Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” I think of this scripture often, how it feels to be tired and worried and hungry. Its encouragement when you’re pressed up hard and feeling trapped by life and circumstance. I think of it in the context of For Life through your Love One Program. I am surrounded by a lot of need. A lot of hunger. When I first met with you and heard about this program, frankly, I thought it sounded like a great food assistance program. Ha! I could not have been more wrong. This is a ministry of prayer, of relationship and the food boxes are just a vehicle. Since we started partnering with Love One, we’re studying scripture with people I wasn’t sure we’d ever reach. We’re praying in homes and in neighborhoods I never thought we could penetrate. And as much as the participants lives are changing, our sponsors hearts are softening even more. REAL relationships are forming over racial and socio economic lines. The Lord is working in All of us as one body and it’s one of the most exciting, amazing, humbling things I’ve ever been a part of. If you developed this program and nurtured it for 4 years, just so we could get into two of the homes we’re in now, it was worth it. The work you’re doing: it’s important. It’s Kingdom work. I am so very, very thankful for your ministry and the power of prayer, placed in that 24 by 24 food box, and it’s impact on our community.
Sue Loper Hereford
Graces of Gurley
“My afternoon was altered when I went to pick up my girls from school. As we are getting ready to leave, there was a little girl hovering around me. She tugs on my shirt and says "Can you take me to your house and put Neosporin on my foot and wrap it. It hurts." I said, "Well, I think we can take care of that now." So we head to the first aid box and I set her up on the counter. I looked through the holes in her sandal and saw that her foot was wrapped in gauze. When I pulled off the shoe I almost vomited. It smelled like she had walked in manure then put her feet back in her shoes and let them rot for three days straight. When I pulled off the gauze, all of her toes were coal black from dirt. The bruise or raw spot was on the bottom of her foot and had turned a red, purple color. She said, "These are the only pair of shoes I have and I put the gauze on my foot because they get so dirty it makes my foot hurt." I ask her to sit there for just a few minutes. I needed to formulate a plan, but more than that, I needed time to gain my composure. Since the mother didn't have a working phone, I sent a message with her older sister that I was going to take her to my house for a shower and to get her some new shoes. Before I sent her into the bathroom to get cleaned, I wanted to make sure she had been taught how to properly wash. I said, "Ok, so what do you do first when you’re in the shower?" She replied, "I put conditioner in my hair and then I use shampoo." I pulled out the bottles and showed her the shampoo goes first and you use your fingertips to scrub your head. Then you rinse that out and do the same thing with the conditioner. I showed her what soap to put on the wash rag and that she needed to start washing her face and work all the way down to her little (filthy) toes. Just before I leave her to get in the shower she says, "Oh no! I forgot my book bag at school." And I replied, "It doesn't really matter does it? You don't have homework since it's at the end of the school year." She replied, "But it has my Bag of Blessings in it." Then I knew; that was the food she was counting on so that she would have something to eat that weekend. Needless to say, we got her clean clothes out of my daughter’s room, and then we went and got new sandals, socks, and tennis shoes. Then I brought her back home with me for the night. I guess I thought the least I can do is to give her one night of peaceful sleep. Later that evening after she had been playing she asked "Can I get in the shower again?" I said but you're already clean and she replied, "Yeah, but I want to make sure I'm really clean." So tonight I remembered that I should never assume a child has been taught the basics in life (like how to shower). I should never assume a child gets to eat on the weekend without their Bag of Blessings. I should never assume that a child is doing well just because they are walking around right in front of me. I should also never assume that everyone takes a shower for granted like I do.”
- Ministry Partner Liaison for the Love One Program