For Easter Sunday, my boss/pastor decided to break us off into 5 teams, each with a budget. The mission: help a family in need resurrect a dead situation in their life. The families were pre-chosen by our staff and it was a tough process to get down just to five but it was really as if God just stepped in and helped us wiggle it down. Each family would be totally surprised by their blessing at the individual services. Of course, the tricky part was making sure they came to their designated service. I served as project manager for all 5 projects and also worked on the specifics of the 7am service.
Here's a profile of the families:
7am service: A third grade public school teacher who became homeless and was living in a shelter with her four children. Our resurrection moment for them: Among many other blessings, we purchased a home for her and her family and told her that morning that they no longer had to go back to the shelter. The home was fully furnished. Words cannot express the feeling when we showed the video of the home to her, the children, and our congregation.
8:30am service: A family where the husband needs a kidney transplant and is unable to work. They have been temporarily living with the one income with their two children and really just need a helping hand to get them back on their feet and moved into a new place. Our resurrection moment for them: Among other things, movers showed up at the service announcing their move at no cost to them, 6 months rent paid in advance, and a $1500 gift card to Costco to get started in their new home.
10:00am service: A single mother with a 1 year old with 3 congenital heart defects and down syndrome has been struggling financially as she fights for her daughter's life. The state medical assistance she receives for her daughter now helps to take care of most of her medical needs but it leaves her in a state of poverty as she still struggles to pay the rest of the bills. (She's only allowed to make a certain amount of money each month to keep the state assistance -- in her case, it equals out to 4 days a month). Because of all of the needs of her daughter, she had given up all that she needed. She was down to one pair of black pants that she rotates tops/blouses with and hadn't been to her favorite hairdresser in a while. Our resurrection moment for them: Among other things, a gift of $10,000 and after telling her story to her hair dresser, she donated 1 year of hair services to mom. Simply beautiful.
11:30am service: A man who needed a double lung transplant which cost $980,000. He would need to pay $180,000 of that costs. He's not a rich man by any stretch of the imagination but needs the transplant because the doctors have estimated that he would only have 2 more years left on his life without one. He's on public assistance and was just on the verge of having his utilities turned off because he couldn't pay. The bulk of his family doesn't live in the area so he deals with much of this on his own. When the team first started working on this one, God kept stepping in ahead of us. The week before Easter, the government decided they'd go out of policy and pay for the transplant at 100 PERCENT! Our resurrection moment for him: where do I start...among other things, 6 months rent paid, 6 months utilities paid in advance, 7 months of groceries delivered, a like-new donated car to replace his old car, maid service while he recovers from his transplant, and to surprise him even further, his family was brought in from out-of-town to share in this celebration moment.
1:00pm service: A single mother with six children wants nothing more than creating a better environment for her children. The car she did have died and left them most times confined to having to ask others to get them to where they needed to be, including church. Getting a ride with someone else as a family of 7, is no easy feat. Most times when she was able to get a ride, although the children wanted to come to church, she had to pick which ones would get to go because they all wouldn't fit inside the car. Our resurrection moment for them: among other things, a like new Toyota Sienna mini-van!
We were so blessed that we had the opportunity to partner with God to help resurrect what seemed to be dead situations in the lives of our 5 families. Awesome experience for each of us and we witnessed some unbelievable God moments as we worked on-behalf of the families. Our work isn't completely done, we will be walking alongside these families to help them sustain these resurrection moments. If you're curious about what the families still need, take a look here.
Wanna see it for yourself, check out the service here: http://zc.sermon.net/sermonid/2669121
The sermon setting up the moments is phenomenal! You have to take a listen to it but if you're pressed for time and want to hop straight to the 5 epic moments, place your cursor over the video and drag the time lapse bar to minute 21:40
So here's a question for you: Are you willing to partner with God to help someone receive a resurrection in their life? Who is it? What can you do? Don't be afraid to move. I'm a witness that God is for the poor and will work alongside you to advocate on that person's behalf.