November 2, 2017
Dear Sweet, Precious, Almighty, Heavenly Father:
You never cease to amaze me! Your ways are unimaginable. You have so intricately woven our lives, our journey, our divine appointments. La, la, la…always living amazed.
Sunday night, October 29, 2017, my B.A.S.I.L. (Best Anointed Sister In the Lord), Kristi, called to tell me about her women’s ministry at church in Maryville, TN. They collected handbags and put essential toiletries in them for distribution to the homeless. No sooner did she leave the doors of the church, did she encounter a homeless woman in the church parking lot. She saw the woman’s car full of all her worldly possesions. The homeless woman had left a small opening in the driver’s seat which functioned as her living room, dining room and bedroom. Kristi was saddened that she could not get back in the church and give the lady one of the bags they had prepared. She initially drove away, but was soon so moved with compassion that she could only turn her car around to go encounter the homeless lady. Kristi prepared a box of leftover bakery cookies for the woman. She picked out the very best cookies, a good assortment. She wanted the lady to have the best of the leftovers, no broken cookies.
It was important for her to give her best to her new friend.
Kristi returned to the dark and lonely parking lot in faith, no fear. In the past she would have called me to pray with her or to be on the phone with her, during one of her “Holy Spirit stops.” Not today. She confidently became the hands and feet of Jesus. She went and ministered to her new friend, Sharon.
Kristi’s story of compassion stirred my inner man as only the Holy Spirit can do. As Sunday night progressed, I knew I was about to be in another Holy Spirit whirlwind. “Buckle your seat belt. Here we go!” I could hear the Spirit saying. I thought I will call Mayor Jim Durrett in the morning. I was sure he would know where the major concentration of homeless were in Clarksville, Montgomery County. I thought I could at least make PB &J’s and delver them. If the mayor didn’t know where the homeless were, he could direct me.
I was stirred. I KNEW I HAD TO DO SOMETHING! Be merciful, as your Father also is merciful. – Luke 6:36 KJV
On Monday morning, October 30, 2017, after an anointed prayer time with Kristi where the glory of the Lord showed up, I spent some additional time in His Word. It was then off to the Monday race. I checked my emails. It did not take me very long to discover an email from the APSU Women’s Club. Who was speaking at our next meeting on Thursday, November 2. 2017? Sherry Nicholson was speaking about a HOMELESS ministry and how we could become involved. La, la, la…only my God.
I went to the meeting. I was blown away! Sherry stood in front of us and spoke for one hour as a confident ambassador of Jesus. She passionately shared her mission as founder of YAIPaks. What an incredible testimony she delivered on how God wove her ministry together.
Sherry shared how YAIPaks was born. She became overcome with compassion for a woman she saw on the street. The woman was sitting on a bench trying to comb through her matted hair. Sherry also noticed a small stuffed animal in the woman’s basket of possessions. She knew it must be of great importance to her. Sherry told the story of how she and her children had been homeless for one week while escaping domestic violence. Sherry had also carried with her a small stuffed animal which was the only thing that she had that connected her with her birth mother. Sherry said she went home that night, retreated to her prayer closet and prayed all night. The Holy Spirit led her to pack her abundance of handbags with anything that would have been beneficial to her during the time she was homeless. Thus, the Holy Spirit birthed YAIPaks.
I love that the Holy Spirt told both groups of women to extravagantly love the homeless. NO JUNK!
After Sherry spoke that day, I questioned her about serve time. She explained the schedule to me. She quietly whispered to me as she walked out the door, “We are serving tonight!” I went home thinking I could volunteer on Monday mornings and see where God directed me. I called Kristi later on Thursday to tell her about YAIPAks. She had already ministered to Sharon again in the church parking lot. She had given Sharon the very best packed bag that she could find. I cooked supper and was excited that Kris was coming home early. However, I kept hearing Sherry’s voice, “We will be there tonight!”
I soon realized it was time to GO! Compassion had to take action. God had put this opportunity in my lap. I showed up at the YAIPaks warehouse. The bees were busy. Tracy gave me a tour and I began sorting clothes. They distribute clothes to the homeless, too.
In less than four days, 96 hours, God had orchestrated my next journey. And…where do the YAIPaks Team go to church? Lifepoint, our new church. And what did Kris and I have planned on November 5, 2017? We were starting Growth-Track with the purpose of determining where we could serve at church.
Love my new assignment! Who loves sorting and folding clothes? I do. The Holy Spirit led me to pray over the items as I fold and sort. This isn’t a job for the Kingdom. It is mission! Some sweet homeless baby, toddler, child or adult will be stepping into the article of clothing. The anointing doesn’t wear off. I pray that compassion and love will forever change their lives. We are the hands and feet of Jesus on the earth now, His ambassadors. Changing lives for His glory is our assignment. Go make a difference.
Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:16-18 KJV