This past weekend the town in which I live held its 10th annual triathlon. It's a three-part race in which contestants jump in a local lake and do a 1/2 mile swim. Then they put on their tennis shoes and peddle for 20-miles around town and the surrounding countryside, and then they all relax with a 3.1 mile run.
Lots of people trained for many days. They logging hundreds of miles and probably just as many hours getting ready for the race. All of it for a single morning event that's over in a few hours.
I was up early too. The same day as the race, Ruby's Pantry held its monthly food distribution. I was doing the pre-registration that morning, getting the paperwork out of the way so things could flow a little more smoothly than they already do. A long line of people, waiting for food, snaked throughout the parking lot. Some had been standing in line for several hours.
Shortly before the doors opened at 9:00 AM, the first of the triathlon runners came trotting by. At first it didn't hit me that these "joggers" were actually competing in the triathlon, but then I saw a number on the shirt of one of the runners and I figured it out. I can be quite the detective sometimes (yawn).
Just as my brain was beginning to figure out what was going on . . . "uhh, runners" . . . "with numbers?" . . . "duh, umm, a race?" something very cool happened. The people in line for food . . . began to cheer! Why were they cheering?
My eyes began to tear up. I know many of the people standing in line. Some are on disability, others had recently been laid off, some came with walkers or canes, one lady was blind, Another one was recovering from dabilitating traffic accident. These people had every right NOT to cheer, yet they did so. That was such an awesome thing to witness.
Once again God chose to touch my heart as His Holy Spirit delivered an answer to my prayer. You see, earlier in the week I was praying with my friend at work. I prayed for God to kick me in the butt and prompt me, somehow, to take action. I have had a few ideas for ways to serve God swirling around in my head but so far they have remained just that . . . ideas. I'm great at thinking of things to do but not so great at actually doing them. I prayed for a kick in the pants, a spiritual kick in the pants that is. And guess what . . . I got one.
A few weeks ago I wrote a story about a lady named Joann. You can read it here. In that post I had told you how her story of being laid off from work had effected me. I also told you that I had decided to do something about it. Well, after receiving my boot to the butt, those cheering people encouraging others, here it is . . . my idea.
I am accumulating supplies, needed supplies, for someone who has recently been laid off. Resources for finding work, information about job training, support groups, ways to connect with people. I am also gathering other needs as suggested by my friends on Facebook - coffee, toilet paper, toothpaste, etc. By all means, send your suggestions too. The plan is to give the supplies to these people in need of work. It is hoped that the supplies might fill a need, one less thing to worry about, and that the resources might help lead to employment. And then we will also be delivering the most needed item of all - Jesus.
For those we contact who know Jesus already, we will simply pray with them. And for those who don't, we will tell him about the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. And we will give them a Bible. For it is written, "man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." - Deuteronomy 8:3
And so it is that we seek your prayers, Please pray for all in this world who are without work. There is nothing like a job to give people hope for a future here on earth. And there is nothing like Jesus to provide that hope, "not only in the present age, but in the age to come." Thank you. :)
" I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.'" - 2 Timothy 4:1-5