A few months ago the pastor of the church we are attending passed out a card to everyone attending. The card said, “God, what are you calling me into?” He suggested we put it up somewhere in our home where it would remind us to ask the question of God for us personally. I took it seriously and put it on our refrigerator. Around that same time, they showed a video testimony of a young woman who was rescued from a serious drug addiction and drug lifestyle by involving herself with a ministry that is run by three people in the church. I was so moved by her testimony that I asked if I could be involved. I, too, came out of a similar lifestyle and had a desire to help other women come to the same deliverance and freedom that I have experienced.
I began attending the classes that meet two evenings a week. One is called Jobs Partnership, where people who have been in addiction, and may also have a criminal history, can come and go through the program and, once graduated, can get help finding a job. They seek to help them rebuild and have productive lives again. They work with employers in the area to help the participants find meaningful work. There are many barriers to people with this type of history when it comes to job seeking. Many employers will not hire them if they have a criminal record. Some of the folks involved have had good jobs, and then suddenly lost them when the employer found out about their past.
The other evening is a Celebrate Recovery Group, which is a God-focused program to help people to find recovery from addictions. From the first evening, I loved being in the meetings. This ministry is run by two women, Michelle and Sue, along with their assistant, Ron. They have a food panty, and also a clothes closet, where the participants can get food and also clothing, free of charge. They truly desire for the people in the group to find wholeness, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
So how does this all fit in with the question on my refrigerator? Last night was the Jobs Partnership meeting. It was a large group of people. I was sitting next to a man who had been in a gang for many years. This was his first time at the meeting. He was from the inner city and he shared about how he was abused as a child, and ended up in a gang, because that was a place where he thought he could find love and acceptance, the one thing he never had as a child. He shared his story. He ended up spending 23 years in prison for crimes committed while in the gang. He told the most amazing things about how he learned to trust God and how God worked on his behalf. He was there seeking help, because he had lost his job when his employer found out about his history, even though he had been a good worker. I was moved to tears.
I had to leave the meeting early, but later on after I got home, I was again pondering that question on my refrigerator. “Is this what you are calling me into, God, being in this group, helping these people?” I felt the answer was yes, but I felt it was more than that. As I was thinking, I wondered “What gifts do I have?” “How could God use me with the abilities I have?” And that question again, “God, what are you calling me into?”
And then I realized what it is. I am an intercessor. Prayer is something that I love to do and something in which God has used me in many ways in the past. God is leading me to set aside a time each week to pray and intercede on behalf of this group and the people who attend. What an amazing and exciting opportunity!
It reminds me of a of a quote from Mother Theresa,
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
I believe Michelle and Sue and Ron are doing this. The love, time, and effort they are giving these people is truly what Jesus asked of us, because they recognize these people are all created in the image of God and deserve love and respect and dignity. I am truly grateful God has led me into this ministry to help and support, and most importantly, to pray. It is what my heart has desired for a very long time.
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40 New King James Version (NKJV)