May 8 – Risk-Taking Mission and Service with Barb Strome

Hello Lake Deaton family and friends.  My name is Barbie Strome and my greatest Joy comes from serving others.

RISK-TAKING MISSION AND SERVICE

When I began volunteering at the Wildwood Soup Kitchen, I didn’t know that delivering hot meals to individual families would evolve into also delivering hot meals and weekly groceries to a group of homeless families living in a rundown motel near the interstate. Every Wednesday, boxes filled with vegetables, fruits, cereals, crackers, granola bars, peanut butter, jelly, breads, soups, pastries, canned tuna and chicken, pastas, ramen noodles, etc., completely filled my car. Not knowing exactly where I was going or who I would be meeting was a bit outside my comfort zone, but Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” kept coming to mind.

Waiting for me was a group of people, anxious to help unload the car and quick to give thanks for all they were given. All but one guy, named Chris. He was there to take whatever he could and then quickly leave.  Each week, as we all became more comfortable with each other, I began to really look forward to this delivery! Finding out individual likes and wants, choosing the foods to take, and packing up the car always included great joy! Conversation became easier, except with Chris.  It took almost a year to earn his trust.

Then one day, after helping carry those boxes inside the motel, Chris asked if he could walk me to my car. “Sure”, I replied.  On the way, Chris opened up about his life, his family, his Grandmother who raised him, and his inability to read.  He asked me if I would pray for him? Philippians 4:13 came to mind and I was able.  After the prayer, I asked Chris if he would like a daily devotional that his Grandmother could read to him? His eyes lit up and a big smile led into “Yes”.  He asked if I could sign it inside the front cover?  Chris wanted his Grandmother to know that I gave it to him.  After that, Chris was the first to greet me and always told me to “Drive safely, Miss Barb” as I left.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is God putting on your heart to step outside your comfort zone in order to help others?
  2. How can Lake Deaton UMC live into a Risk-taking mission and service in the surrounding community?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for working through us, with us, and for us.  Help us to take that first risky step, seeing beyond our needs and loving beyond ourselves. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. AMEN

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