By Lea Ann Sherwood
Not long after I started going to the church I’m now attending I got pretty involved with various ministries inside our congregation. I was on the worship team, headed up the women’s ministry and did some other things. As time went on, I really felt that I was spending way too much time working within the church walls. I truly feel that it’s our call as Christians to leave the church and to go out into the world, but I wasn’t quite sure where God wanted me to go, so I started praying for direction. In the meantime, I kept working. I must tell you, I never really felt called to work in women’s ministry but I felt like I was to continue working there until I got my answer so I kept praying. I prayed for years. And then one day I was heading over to do some apartment ministry work with our then student pastor, Kevin. As we were talking, he mentioned a local ministry that reached out to the underprivileged in our community called Streetwise Georgia. I got in touch with them, and have been working with their organization ever since. My prayer was answered. And, in case your wondering, someone else has stepped up to take over leading our women’s ministry.
Through my work with Streetwise I was introduced to a needy trailer park community in our area. I have since had the privilege to do some work there. I pass out food, pray and visit with folks and just get to know people. God has been at work there and I already have many stories to tell. But I think one thing that has stood out to me lately has been the way God has allowed me to work alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I went to work in the trailer park area as the lone volunteer from our church. But now there are three adults who work alongside me on a regular basis as well as two students. There are also two other adults who join as their work schedule permits. Two of those who regularly join in, Dana and Dawn, are busy women. Dana is preparing to be a missionary to Africa (which is a lot of work for those of you who don’t know), and Dawn has thirty-two children at home (I think it may be closer to five, but that would be like thirty-two to me). They enthusiastically work long hours, and we are in frequent contact about how things are going in the area. The other adults who help have full-time jobs but take time out of very busy schedules to regularly deliver food, visit with folks, or help out in any way they can. Two of the men who help have jobs in Atlanta and commute back and forth to work everyday. One of those men is my husband. The joy I get from serving next to my husband is without compare. The students who volunteer could be home doing homework or whatever it is that young people like to do these days. They all serve joyfully and with thankful hearts. It is an encouragement and joy to work with these brothers and sisters in Christ.
God put it on my heart to pray and my prayers were answered many times over. He gave me a place to serve, provided me with brothers and sisters in Christ to serve beside, and I’m continually seeing Him at work in the trailer park area. It’s been more than just dropping off food to people. It’s the opportunity to interact with people and to build relationships with them. And that’s something I believe we’re all called to do. Build relationships with the hurting and the lost. I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am for this.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
(Hebrews 10:24 ESV)
Read Lea Ann’s Blog HERE