Three stories of how God’s people at our home church have especially come through for the kids at God’s Littlest Angels:
The Earthquake – January 12, 2010 was a Tuesday. 4:53 pm in the afternoon was a time that not only killed thousands but changed the lives of many many others. I’ll have more on that later, but by Sunday morning, Cheryl was on her way down to Haiti as part of a medical team to help out at GLA. Sunday morning, the senior pastor at our church asked me if I’d give the church an update on GLA, on Haiti and how they were surviving the earthquake. Of course I agreed. So, I’m sitting in the sanctuary before church and as the pastor is walking down the center aisle, he stopped at my seat, leaned over and said, “Hey Tom, most of the deacons don’t know it yet, but we’re going to do a third collection for GLA this morning. I just wanted to make sure that you knew what we were doing.” So, this is a collection that the church wasn’t planning, that people didn’t have a chance to plan for and probably didn’t bring their checkbooks for. But they gave and supported GLA to the tune of over $13,000 that morning.
In the fall of 2011, a member of the church approached me and wanted to talk about doing “something” to help GLA. So we met a couple of times, discussed possibilities and he agreed to do a matching gift drive where he would pay for up to half of one of the Toddler Houses (6 of them in total) if Hillcrest would pay for the other half between then and Christmas. Combined we’d need to come up with a little over $19,000 in about 6 weeks time.
They made it – with time to spare.
In the spring of 2013, I got a call from Dixie – “Tom, we’ve got a problem. The generator that we have been trying to keep going at the Toddler House – it died, fatal, terminal, scrap metal time.” “Okay, so we need a new generator – how much is that going to cost?” “Depending on what model we go with, right around $15,000 to $20,000.” “How much public electricity are we getting at the Toddler compound?” “About 10 minutes a day.”
Let me make sure you understand this. It was a Thursday afternoon and we had 75 kids living in around 4,000 sq. Ft. Of space with only 10 minutes of electricity per day. That means no running water, no refrigerators, no running toilets, no night lights or fans to combat the heat, no way to cook. A major problem.
By Sunday morning, the Senior pastor, the chairman of the elders and the chairman of the deacons had approved a 1 week pledge drive. What that meant was that on that Sunday, you had to either make the donation you wanted to have or you had to tell the deacons in writing what you would bring the next Sunday. We needed $15,000 and by Sunday night, we had more than that.
God has provided His people at Hillcrest an up close look at what it means to care for the orphans of the world and in three separate instances has given them chances to make a difference. Each time, God has blessed them and their efforts to make a difference for the kids in Haiti.
Has God instilled in our church the desire to help the orphans of the world because of what we’ve said and the way we’ve “pushed?” No, not at all. They have seen the desire to help those who are less fortunate because regular people were living their ordinary lives and inside those ordinary lives developed the passion for helping the kids in Haiti. That passion spread and God has blessed those efforts time and time again.
So what’s the point behind me telling you this? Strictly this, if you live an ordinary live pursuing extraordinary ways to help others, people will see your passion and will follow your actions way more than your words.
The children at GLA have all benefited from a church in Michigan who watched a family live their passion and it has benefited many kids.
God is good.
All the time.