Friday, January 16, 2009

GAIHN

Yes, this is pronounced just like the other gain! But it stands for something a little different. Let me share with you what Hubby has been a part of through our church recently...like continuing through this Sunday morning!

He is on the Outreach Committee at our Methodist church. One of the mission projects that we are supporting is helping out homeless families in the community. You know, we as Christians will dig deep into the pocketbooks and wallets to share our wealth. We will purchase extra groceries for the local food banks. We will write letters to missionaries and pray for them. How about inviting homeless families into your church and giving them a warm, dry and comfortable place to live--rather than under a bridge or an abandoned building! That's what GAIHN is. The photo is the trailer that carries the "stuff" of those less fortunate to host churches. A certain number of churches sign up to serve "the least of these." For one week, we will serve these families by providing shelter--converted Sunday School classes; providing meals--lovingly cooked by a variety of SS classes, circles, committees, etc., and providing love---given by the entire church family. Then, the folks that we are serving will go to another host church the next week. Right now, 13 churches are involved. So, in 13 more weeks, our church will be doing this again.

Y'all, at first, no one was really sure what we were getting into. Lots of prayer and trust and obedience had to occur. One of our church members had been involved in this at her previous church. That's it! Just one! Well, Hubby felt called to help her by co-chairing this project. And...what a blessing it has been! Wow! We have been more blessed by these two families than they have been by us. Everyone was calling the house this week asking what could they do. "Mrs. Co-chair" didn't have a clue--I was at my Mama's and nephew's birthday party on Sunday night when these folks moved in!! Hubby had to spend the night--two church members spend each night with them. Sleeping on a cot for one night is doable! So, I really didn't hear about everything until Monday evening.
Wednesday night, I had the opportunity, the blessing, to meet these wonderful folks. We have a mom and her 14 year old, and a younger family with three small children. The oldest boy turned eight on Wednesday. Well...y'all know what that means!! Party!!! After our Wed. night supper, the kids in youth choir and many adults surprised him with a cake, candles, oodles of presents. Precious! I have awesome pictures that I WISH I could share....but due to privacy issues, just use your imaginations. The smiles, the joy, the paper and ribbons were justa flying! Whoohoo! God was in the middle of it having a great time! The mom of this child was more excited about the new socks than she was the power rangers and bay blades and games. Socks, people...socks!

I am going to my most favorite place in the world after while--yep, Wal-Mart--to develop these pictures and to put them in a photo album for her. Wouldn't you do that for your friends too?

I want to tell you a little about this last picture I have for you to see. The five year old little girl--who I could just bring home with me!!--had a fit over my camera. So...being the mama that I am, surrendered it to her until the batteries ran out. "J" had a ball! She was snapping pics of everybody--and making sure that they were posed for the moment!

She has attached herself to my Hubby--she adores him just like me!!! When she sees him, he has to carry her, eat with her, and play with her. Hubby is a great daddy, and it shines through in his desire to serve this child of God as he does his own boys. So, I leave you with Hubby --the one in the picture who is bent over posing for this darling little girl. Remember, this is from the perspective of a tiny five year old! Please remember to lift up those without shelter especially during this winter weather we're having. It's only 17 degrees here in the sunny south. Thanks so much! Have a great weekend.
Many Blessings,
Susan

15 comments:

Gotta Run said...

That is a wonderful things to be a part of! Love the pix of Craig. :)

.... it is COLD!!!!

KelliGirl said...

Susan,
Thanks for sharing this amazing story. I am overwhelmed that all us in in our different churches all over the country have the power to make a tremendous difference to the poor and needy, not only here, but across the entire world! All we have to do is say, "YES, Lord! I'll do it."

Blessings to you,
Kelli

Kimberly said...

Oh, Susan!
What an amazing ministry! How awesome that your church is getting to play a part in sharing the love of Christ with these families in such a practical way. Wow! Talk about being the hands and feet of Jesus! And I know that momma is going to treasure the photos you are going to give her.

I LOVE your servant's heart! :) (And, indeed, it's a bit chilly around here!)
Blessings, sweet friend,
K :)

Chatty Kelly said...

Our church has a similiar program. It makes me so sad to see homeless children and realize they lack the littlest of things...like socks. I love your positive outlook in this post!

Keep up the good work!

Joyful said...

Susan this is so exciting. Our church has the theme of "live BIG" this year and one of our Pastor's went to meet with our Mayor this past week to see how we could come on board and reach out to those in need in our community better over this next year. He went to inquire what needs weren't being met and how we could help.

This program sounds wonderful. My heart is aching for the homeless here right now. It's bitter cold. With the wind chill it feels like -25C, which in your language is -13F. There are many thousands in Toronto right now without power due to a failure at a hydro station. Not a good time to be without heat.

May the Lord continue to bless you as you reach out to others in His name.

Love & prayers,
Joy
PS. It was nice to 'meet' your husband.

heartreflections said...

Wow this is great! Thank you so much for spreading the word of a great ministry!

Yolanda said...

Love,
Yolanda

Carol said...

Susan,
What an amazing story. We so often think of the homless as faceless adults, not the children and the mothers who are doing their best to give their children love and saftey.

Praise God for the ministry that you do.

Carol

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

The church at its best...arms and feet and hearts all wrapped around the least of these for the Greatest of All...Jesus Christ. What an incredible outreach! That's what I'm talking about...being the church. Would love to be a part.

peace~elaine
PS: I ran yesterday and nearly froze to death. I've got the winter cheeks to prove it.

Carol said...

How wonderful!! What a great ministry to take part in. Now if every church did that we might not have anyone on the streets. It just starts with one. :-)

Kimberly said...

HEY!
Are you ready for some snow? Have you done a milk and bread run? hee hee

We have to go to Walmart today anyways...I am sure it will be crazy. The slightest hint of snow around here and people go wild. :)

Blessings, Susan!!!
:) K

Carol said...

I love it! What an incredible way to serve others. Thank you for sharing. I know you were blessed by being a part.

Chris said...

GAIHN is an awesome mission and Lisa and I have had the change to be a part at our church in Greer. Some amazing people with amazing stories.

Melanie said...

What a blessing to the families you serve and to those serving, too.
Melanie@Bella~Mella

Joyful said...

Susan....I found it!!!!! Thanks so much for posting about this a year ago. I found the GAIHN web as well. Would love to hear an update on your churches participation as you are able.

Hugs,
Joy