In May, JOY FM artist Geoff Moore was on the show talking about adoption, as we were wrapping up a month long effort entitled, “A Family for Every Child”. Off air, I was sharing with Geoff that in the last two years, my heart had been so tendered towards the homeless and orphans. I told him I wanted to go to South Africa to visit the orphanages there – but was totally freaked out by the 24 hour flight. (Yes, I know it’s crazy – insert all Christian platitudes here. However, from someone who is claustrophobic and hates to fly – the fears are real, and I’m just telling you the truth. I’m sure God will continue to work on me.
So . . . Geoff said, “Then come to Guatemala with Buckner & me. It’ll be the perfect first trip. The flight is only 3 hours from Dallas.”
Fast forward a few months – and I’m getting shots, collecting shoes, and heading to Guatemala in 4 weeks!
We’ve been collecting shoes for the last month and I owe a huge thank you to Mary, Dan, Andy & Bryan on our team for all of their efforts “above & beyond” for Shoesdays. Dave, Bill, GT & I wrapped things up the last couple of days in Sebring, Lakeland and Ocala.
There are so many stories, and I wish I could share them all with you. Obviously, this photo hit me right in the heart. These incredible men – John, Michael, Fonzie , in the wheelchairs and Carlos, standing, brought me a bag full of new shoes. When the doors at Rack Room in Lakeland opened up, and I saw Carlos and the 3 of them roll in, I lost it. And pretty much haven’t recovered. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And with this photo, I would have to agree. Talk about precious hearts! These men are helping orphans in Guatemala!
What a sweet offering.
I’m listing a few of the stories below (and I apologize if I don’t get all of the details right). I also don’t have the time and space to share them in the emotive way that they were told. But let it be known that these listeners have been deeply touched by the station and definitely touched my heart.
• A lady who just lost her son last week in a car accident. Called Dee’s from Wal Mart to make sure she would get there in time.
• Woman whose husband isn’t a believer and doesn’t believe in giving. Was burnt by a pastor and wants nothing to do with church.
• Mom who lost her husband in the tower on 9/11. Has 2 sons. Her husband was an architect and had drawn up plans for them to move out of the city and build a house. She went ahead and built “their” house in Ocala, and is raising her sons there.
• A woman who found our station in 2006 when she lost her husband (cancer), daughter (sickness) and son (car accident) all within MONTHS!! She buried ALL of them. Is raising her 6 year old grandson now. Just the 2 of them.
• A woman who found our station last year when she would drive home from the hospital after being with her 83 year old mother. (She brought her mom with her!)
• Woman who found us 6 months ago when she was flipping thru and heard us laughing about something. Wanted to know what was so funny and hasn’t changed her dial since.
• A couple where the husband just lost his job, and they decided to sew their seed out of their need.
• 12 year Tyler bought shoes with his own money! Guess how many pairs? 13!
And the stories go on and on. I’m totally humbled and blown away by the deep level of giving from our listeners. It’s remarkable to me. What a gift to say that I belong to this community. It is my privilege to represent you in Guatemala. Pray for me. I have no doubt you will.
I love you.