Last week as I was searching Craig's List for several household items, I came across a post from a mother of three who said they had fallen on hard times and really needed some help. She did not ask for money, just food. I was touched and really felt like I should do something.
The cynics in my life automatically started telling me that it was a scam, she was faking it, she would use and abuse me, and that there were places like food banks she could go to if she really needed help.
Still, I couldn't shake the desire to help. I called her and after we talked for about thirty minutes, I was in love! One of the great things about reading Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne is that their has been a shift in my thinking regarding those in need. They are not projects, or one time handouts, they are people with needs for community, friendship, and life. They are just like us. I decided as soon as we talked that not only was I going to help Christina and her children, but I was going to be her friend.
Christina and her husband have lost everything after falling behind on bills and having their entire house and belongings repossessed. They have been living with their three children (all under the age of 5) at a hotel for months but finally saved up the money to move into a rental house only minutes away from where I live. And last week, with the help of all my friends, we met them, surveyed what they needed, and almost completely furnished their entire house.
You should have seen the kids, it was the best Christmas they have ever had. We brought them their very first bed ever, and all three of them have been sleeping in the twin bed ever since! We collected toys, clothes, dishes, food, chairs, table, TVs, everything. We started from scratch and the joy was contagious in that house. It went from being an empty shell to a home.
Yes. There are great organizations who offer help out there. But, for a mom watching three toddlers with no car while her husband works, it is hard to get to those places, especially when you are new to the area and don't know where to go in the first place.
Will I ever know exactly why they are in the place they are in? No. And I don't need to know, because there is no need for judgement or conditions, there is just a need for grace. At the end of the day she has three beautiful kids who deserve a chance in life. A bed, some toys, and some kind people who are willing to help them get back on their feet. Thank God there are no conditions on God's grace, I would never qualify.
I am not telling you what I have done for you to tell me that I am a good person. I am telling you because it was so easy. When we are willing to be used by God, He will use us. It really does just take one person to make a difference in the lives of people.
So, this morning, well...I found another family. And I will start the process all over again with them. And I can't wait to bring more people into the family. Maybe this could be my niche?
My prayer today is that God would inspire us to love like Him, and in so doing, we would change the world, even if it is just for one family.
If you live in the Dallas area and would like to contribute basic household items or clothes, please email me.
If you want to get in on these little projects with me but live somewhere else, you can send me a Wal-Mart gift card. I am using all donations I receive to go and personally buy their requested items. I am also emailing all donors pictures.
And, if you just want to meet these cute kids and hang out with them, let me know, they love making new friends.
send contributions to Jenny Simmons, PO BOX 740155 Dallas, TX 75374