Last Sunday, my husband and I attended church, and received the benevolence fund envelopes. Immediately, we began challenging ourselves with the questions and thoughts of who? why? must be meaningful...must be good stewards...this is a BIG responsibility! After some thoughtful prayer, the answers became very clear. In November 2012, we were contacted by a work friend asking us if we needed anyone to clean house for us. Our friend said she, "didn't know why, but we came to mind". Our friend said that she knew a young woman of integrity, who has a young child, is deaf and looking for work cleaning homes; but there is a catch - we need to be on the bus route and in the City. Bingo, that's us. We had been talking about getting someone to come in for us, but we couldn't afford a cleaning service, and we didn't know anyone, and didn't want to burden anyone.
Although we were apprehensive at first, we decided to trust our friend and let a "stranger" into our home to clean for us. We decided to meet the young woman on a weekend, to show her where things are, and form an acquaintance so she felt comfortable in our home. What a meeting! She arrived by bus, brought her baby, and had the biggest smile. Although our sign-language is a little rusty - her smiling face and kind eyes were universal. This young woman is low-income, and when asked what we should pay, responded: whatever they can afford. Bless her heart!
Since that day, we have her come once a week and she completes everything on the "list" and more. She truly goes above and beyond- and follows up with a phone call via interpreter to see if everything was done the way we prefer. WOW! We cannot begin to describe what a blessing she has been to us - two fulltime working parents, with a pre-schooler and a 6 month old baby.
Recently she asked for more hours so that she could get her son a Christmas present. It broke our hearts, because we wanted to help her so badly; but our son has been sick with bronchitis and I've missed work and wages. We had to ask her not to some one week, because we couldn't afford it...compounding her need.
Fast forward to church last weekend - God answers prayers and takes care of those who need it the most. We gave my $40 to this young mother in addition to her weekly pay. We are still deciding, but may give the other $40 to her as well.
Pastor Brian spoke about fighting back against the darkness in light of all that has happened recently with the schools and the terrible things people do to one another - what a blessing and an empowering feeling to be able to fight back with goodness!
Thank you Mclane Church; we have been sharing this activity with our co-workers and friends, and they are amazed that a church would do this...we never cease to be amazed at the work that God does and the power of prayer. Praise God!