Elk Creek Baptist Church was founded in 1813 on a little hill in Mineral, Virginia - it has survived some of the craziest times in the history of the United States...though I think the next 200 years may be even harder.
This little church has withstood the Civil War, multicultural differences, awful weather, next to no attendance at times, and even more recently a massive earthquake that most of us wondered if the church had even survived. It did have structural damage - but amazingly survived compared to most of the buildings in the area from that time. God was protecting his house.
Here is a picture I took last year from Easter - at the lakeside service. Can't you just feel the serenity, the presence of the Holy Spirit right there? I love singing...even more so, love singing praises and worshiping at the lakeside service. It is more than just going to church...it is being IN church...where God is and feeling his creation while there!
The sermon lined out what Jesus did time and time again - he took the bread, he broke the bread, he blessed the bread and he gave it to the people. It didn't matter the amount of bread - it didn't matter at all...he made it work and work to the glory of the kingdom.
As I went to start making hospital gowns for children - I never imagined that Gracie's Gowns would become just that, but that it would become what it is today. It has been an amazing journey, but I have also realized it is more than just me...it is a ministry to the kingdom of God and one that he has not only inspired me to use my time and talents for, but one he is blessing and giving to each of you.
The past month and a half have been hard - I won't lie. With restructuring, rewriting and once again being the only person working on gowns there have been so many times I have wanted to give up. And then I heard this sermon on Sunday.
I don't have much to give - I have a wall in my kitchen, the limited time during the day and the late hours at night, I have my own intermediate sewing abilities and limited funds...but I have the passion and the heart for children who are hurting, children who are in need of comfort and a smile. That sermon was meant just for me.
I have given to God what I do have, he has taken it - the past month and a half he has allowed it to be broken, not as punishment, but as a humbling experience and reminder that it all about the children, His children, and to remind them they are loved beyond all measure. He has blessed Gracie's Gowns with your constant support, new families we've met, new experience and even great opportunities in the future. But most of all he has given this ministry to each of the 840 families we've reached individually, not including their friends, families and those who have just happened to find us.
He has turned a home-based, one-person trying to make a difference into something so much greater and I cannot even begin to thank him enough for all of it.
So remember - it may be a lot that you have to offer, but if God has a part in whatever it is...he will make it work. It won't be easy, there will be bumps in the road, but at the end of the day, it will be worth it and your passion and efforts will be multiplied to bless others.