It Keeps Coming!

Here is another amazing story of God speaking into people’s lives through Restore.

Last week, I attended a Celebrate Recovery meeting and met a woman who’s hurting emotionally, financially and mentally. Her husband walked out on her without notice. She came home to see a moving truck sitting in the driveway and the next day it was gone and so were all the things in the house. She came home to a completely empty house. Shortly afterward, she lost her house, her job and her everything she and her kids have grown accustomed to through the years. To make matter worst, she found out the day before that her husband’s involved with another person and the new gf is wearing and using things that belonged to her and her husband refused to give it back to her. Apparently he packed up everything in the house – including her clothes with him when he left.

While she was sharing, I felt the Spirit prompting me to to give her the debit card and a lil something extra from my purse. I recently went to the bank to withdrew some money to pay my bills and told myself that the money’s been called for, however, I felt a strong nudge of the Holi spirit to jsut do it and not worry about how I am going to make up the difference if I give it to her. So I took out some of the money and wrapped it around the debit card and “secretely handed to her and quietly whispered in her ears ” This is a little gift from my new church called Restore CC in Sterling and a lil blessing from God.” Upon recvg it, and without seeing how much it was, she started to cry and hugged me as if her life was dependent on it. She said ” Oh my Gosh! I can’t believe this. I don’t even have a penny left to my name and prior to coming her I was thinking I shouldn’t have come because I don’t have enough gas in my car to make it home if I went but you have changed all that. I can’t believe how good God is and what a blessing it is that he’s blessed you in my life. You have really made my day I can’t thank you enough.” I told her it’s all God’s doing, I had nothing to do with it. I am only doing what God asked me to do and is to be a blessing to you today. =0)

But, the most amazing this is not what God did for that woman that day, it’s what followed that blows my mind…Well, the day after I gave my money away, I got an email from a dear friend of mine telling me that a substantial amount of money was deposited into my account because my friend knew that I was still unemployed and could not afford to pay for repairs on a my car that my sponsor has given me over the summer. I was hoping to fix it up so my son will have a car to drive to college this fall. I rcvd enough money to pay for the repairs and a little extra left over for registration and insurance for him.

From this experience, I have learned so much about the God I serve and I am able to better see how awesome He is and feel how much he does love me and that He is a Keeper of promises – and most of all, I am able to see how true Jeremiah 29:11 is – which states “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I hope you will this testimony will inspire you and encourage you to do what God has called you to do in the NOVA area and to let you know how you and your vision of spreading God’s love and generosity has touched and transformed so many lives – mine included. I and my family have been so sincerely blessed by you and Restore these past months and I look forward to being a part of Restore family for years to come. I pray that God will continue to give you His special annointings, wisdom and protection and to bless you and your family abundantly as you are carrying out His will in your life.

God is good! ALL the Time!

Generosity Turns Heads

This is from one of our team members who helped deliver 110 holiday meals to families in need.

I was given the opportunity and pure honor to be able to help deliver over 110 meals to needy families in my neighborhood last weekend. I’m not saying that to be boastful, other than to be able to take pride in knowing I helped to truly make a difference in other people’s lives. My neighbor’s lives. When the food was delivered, people were honestly grateful. To see on their faces the sheer relief, the pure happiness, and the weight lift from their shoulders is something you never forget. One man thought I was kidding when I stopped at his house. “That’s for me? Are you sure?” One mom gave us a thank-you card, written in broken English. It was incredibly sweet, honest, and from the heart. It was real.

I delivered meals in my neighborhood with my son. People were amazing. Some were completely shocked I didn’t want anything in return. Others didn’t want to food for themselves-they immediately asked if they could pass it on to a friend they knew in greater need. Kids were even happy to receive the food, understanding even in their innocence what a gift it was. One gentleman who lives down the street from us was walking up to his door. Zach looked at him funny, because he was smoking and looked young. He looked like maybe a senior in high school or just college age. I called out to him.

“Hey! Would you like a free Thanksgiving dinner for you and your family?”
“What? Why?”
“No reason-my church is giving meals away. It’s a whole Thanksgiving meal, enough for 8 people or so. You interested?”
“Yo, yes!” “Do I have to pay?”
“No, man, it’s on us. Just enjoy the food.”
“Wow, thanks so much. This will make my mom so happy!”

He ran inside with the box like it was Christmas morning.

His homies were watching from a car, waiting for him to come back outside. As he got in the car, I overhead one of them say, “Dude, that was so cool. I can’t believe she just gave that to you, dog.”

Zach and I continued through the neighborhood, knocking on every door, anxious to give the boxes away. It was Saturday afternoon, so a lot of people weren’t home. Zach was getting frustrated. “Man, you can’t give away food in this neighborhood! Where is everybody?”

Another man came to the door. I could tell he had been drinking. That didn’t bother me. What bothered me was that he had on an old undershirt full of stains and holes. His pants were the same way-old, worn, and full of holes and rips. I wasn’t sure if this was his usual attire or if I just caught him on a day when he was working around the house or something. His house wasn’t too badly dilapidated, but needed some work. He’s an older gentleman, and I was wondering if he couldn’t do labor-type work any longer. It still made me sad. He couldn’t believe he didn’t have to pay for the food. His eyes lit up like he hadn’t received anything in a very long time. I was glad to surprise him and make his day.

As we were finishing up and heading back down the block towards our house, Zach said, “Mom, that was so cool. Do you have anymore boxes? We have a ton more neighbors.” He was actually disappointed when I told him we had given away all I had.

Generosity is cool. Very cool.

A Buddhist’s Journey

Restore Community Church in partnership with the Great Falls Optimist Club and Enrich NOVA delivered 110 holiday meals to families in need. Check out this email message coming from a Restore couple who helped serve. John grew up Buddhist and is still a pre-Christian.

“Thank you for giving John and I an opportunity to serve. John really enjoyed the experience and he said ” Now, I see how Christians share God’s love with one another and it made me realize that’s the different between Christianity and Buddhism.  When I was in VN, the Buddhist monks did not do such things to help the needy and the disadvantage, instead, they waited for others to serve them by bring their offerings to the temple. All they did was to pray over people and intercede between the evil curses on people by chanting certain spells/chants. Other than that, they don’t reach out to the people or educate the children about the God they worship.”

“What an amazing experience for John to see God! Praise God!”

“Again, thank you for being such a blessing in our lives!”

This is just one story of God’s leading people to forgiveness and grace as pre-Christians and Christians serve together.