kerosene heater and gas can full of kerosene for the family!!!! We went to Timberlake and picked it up and took it over to the family in Butner. They were very happy to have the heat! (If you are able to give a donation of $20 for the electric/water service deposits - please see our paypal donation link on this website.)
Angela Battle, of Open Arms Fellowship in Creedmoor, went and talked to the family and was taking a couch and some fried chicken today - and also told them last night that they're church would be sponsoring them for Christmas! Another Praise Jesus report!
I am just so thankful that the Lord has entrusted us to be used to reach out to these people...to be a light in their world...to match them up with local churches that can serve their needs. Next Sunday we have promised the 4 boys that we will come and pick them up and take them to Open Arms for service and Thanksgiving meal afterwards. I am already very excited :)
Also on Saturday we were able to hand out bread and donuts in Twin Circles and also in Morning Glory (elderly apartment complex). Angela Battle joined us to hand out bread in both areas - and she also brought two pairs of shoes to the little girl that we inadvertently missed the last time we gave out shoes. This little girl was so very happy to have those shoes :)
And we were so very blessed to be able to fellowship with Miss Ernestine in Morning Glory Apartments. What a blessing she is to us with her words of encouragement. When we pulled up at the apartment complex, Courtney was adamant in saying that she would help take pictures and walk with Angela some and us some, but that when it came time to get to Miss Ernestine's apartment, she wanted to make sure she was there. The lady just exalts the Lord with every word and every smile. We were able to lay hands on her and pray with her over a sciatic nerve problem, and in return she spoke some very encouraging and applicable words over Dean and I, and we knew they were of the Lord.
To put the cherry on the top of an awesome weekend, we went to Working Faith Ministries this morning for service. Pastor Trey is always a huge blessing to us. We know that we never go wrong by attending there on a Sunday morning. Trey allows the Lord to speak right through him and we are able to leave full and refreshed, knowing that what was just spoken was Truth. I keep getting this feeling that I never even made a post of the pictures of the bookbag outreach that Working Faith Ministries did with us at the beginning of the school year in August....so here they are :) We are so thankful to have found like-minded, Spirit-led believers like Trey and his wife, and are excited about what we know God will do with us together as long as we keep His plan first.
I'll leave you guys with this...something the Lord really used to touch me this weekend during some Bible reading. It comes from the first chapter in Titus. Paul left Titus in Crete...an area that had been evangelized and now needed a working body of Christ. Titus had been left in charge of making sure the body of Christ had the necessary people in action and in leadership - keeping this new body of believers functioning as Christ would have them function. To me that kinda hit home. We're not the new church in Crete by any means...but we are taking a new, radical, different lifestyle of Christ to our local neighborhoods and into our local churches. So as being leaders of sorts...how should we also be living? I just happened to be reading out of the NLT at the time and I really liked the way it put this section....so if you don't find it to be an egregious fallacy, I'll replace "elder" with "leader" because in my mind as I read this section, I absolutely applied it to Dean and I and our roles, and I just can't myself an "elder"...lol.
A leader must be well though of for his good life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who are not wild or rebellious. A leader must live a blameless life because he is God's minister. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or greedy for money. He must enjoy having guests in his home and must love all that is good. He must live wisely and be fair. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong and steadfast belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with right teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong. Titus 1:6-9
The devil came in and tried to attack this week in some of this area...but Praise Jesus that we did not let it just end there! This is God's Word - this is God's Truth - and this is how we want to be without a doubt. The stone was thrown in our path for a moment, but the Spirit of Truth moved it away as soon as we asked.
We would greatly appreciate your continued prayers...for our ministry, for our family, for our relationship with each other, but most importantly our relationship with Him. As Pastor Trey reminded us today, we can get some things accomplished with just our own abilities...but it won't be His agenda until we've consulted Him and submitted it all to Him!!
Loving Radically Through Christ,