Working at a church as many incredible perks – but I have to say, what I experienced these past few days takes the cake…
Our church, Hope Community Church (HCC) in Hudson, OH, raised tens of thousands of dollars to bless people in need in our community. HCC was emerged in a movement this holiday season, “Expect the UNexpected”… pretty fitting for 2020, huh? The church challenged our congregation to do 1,000 Random Acts of Kindness, and also committed to contribute $25,000 from the Benevolent Fund towards blessing those in need. Additionally, we were challenged to raise another $15,000 to put towards the Christmas Blessing – and wow, did the church side to the challenge! We surpassed the goal, and an anonymous donor offered to MATCH the $15,000 raised too. It was such a refreshing time to see so many come together towards one goal… blessing those most in need and giving UNexpected love in our communities. Our congregation nominated people who don’t go to our church but are in need. Families part of our church needing extra help, were also considered too. 50 local families were nominated, and 50 families were accepted – and I had the privilege to help deliver these incredible gifts! I went out with the Pastor a few days ago and we delivered a few $1,000+ checks.
This weekend, my husband and I delivered over $4,000 to 3 families these UNexpected Christmas blessings. The first was to a family with several children, have had some difficult times – and I got to hand them a check on behalf of HCC, for $2,500! They had no idea. They weren’t expecting us. They didn’t know whose hearts they were in to be nominated… can you imagine?! It was a moment full of tears and gratitude! They were in disbelief and said “this is a true Christmas miracle”. The next gentleman is 84 years old who recently lost his wife, on a fixed income and is having a hard time paying for her funeral expenses. After we gave him this blessing from HCC – he was speechless, he sat down and literally kept saying “I don’t know what to say”, but what he did say was “wow, I don’t have to worry anymore”.
This got me thinking… what a privilege for this opportunity to deliver these checks. What an honor to be able to give someone this good news… why don’t I feel this way about sharing the most invaluable gift of all? The ultimate GOOD NEWS?! Shouldn’t EVERY child of God feel honored and privileged and EXITED to share Jesus with others? Isn’t that each of our great commission? If we all had a “monetary gift” for someone – we wouldn’t leave it in our glovebox, or our wallet, or hide it under a basket or under our bed… we’d rush right over and give it to them as soon as possible. We wouldn’t let that gift just sit there, until we got around to sharing it. We would want EVERYONE to have this gift RIGHT NOW! So as I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be able to give this UNexpected monetary gift from the church to these strangers. I’m also feeling convicted and inspired… I need to feel this excited to share the most invaluable gift of all, eternal heaven. Although I do share my faith and God’s love throughout my life, my writing and photography… I need to get better at those 1:1 conversations as the Holy Spirit leads; sharing my testimony, examples of God’s goodness, grace, and forgiveness; Jesus’s sacrifice for our sin; and a peace that transcends all understanding with a life full of joy and love.
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mark 16:15