Monday, December 30, 2013

TOC Devotion: "Kingdom of God Needs You to Work"

During the next few weeks we'll share some devotions provided by church members and outreach partners.  This is an excellent way to get better informed, prepare yourself for the upcoming Trinity Outreach Celebration (TOC), and consider the ways God has gifted our church to be a witness by word and deed in the world.  You can find a complete listing of our mission partners for May 2013- April 2014 here.  These are evaluated annually by Trinity Outreach committees related to local, national, or international teams in accordance with our established policies and procedures.    

Our theme for the upcoming TOC 2014 is "The Kingdom is Near" with Luke 10:1-9 as our theme to consider as we think of our personal and church role in the mission of God.  "Partnering" with each other, as well as with missionaries and mission groups, is a powerful way to extend our usefulness for the Kingdom of God.  This also has significant implications locally as there is a "day in, day out" effort through each of us that creates a bridge between our life together as church and our individual life pursuits each day. 

Here's an example of what happens as we work together to share our witness in the community:

Read Matthew 5:16.
 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”.

Walking through the door of a homeless shelter was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Knowing that as the husband, father, and leader of my family, that I could not provide for them. I thought I would walk into a cold, dark place with depressed people like me in this situation. Instead, I walked into a place that was filled with life, joy, peace, and comfort. My family and I were loved in ways I have never felt before. Complete strangers giving of their time, energy, money, patience, and love. It was because of the love and encouragement we received that we were able to complete the program and are now doing well on our own.
I appreciated all of these things while I was in the program but I never understood it until now, 2 years after leaving. I truly realize that my homelessness was a blessing from God. It taught me how to humble myself and continue to give and to serve even when I felt I was in my lowest place. I realized that the love of Christ is not something that has to be shouted or thrown into people’s faces, but rather acted out. The actions of the volunteers and staff of Family Promise simply shined the love of Jesus Christ. It does not take much to change someone’s life. I am thankful for the countless people I met through my stay in the program that have changed mine…simply by loving me and my family. May God bless all of them!

By a previous guest of Family Promise of Augusta/Interfaith Hospitality Network.

Trinity on the Hill UMC is a long time supporter of the local effort with homeless families.  Our church is hosting in January and currently doing "sign ups" every Sunday in the Gathering Area.  Keep this important ministry, the staff and volunteers, and the families served in your prayers.  And, as always, you can add your participation and funding to your prayers to multiply your impact. 

Pray for Family Promise and the homeless population of Augusta/CSRA. 

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