Ladies In Faith Together, LIFT, is something my friends and I started back at the beginning of the summer. I actually wasn't much of a help over the summer because I was gone on all our youth trips. Basically we decided that we wanted to reach out to our community and be a light to those around us. We all agreed that one way we could do this was by planning activities twice a month with the Homeless Shelter in town.
We were able to come together and reach out to the people at the shelter. We helped one family that had just left the shelter by providing them with all kinds of donated items: from furniture and bedding to dishes and food. We even got to help them set up their house for their new beginning. Avery and Abby helped load and unload, set up clothes, and organize toys. It is never to early to make a difference, right?
We did other things like make ice cream sundaes at the shelter while we visited with them.
One thing that is especially neat about this group from the shelter is that the children go to school at Terrell where I tutor. It has been a joy to develop relationships with the students. One family in particular has five children, 2 of which I tutored on a daily basis. Another church picks up people from the shelter to go to church. One of the teachers I work with who goes to that church told us that the whole family got saved and was baptized on Christmas Day. Praise God! I have mixed emotions now because the family has moved out of the shelter into their own house in Sherman which I know is a fantastic thing for them, but that means that they have switched schools and I won't see them anymore. I had developed a bond with the oldest girl and boy who were in 5th grade.
One night before Halloween we brought the children from the shelter to our building for a meal and to try on all sorts of costumes that had been donated by our members. It was a hoot watching them try on and act like the characters they were dressed as. At the end of the evening they were able to choose a costume to keep.
During December they were picked up and brought to the church to shop for their siblings, parents, and teachers. Lots of new and used items had been donated by our members. I am always amazed at the generosity of our church family. Each child from the the shelter was able to choose three items for every member of their family and we still had items left over. We helped them wrap their gifts and they left with garbage bags full of wrapped gifts looking almost like Santa himself.
On another night they were picked up from the church by one of our members, Jim Russell, who was dressed like the conductor from The Polar Express. He even passed out tickets on the bus. We watched The Polar Express together while eating dinner and yummy Christmas treats. After the movie they each had a turn on Santa's lap and he gave them each a wrapped present with pajamas just their size that we had purchased.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with these ladies and I am super proud of all the behind the scenes work that my friends put into making it all come together each time. My hope and prayer is that our new friends from the shelter have seen Jesus through our words and actions, and that we have touched them in some small way.
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2 years ago