Do you remember as a kid dropping a big boulder in the water just to watch the big splash and the ripples of the water afterwards? Did you stand and watch how far out the ripples would go? Watching the ripples was just as much fun as the big plunk and splash of the boulder.
Over the last 6 months, I have really felt the work of ripples in my life, and realized that it really is like a puzzle that I shared in another post. If I allowed myself to go back and look at my lifeline, I can see how each situation or person has brought a connection to the next thing, and that situation brought the next. Because God brought this person into my life, there came a divine connection. That led to the next person or situation, and so it goes.
So here is a story about a little ripple. In January of 2004, we made a move to Aberdeen. We started searching for a church to attend. I visited a few churches and landed finally, at Calvary Lutheran Church. I become quite involved and helped in church office, directed the choir for while, which I loved, and co-started a MOPS group with the pastor’s wife. I was very involved. After that, we served at a City Church in Aberdeen, which I loved, and sat under some great teaching! Another ripple…great leadership connection! Then, as we made a move back up north, the pastor and family from Calvary made a move to Wisconsin. We kept in touch. Here’s where that ripple there, transports to the present. December of last year, that same pastor’s wife messaged me on Facebook and asked me if I wanted to go to Honduras and co-speak at a women’s conference there. My way there would be paid. I just had to come up with all the necessary items, including passport. I told her I would pray about it. You see, I have always loved the idea of missions but going to some place hot and humid, not so much. Yet, here was this opportunity to go, and God knows the reasons that I don’t do that. But as I prayed, I felt a yes in my spirit. If God was using this set of circumstances to reach out to me to go to a place I wouldn’t normally CHOOSE to go, He had a reason. So, long distance, we made our plans for the conference, and in January I went to Honduras. Another ripple began.
In Honduras, I saw how many needs there are in order for them to do the work God is calling them to do. I saw what they had to do in order to get supplies and various items to Honduras. They take care of over eighty children, and more keep coming. They have a not only the children’s village, but a school, medical clinic and a church. The main way they can get supplies in any quantity, is to ship it on a large shipping container and that costs a lot of money! $7000 to be exact! As I was praying about that need, God laid it on my heart to raise the funds for a container to be sent with the necessary items. I remember thinking, wow! THAT is a big project Lord! So I had to ask myself, “Will I be willing to step out in obedience to that calling EVEN IF it is bigger than me?” I said, “Yes!” The ripple gets bigger.
I came back home. I shared my vision of God’s work in Honduras and in my life. He needs people who will be obedient and step in rhythm to His steps to accomplish His purpose. I found people through various connections, whose hearts He touched to help. And you see, each of those people started a ripple of their own! They helped me be the hand of God, to help Worldwide Heart to Heart Ministries send that container. It wasn’t my deal. It was God’s deal!
Here comes the next ripple…people gave, people got excited, people shared the vision, a church took up for an offering, various Facebook friends and personal friends started sending donations. We had people share garage sale items for a BIG and successful garage sale, City Kids sell baked items to raise money, (awesome!), flip-flops, toys, hats, desks, some TVs, a globe, computers, books, media equipment, file cabinets, beanie babies, and curriculum and lots more were gathered for the school there, kids gathered around pictures of the children from Honduras, each taking one child to pray over, and… lives were changed! I have had the privilege of meeting the couple who tossed the big boulder of their lives to start the ripple called Worldwide Heart to Heart Ministries! What a walk of obedience they live everyday to meet the needs in Honduras! All because of lives surrendered and to start a…ripple.
I don’t know about you, but that gets me jazzed! Through connections that only God can orchestrate, lives are not only touched, but challenged, and then…changed. Only God can do that in the heart of people. You may not be able to go to Honduras, but you CAN be a part in various ways of giving. I think the lives of those involved in the activities of God’s Honduras Project would say with me, they have been changed! It is how God works! I told Mary Frenter, the founder of the ministry, that I thought that as I brought the last of the items down for the container, that I would kind of close this chapter, and support their efforts financially in whatever ways I can. She laughed and said, “Oh JoAnn, you won’t be able to do that! The Holy Spirit has a hold of you! It’s more like, what’s next?” I laughed. Then, I thought about that on the way home, and she is probably right. When God gets a hold of a willing heart, He will use you in continued ways you never dreamed of. They do need more monthly support given that God keeps sending more children to them. I have accepted that call to give; both in items needed and financially as our budget will allow. If you would like to partner with me in this ministry, this is their website: http://www.h2hcv.org. He will bless you beyond anything you could dream, as you partner with them in taking care of His children!
Here’s to you picking up that boulder and giving it a throw! Watch carefully as one ripple touches another and another as it becomes bigger and bigger! I’m at the water’s edge and I’ve already thrown my boulder. Ready to throw yours? Walking the journey with you…