Through all the job transition a close friend told me, "Don't squander the time God has given you to be able to serve His people."
But with a flexible schedule and an infinite amount of areas to be able to serve, where do I begin? Where is God calling? Andy Stanley said, "Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone." Now that puts it into perspective. What one place, area, people group or person do I serve?
The Salvation Army just came top of mind. I had never really paid much attention to the organization before. I had rung the bell outside of Kroger during the Christmas season and donated clothes, but that was about it. So on a whim I entered my information to volunteer. I received an email back with a ton of different opportunities; one stood out. The Angel Tree. This was something that my family had participated in since I was a little kid. It was one of my favorite things to do during the holidays; giving another child a Christmas morning!
Back in October I began. Registering families. I would sit one-on-one with a mother or a father or a grandparent and simply talk with them. I would find out about their children and their needs (entering everything into a computer program). For some their need came from husbands that had run out on them, for some they had lost their husband or wife, for others it was simply bad decision making, but ultimately they had a common goal- make Christmas special for their children. Being called to show God's light at times was challenging. I come from a completely different background and lifestyle than most of them and that was evident. Connecting with them on how to make their children feel special was all it took for them to want to open up and share. I got to meet some AMAZING people that were working their hardest to provide for their families. I was able to play with some of the sweetest kiddos! Too many stories to put on here, but if you want to know, just ask!
So Thursday the Angel Tree was open to the public (here in GA) and Ryan and I sat at the table in Lenox Mall waiting for shoppers to stop by and adopt one of those precious children. That night no one was adopted on our shift, but that's okay because it is only just the beginning of the season!
If you are looking for some way to serve your community this season consider the Salvation Army Angel Tree! Even though you won't be there on Christmas morning to see their eyes light up and the huge smile come across there face, you are making a difference!
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"