Journey with John

“Three Feet Around Us: Becoming a Local Missionary” is a ministry that helps us fulfill our 5-year plan, for building Federated Church’s future, as we reach out to those around us with love.  I’ve been inspired by your stories of how you’ve invested the church’s gift and your own life into the lives of so many who are struggling.  What a difference you’re making!  Thank you!  I was moved by Lora Marie Williams’ remarks last Sunday as she said she felt more blessed than the ones she had been serving at the LUM Shelter.  So very true, we seldom give a part of ourselves away that we don’t receive more in return.

I struggled with how I would use my $100 in this “Three Feet Around Us” ministry.  I wanted to do something BIG and SIGNIFICANT in the community, but that’s not where God led me.  Frequently, I have individuals who come to my office seeking assistance with utilities, rent, groceries, etc.  Some return… fairly often… a few just for conversation.  I’ve discovered that many who come seeking help are lonely because they are not well accepted.  One young man has been by quite a bit.  He’s had a troubled past and is working hard to move forward.  One day, I asked about his hopes.  He said he’d like to be a car mechanic, but needed some training.  He had heard about a class that might give him a start.  “I’ve saved $75 for it, but that’s not enough. I still need $100.”  (God was knocking on the door….)  I asked why he didn’t see if I could help.  He replied, “Oh, I knew you can only help with REAL needs.”  (God knocked a little harder….)  I told him I could help and explained our “Three Feet Around Us” opportunity and I wanted to help him with his dream.  He was moved.  Well, my young friend is taking his class in mechanics.  He and I are working on a budget to makes his resources go farther.  We get together once every other week to talk.  He’s a really remarkable young man.  He’s had a hard life, but he’s so grateful for where he is now.  He has a profound and growing understanding of who God is.  Our conversations have grown beyond me asking what he needs for the moment.  I’m learning so much as he looks towards the years ahead.  If it wasn’t for the “Three Feet Around Us” challenge, I would never have known of his dream.  He would have been just another guy needing his electric bill paid.  Instead, he is my friend and role model.  I’m so grateful….  God opens the door and lives are changed… usually our own!

Thanks to all who are reaching out in love and are making a difference in someone’s life.  I’m guessing you are receiving as much as you are giving.  Isn’t God amazing?


Pastor John