Monday, October 31, 2016

"God Used Me!" (Ministry Monday Series)

"God used me!" she exclaimed in awe and delight. It was a Friday evening at FLORECE, and we were about to close our doors when a client rang the bell. Just a few minutes before, Mercedes had stepped outside the center to look for someone to reach with a FLORECE flier. A woman at the veterinarian's office a few doors down took one and walked away. Shortly after, there she was at our entrance! She visited with two of our counselors that day and returned the following week for the first of several courses in prenatal preparation. 

To Mercedes in particular, it was a sweet gift from God to have been a part of reaching this client. She is not a regular volunteer but is currently out of work and looking to fill her time. Recently she asked if she might come to pray at the center and help out where needed. She especially enjoys handing out fliers around the neighborhood, and on this occasion was blessed to see immediate fruit from her labors.

missionary Pam Sharp (center) with Grace (left) and Jacqueline (right)

Fast forward several days, and on Wednesday morning we were nearing the end of a shift when the doorbell rang again. A young woman entered for a pregnancy test and met with two counselors. She set an appointment for the following week and also received with interest an invitation to the ladies' retreat at our church the coming weekend. 

As she left, again I heard words of wonder and joy: "God used me!" This time it was Grace, a widowed volunteer who had added an extra shift that day to fill in for me while I took my son to an appointment. On her way to FLORECE that morning, it appeared to her that the woman beside her on the bus seemed troubled. Grace offered her a flier and invitation to FLORECE, and it was that same woman who hours later appeared at our entrance.

handing out fliers on a Sunday evening

It is such a blessing to see God at work, not only in the lives of the few clients who have come through our doors so far but also in the hearts of our volunteers. Grace and another widow, Jacqueline, are on every afternoon shift and both have expressed what a difference FLORECE has made by giving purpose to their days. Others have shared similar sentiments, especially as they reflect on how God is redeeming their stories for those facing similar struggles and heartaches.

As a mom, it brings me special gladness to see my daughters Isabel and Eva participating in this ministry alongside me. They have learned to take the city bus from our home to FLORECE after school twice a week to assist in any way they can. Sometimes it is small tasks such as adhering labels to fliers, or joining other volunteers in handing them out. Other times it is standing in as an imaginary client for practice simulations. My daughters, too, are "blossoming" (FLORECE means "to blossom") in serving the Lord. Our first two clients came as a result of a Sunday evening Isabel and four other volunteers spent distributing fliers that Eva had helped to prepare. They did so on their own initiative and their own time. So they can certainly also say with joy, "God used me!"

No comments: