For the month of October, I am going to be linking up with The Nester’s 31 Day Challenge. This challenge is to write about one topic for 31 days straight. Bear with me here, I’ve never done anything like this before, but since I’ve decided to make some changes this year I thought this sounded like fun and could be a good way to start my year long study of joy.
As you can see this is October 2nd already; so I’m starting out a day behind. I’m not slacking off, I just learned about this challenge late last night. I wasn’t sure if I was actually up to it and went to bed giving myself the excuse that it was too late anyway. After all, I missed day one!
I woke this morning with the thought of this challenge heavy on my heart for some reason. I got in the shower and prayed that if this was something I should participate in I wanted it to be something that kept with my study of joy this year and also had a purpose. By the time I turned off the hot water I had my answer. (Love when God answers prayers for even the small things in our lives!)
My topic… 31 DAYS OF GOOD NEWS AND GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS. (Wordy, I know.) I may share a light heartwarming tale or introduce you to a group of people doing good in the world. So here goes…..
Allow me to introduce you to Open Hands Outreach. This non-profit group was started this year with a goal to reach out to the homeless in Michigan’s Downriver Community (a number of communities just south of Detroit). They deliver various care packages filled with toiletries, snacks, water and bibles. Not only are they offering some relief to the homeless by providing for their immediate needs with the care packages and meals; they are also taking time to build relationships within the homeless community to discover other needs they may have so they can work to meet those if possible. The Outreach has the ultimate purpose of showing them the love of God.
Within a very short time they were able to secure a drop off location for donations and organized a bar-b-que inviting the homeless to come share a meal and simply visit, playing cards for the evening. Taking time to show the less fortunate that they are important and loved. Their desire to serve has even reached the hearts of some local children; one little girl ran a lemonade stand and another sold some of her toys and gave the proceeds to Open Hands. Local churches have been assisting by donating food and other items. In a short time this group has been able to move forward, blessing many lives.
I’d like to share a story they posted on their facebook page from August…
“THE POWER OF LOVE: one of the homeless gentlemen who we have been trying to reach has been coming to Northline (a local church) for about two months. He is a very heavy drinker and overall doesn’t take great care of himself. But this is the kicker—everyone he has come in contact with has been loving on him so much, making him gift bags, bringing him clothes, and the latest-leaving during service to buy him a much needed new pair of shoes. A lady who is in contact with him on a daily basis trying to help him called and said they were magical shoes. He has been shaving off his beard, washing up, and HAS NOT HAD A DRINK since he put these shoes on. WAIT, WAIT—don’t go out to buy a new pair of shoes, they are NOT magical, but the love of Christ has a power that surpasses all understanding! Please be in prayer for our new friends.”
As I share with you each day this month I hope these stories will brighten your day and allow you to see the good in each day and the good in people; but beyond that maybe plant a seed in your heart of something you may want to do for someone else.
If you’d like more information about Open Hands Outreach or see what can you do to help you can start by visiting their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/openhandsoutreach or you can contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll leave you with their verse….
Deuteronomy 15:11 ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’