Friday, November 13, 2015

i'm encouraged.

 Parker in white #29







God has been so good. 

We’ve really been just spending so much time the past few months at the football field. It’s finally over now. And even though I have loved every second of it, I know it’s good to have this break till the next season.  

But like Chris tells Parker the day after his last game, “Next season starts today.” At least for him. Ha! 

Well, this year at the church, we’ve really taken a break in doing big outreaches outside our church and have just been focusing on ministering and witnessing to those God is putting in the direct path of our lives. 

So with four boys playing football on four different teams that’s resulted in a lot of daily contacts with coaches, players and other parents. And if your children are any good (at playing football), people seem to want to be friends with you more. 

That’s not bragging that’s just the way society is. 

Since we’ve been fortunate to have athletic boys, it’s really opened the door for us to build relationships and enabled us to get a foot in the door to minister in ways Chris and I never thought before. 

It’s really cool when Chris and I look back at relationships that started when we first moved to our city to take over the church and replant it and how God is still using them to bring people to Him. I can’t go into all the details without making this a marathon post, but basically--

Parker ended up playing football at our local high school (while still remaining homeschooled) because the head coach was the father of one of Chris’ former students who really took a liking to Chris when he first began teaching. 

Parker’s Christian example has really been an eye-opener to both his teammates and coaches alike. Everything from the music he listens to, his stance on remaining pure until marriage, that he is one of eleven children, that he’s homeschooled, that he’s white (nearly all the players are non-white), and that he can really play football is giving him lots of opportunities to witness to them. 

Since the program has been down and out for a while and a lot of the kids are from underprivileged homes, I wanted to make them feel like they were special and that someone actually cared about them, so I decided to volunteer to provide pregame meals for the Varsity team. 

I thought it would be no problem until it took 15 phone calls to get a local store manager to commit to a tray of mashed potatoes for 45 players. Until my hands were on fire from making 200 enchiladas from 5:30 to 11pm. But you know what-- I really liked it. 

My kids begged me to let them serve the meals to the players-- they loved helping. 

And before each meal, Chris would give the team some really inspiring football talks sprinkled with Biblical truth, and then he’d pray with them. 

At times, it was really stressful, especially when it would be Tuesday and we wouldn’t know what we were going to feed the team on Friday. 

I wanted it to be nice so we put out nice tablecloths and fed them some really great meals (guys would be texting Parker to find out what was on the menu and word had gotten out that it was GOOD.). 

Not only that, but some of the guys on Varsity had younger brothers who played with either Ethan, Charlie or Lincoln. It was then that I realized how much God is involved in all we do and how it’s all tied together. It makes me know that we have been and are doing what God wants us to be doing. I am right where He wants me. 

And even though we haven’t done these grand outreaches, God has been bringing people into the church. People wanting to know Jesus. From Parker’s Coach’s wife to his teammates to people who ended up at our church in the craziest ways telling you that only God could do something like that! 

Yes, He is so good! And we are so blessed! 

I am so inspired knowing that it’s not us who grows His church or brings people to salvation, but only God and Him using us to do his work. 

I love serving His people and I love seeing Him in the things we are doing. 

We have an amazing single Mom with two little girls who recently came to the church and found herself about to lose her place through no fault of her own. Within 24 hours, she had five potential places to stay. 

Offers to stay in rooms in people’s homes. Some were from people outside the church and some came from members. It’s awesome to see and encouraging to me when a small church like ours can fill such a need so quickly and in so many ways. That’s Jesus. 

And so, I encourage anyone in ministry that you don’t have to run in circles and put on big events to grow your church or bring people to Christ. You just have to be willing to do whatever God wants, serve people with a willing heart and never give up and He will do the rest. 

It’s not all about me, it’ all about him. 


3 comments:

Andrea L. said...

Thank you for sharing this Wendy. When my heart is broken for our world, when it seems like Paris is just a sign of all that's coming, your post reminds me that God is still on his throne. God is still at work and there are still lives being changed. So very thankful.

Deanna Rabe said...

Wendy

This is encouraging. Jesus asks us to just walk with Him daily and let Him lead us in our relationships with people and who He wants us to minister too.

You all are being His hands and feet. God is using it!

Deanna

Piece-of-Cake Parent said...

Awesome!
I love how food is such a vital way to share and minister. It literally feeds souls!
I agree that God will use your everyday interactions to shine through!