When we first began the ministry of Grace Place we had a single Mom come in with her two children. She didn’t get much for herself, she was mainly interested in taking care of her children’s needs, as is most parents that come in. When she was finished shopping she went downstairs and sat in the fellowship hall, where we had prepared a light lunch and where some of our volunteers were taking time to enjoy fellowship with many of our Grace Place Store shoppers.
This lady got her and her children something to eat and after eating, she just continued to hang around. She sat there and talked with a lot of our volunteers. It was almost like she just enjoyed having another adult to have a conversation with.
A little later, one of our volunteers that was up helping shoppers in the store came downstairs and saw that this single Mom was still there. They began a conversation and our volunteer discovered that the single Mom had not gotten anything for herself. Our volunteer began to ask questions and discovered that the single Mom had a lot of different needs.
She needed jeans for a lady, but was getting by with jeans for a man. She needed a winter coat, but was getting by with her ex-husbands old jacket. She needed things that she did not even realize that she needed and before anyone knew it – everyone was all back upstairs helping to take care of this single Mom’s needs.
The volunteers were bringing her clothes to try on and managed put together several outfits, that would eventually include shoes and some accessories. The single Mom later described it this way by saying: “Thank you for helping me to feel like a girl again!” “I have girl clothes and some of them are actually pink!” “This grace has changed my life!”
Now jump ahead about five months! Grace Place opens for it’s big 2nd Saturday of the month sale, which is always a big day for shoppers. The single Mom that shopped here five months ago and experienced grace that changed her life, walks in and begins to volunteer by going into the kitchen and preparing a pizza that she had brought from home. She tells the Pastor – “The pizza will be ready in about 10 minutes!” “I hope it’s okay, I just thought someone might be hungry and like a little something extra to eat!”
The pizza goes fast as a group of kids tear into it like ants on a piece of peppermint candy, and it was gone in the blink of an eye. She tells the Pastor: “I am going to run and get a few sub sandwiches to cut up, in case anyone else comes in and is hungry.” She gets them, cuts them up, puts them on plates and begins to serve them.
The Pastor sits back and sees the vision that God gave him months ago take another big step at becoming a reality! This single Mom does not have a lot of money, but she manages to take care of her and her kids and then is willing to sacrifice her time and money to minister to complete strangers – why? Because that is exactly what happened to her! Her life was forever changed by complete strangers who were willing to take time and money to share grace with her, just a few months before!
No one asked her to do any of this! As she looked for a way to serve, she found a need that needed to be met and then began to take some of the grace that God had given her and share it with others.
All I can say is “G3! = GIVE GOD GLORY!”