Thursday, October 23, 2008

Actions Speak Louder Than Words


How many times do we see, read and write about the great devastation, loss and suffering that plagues our world. The problems and struggles make our hearts break and yet more often than not we actually DO very little.

Well, I feel especially blessed to be part of doing something extraordinary. I'm not sure anything has ever been done quite like it or at least on this scale.

During the past few months my local church fellowship has been assessing the needs in our surrounding community. They have gathered information, elicited volunteers from area business and enlisted a large portion of our church body in order that we might 'Do' a few things.
This Big to-DO has evolved into


The 'Do'in our church was planned to officially begin in just a few hours. The initial projects will take place throughout the next 3 days. This will only be a start. Love Loud is not an event, but ongoing works in progress.

I say 'officially begin...' because we have already began many of the projects, some due to timing, some due to weather, and others because the needs were there and so was the means to provide help...so we did.

Love Loud started unexpectedly Monday, when I went getting my hair highlighted and cut. As my stylist Mary began slappin layers bleach and foil on my head she innocently ask,

"So how you been? What you been up to? Got any plans for this week?"

Poor girl, had she only known...

Immediately I began rattling off the Love Loud agenda, explaining that to begin with, we had over 200 people recently certified to be foster parents. Through this program there would be enough good homes for ALL 300 plus children in Cherokee County. Prior to these 200, there had been some 70 foster homes leaving these 3oo or so kiddos to be bounced around with no steady and stable place to stay once they entered family services.

I told Mary how others who couldn't care full time for a child were providing help via babysitting, groceries, clothing and other childcare needs.

From there I mentioned we would be running a health fair with free medical and dental service Thursday through Saturday for the area ill, indigent, widows, and single moms. I listed projects planned for the areas schools, homes, residential care facilities, how we would be providing home repairs, auto maintenance, adopting mobile home communities and making repairs to homes (inside and out), roads, installing at least one playground and many other services so needed in our community.

As I continued to gush, I mentioned folks giving manicures and pedicures as well as a bunch of area stylist combining their tools and talents to do a mess'a do's.

With that Mary stopped me,

"I want to do it. Can I do this?"

That would be wonderful I told her. I'd have someone call her to explain the details and get her and her fellow salon stylist enlisted for the cause. Paid my bill and headed home

For the 2 of you still here, that was Monday.


Tuesday I get a phone call from Mary.

"You know that check you wrote me?"

"Yes?"

"I'm not cashing it. I meant to say something yesterday but it got a little busy and well, just take the money and spend it on some clothes for kids or something. You don't mind doing it do you?"

Mary said she and her shop partner would both love to participate in the hair styling if it could be arranged. She wanted to make sure I was alright with it.

"Are you kidding? You mean I get to have beautifully done hair, go shopping for kids in need, deliver it and know you all are stepping up and kickin in as well? Are you kidding? How blessed am I? "

I gushed a bit more then assured her someone would be calling that afternoon to get the 2 of them involved with the hair division of LL.

What you don't know is I had been trying to get Mary to come visit our church, Bible study or just any old event.

What greater way for my Mary to see Christ love in action and I prayed she would want a piece of that love for herself.

Jump to Wednesday.

I decide in order to get the most bang for her buck I'm go to a local consignment shop. The clothes are very nice and reasonably priced, much better quality than discount department stores and they are built to last.

Interesting how when you are spending someone else's money you become much more frugal.

Upon entering the store I locate the store manager and a clerk. Then I explain my purposes and what the church is trying to do with Love Loud. Before it was over these two helped discount several purchases and take another $10 off the total. Then to top it off, they left the purchases on the hangers and donated an additional bag of clothing they found unusable right now for their store. It was awesome!

And all the while they're saying
"Oh this is what it really is all about, this is what churches should be doing." They were moved and excited about the possibility, apologizing they didn't have more to give me.

They had no idea how much they blessed me. I was praising Jesus all the way to Church for Choir and Awanas.

Ultimately I collected 8 coats, 3 sweaters, 6 pairs of jeans, 3 pair of corduroys, 3 shirt tops, a large box of kid shoes, and a partridge in a.

Oh my joy and rapture! God is just so Good, and Thoughtful.
Allowing me to witness these little previews of how He is already planting seeds and getting glory.

So...as I bring this post to a close I will list a few known plans for my family in order that we may Love Loud:

Today: Picking up boxes of food, boxes of hygiene products and clothing, transporting them to the mobile home community my small group-Sunday School class has adopted. Then assisting in labeling and delivering them to various residence.

My granddaughter and I are also planning to heat up the kitchen and bake a bunch of sweet treats to contribute to another class that is hosting a Carnival for an area retirement home on Saturday.

Saturday: Unless weather prevents stops us, you will probably find us helping another group with clearing up yard waste, and doing some landscaping after delivering our baked goods or possibly helping out at the carnival.

Sunday: Worshiping and Praising at Woodstock followed by our final project for the week- a neighborhood Halloween Hallelujah Party and Parade. Most of the other 60 folks expected there will probably be a more traditional dress, but our little guys and gals will be sportin their favorite Bible Super Hero's. So far we're expecting Moses, Joseph and 2 angels along with their pimped up rides (wagon, scooter, bike) for the parade through the 'hood'.

If all goes as well, I should have some good photos to share.

Finally, please be in prayer as our fellowship spends the next three days serving our community with whatever gifts and talents we possess!
May nothing or anyone get praise, honor and glory but our Dear Heavenly Father.

9 comments:

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

So cool, Tammy! Praying for you!

Joanne

ocean mommy said...

This was so exciting! I loved reading how God is pulling out all stops to bless those of you serving! It's just like Him isn't it. :) Your community is going to be changed by the hands of Christ! So cool.

Blessings,
stephanie

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh! That made me laugh... the partridge in a pear.... : )

Georgia Jan said...

Tammy: I LOVE your church!!! The gospel in shoe leather - putting feet to your pryaers - that is so wonderful and I am so very blessed. Praying for your hairdresser - what a great and wonderful testimony!

God is so good - you are such a blessing to me.

I love Pastor Johnny and am especially proud of our Southern Baptist Convention. He is such a great servant leader and it makes me so glad for him to be leading us!

Praise God - Thank you for sharing - what a great post. You're a blessing,

Georgia Jan

Fran said...

AWESOME!!! This is so exciting. You are all definately being the hands and feet of Christ.

Hugs,
Fran

GratefulinGA said...

thank you all for the prayers, comments and emails, your all are too precious.

Fran, i had to chuckle at your comment, because this 'foot' actually has a good size blister after yesterdays 'running around and Lovin Loud...an excellent reminder of just who i am in this whole picture. thanks pal!

Lora said...

How awesome to read about you being a contagious Christian! I love when people *want* to be a part of what is being done for His Kingdom!
Praying for you, Siesta, as you work and Love Loud
Making our dear heavenly Father so proud!

Melinda said...

My heart has actually started beating faster with the reading of this amazing chronicle!

Man oh MAN, isn't God SOMEthing??!!

Hugs,
Melinda

Sheryl said...

Tammy,

You go to FBC, Woodstock? I work at Noonday Baptist Association. I think it's cool to find someone closeby.

I know your church had a lot going on this weekend...people were calling for our equipment (popcorn machine, etc.). I pray God's will and work is done.

Sheryl