Benevolence Story: Jessica Stefano of Edinboro

I am a bit of an overplanner. I am one of those people who makes plans to make plans. The moment Brian mentioned that we would be giving to our community through the 9:13 project, I started making a plan as to who I might help and how I might use the money that we were given to “do good.” As I was lining everything up in my head, however, I caught Brian’s words about praying for God to open our hearts and make us more spiritually aware during this time. Those words echoed through me, even as Frank and I were leaving the service and returning home. This was an opportunity to live in a state of heightened spiritual awareness. I had planned to take the wheel and design a moment which I thought would fulfill the mission of this 9:13 project, but those words made me realize that it was God who was at the wheel and I was merely a tool in HIS plan for this money. I placed the money, a McLane Church invitation card, a hand-written prayer for hope, and a candy bar from Finney’s and wrapped them all together with a ribbon and carried them around with me for the week, praying every morning that God would place my 9:13 package in the hands of someone who needed help and hope. In the end, I was moved to place the gift on the windshield of a car at the gas station. While I am not sure who the owner of the car might have been, I have faith that God’s work was done through me and that His plan for my portion of our benevolence fund had a far greater purpose than any plan that I could have orchestrated on my own. I am grateful for the nudge that I needed to open mind and my heart to listen for God’s direction.