Today I was at Target picking up gift bags to wrap gift cards for foster kiddos. While in the Christmas section, I saw a beautiful Christmas tree that I lamented over to replace my worn out hand me down tree. After a small pity party in my mind, I went about my day. Later that afternoon I dropped off some new packages of underwear at a drug treatment facility FaithBuilders partners with. One of the young moms I recently met with spoke to me and then saw the underwear. She asked, “Oh my gosh, what are you doing with those? I would give anything for a pair of cotton underwear!” After I gave her the whole package, she danced and shouted down the hall like she had won the lottery! As I thought about my desire to have a new Christmas tree, God blessed me a greater appreciation for what I take for granted!
Last week I received a text picture from a teacher friend of mine of a young boy in her class. His shoes were completely ripped apart in the front, and I could see his socks. She asked if FaithBuilders could bring him a pair of shoes. Of course Lori and I went and bought him a really cool pair of tennis shoes; however, they were too small. When we got to the school, I noticed that his glasses were broken, with one arm gone and the other side bent. Since we had to return the shoes anyway, I asked if I could take his glasses and get them fixed. His teacher explained that he could not see without them. The young boy explained that he could see but had to look one way and not see things on the other side. He also only walked in a forward motion, careful not to step sideways or backward, for fear that his shoes would fall off. We did finally get him a new pair of shoes that fit, and also new frames for his glasses, but not without three trips back and forth. This young man was so happy and grateful to be able to walk properly and see adequately. As I reflected on this sweet boy over the evening, Jesus gently reminded me that sometimes we get to a place that we can only see things from one side and often feel we can only walk in one direction, when actually there is usually more than one way to get to the same destination. While it seemed like we were able to bless this student, in reality, I was the one who walked away feeling extremely blessed and highly favored. I was honored that Jesus trusted me to love on this sweet boy!
BACK TO SCHOOL
During the month of July, most of us were enjoying swimming, baseball games and afternoon barbeques; however, many of the families we serve were already feeling anxious regarding back to school demands… clothes, hair, school supplies, etc. Throughout the summer months our volunteers and sponsors were collecting school supplies and stuffing backpacks with supplies that matched the appropriate grade level and school for each child. It took me awhile to understand how much stress and anxiety we can relieve for our parents by meeting an additional level of needs for their children. The excitement on the faces of the kiddos and the relief evident in the eyes of their parents are the biggest and best thank you we could ever ask for. FaithBuilders would like to thank everyone who donated their time, money or supplies to make this happen in our community. Together as a kingdom, we were able to bless over 175 foster children and more than 125 of our community kiddos with backpacks, school supplies, new shoes, clothing and fancy haircuts or braids. Although these items are not a basic necessity, such as food, clothing or shelter for these children, they are NECESSARY for excitment and acceptance at school, along with a confident self image regarding appearance and readiness. Understanding the importance of how we are are helping aids in facilitating a better acknowledgment and appreciation for the families we are serving and their efforts to do what they can. We are grateful for the generosity of our volunteers and donors as we strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these!
As the leader of a service-driven organization, one of the most rewarding outcomes is when a young mother we are serving, achieves enough structure and stability to then cross over to our side, becoming one who serves others. Sometimes we plant a seed but have to be content if we ourselves never see the harvest. However, other times we get to partake of a bountiful harvest. Over Labor Day weekend, I was out of town but needed some furniture moved out of a home so that someone else could move in. With a shortage of volunteers available over the holiday, one of the young moms we have been working with for 3 years stepped up to the plate and quickly offered to be of service. She rounded up some friends, borrowed the FaithBuilders truck and loaded up all the furniture and transported it to the warehouse. She then went back the following day and cleaned up the place so it would be in the best shape possible for the new tenants. Not only was she blessing the organization that has been walking alongside her for years, but she also displayed a motto we try so hard to instill in those we serve. FaithBuilders teaches and tries to model the concept of going above and beyond, helping a bit more than what was asked of you. Often times we as volunteers when grow weary helping, especially if the level of appreciation on the other side is not as high as the efforts put forth. Knowing that our moms not only understand what we are trying to teach them, but can actively initiate and walk it through in their own world is one of the sweetest fruits of our labor. Thank you Karen, God’s good and faithful servant.
Recently I had a conversation with a cute lil 5-year-old wearing a dirty shirt. When I asked her if she accidentally put on that dirty shirt, she replied, “Nope, all my shirts is dirty.” She explained it like this… “We don’t got no washing sand and no quarter, quarter, quarter…quarter, quarter, quarter.” After doing some research on the families we serve, I discovered that 85% of the families FaithBuilders serves do not have access or supplies for laundry.
Join me in a cleaning celebration by dropping off washing sand (laundry detergent) and quarters as a gift for others! Donations can be dropped off at Imagine That Toys, 2939 N Rock Road. Thank you in advance for helping me be the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these in our community! #laundry #clean #reallife
Yesterday I was at Target with Lori, my right hand lady for FaithBuilders, and we were purchasing supplies for kiddos coming into respite during spring break. Our cart was full of baby food, diapers, etc., and lady came up behind us and asked if we were FaithBuilders! She recognized me from a church I attend events at often! We chatted and she got in line right behind us so she could bless us by paying for all the items in our cart! She called it a “God Moment” and I will shout Amen to that!#Ittakesavillage, and I LOVE God’s Wichita Village! Thank you so much for coming alongside FaithBuilders as we strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these!
Recently I was made aware of the fact that kids come to Latchkey hungry in the mornings, often a couple hours before breakfast is served. We placed breakfast bars in the school to help create full bellies. Today pastor Craig spoke about being Christ centered and mission driven. As I went over my week, I discovered that 5 moms called me, desperate for food to feed their children. I believe to be Christ centered is to help increase food resources while decreasing the fear and failure these young women feel as parents. To be mission driven I am focusing on collecting food to fill in the gap for these kiddos during the upcoming spring break! Please join me by dropping off non-perishable food items or gift cards to purchase food at Imagine That Toys between now and March 10th!