What a great way to start a new week here in Lafayette, Louisiana: learning what it means to be a “bringer“.
Inspired by his love for golden retrievers, natural bringers, local Crossroads Church lead pastor Pastor Jeff Ables delivered the final part of a compelling series on “Bringers” to his congregation yesterday.
What is a bringer?
Someone who uses their God-given gifts and talents in service to others. In a nutshell: being a Bringer is being useful.
In a crowded church auditorium, the air heavy with silent prayers and unanswered questions, the local Lafayette congregation shared seats and smiles with Samaritan’s Purse volunteers joining in joyful singing and praise.
Singing the chorus , “God is on the move, on the move, hallelujah! God is on the move is many mighty ways..” folks raised their hands in joint surrender with grateful hearts, remembering that their mighty maker has not forgotten their needs.
We are asked to bring not only our offerings to God, but also our praises. We are created to praise. In good times and bad. And our praise, reminded Pastor Jeff, is to “be sincere, sacrificial, and sanctioned”.
It’s day 8 on the ground and I have seen people “bringing it” to southern Louisiana.
Welcome Alert Academy Volunteers
To date, over 200 dedicated volunteers from all over the US have passed through Crossroads Church to serve with Samaritan’s Purse, accumulating over 3,000 volunteer hours in the Lafayette community. Yesterday, I spoke with a young man part of a 14-member team from Alert Academy– an organization started by a home school father in 1994. A cross between a military boot camp and Christian diaster response training, ALERT (Air, Land, Emergency Response Team) young men arrived ready to bring it. He shared his passion for serving and wants to model behaviors he hopes others will want to emulate.
Krystal McKee, a 31 year old daughter of Lafayette residents Kathy and Greg McKee, decided to bring it after she discovered her parents home flooded the weekend of August 13th. Greg, an active lineman for the electric company, traveled to Missouri to work on downed power lines from severe storms in the area. Wanting to surprise him on his birthday, the family piled into a car and drove north the morning the rains began to fall.
Krystal and her husband were the first responders to the single story home inundated Saturday by the rising flood waters. Now program directors for Teen Challenge, an 18 month program ministering to teens with life interrupting addictions, they bear witness to the power of redemption and recovery.
In 2013, the young couple had hit their lowest point. Rampant drug and alcohol abuse ripped their marriage apart and resulted in the custody loss of their two children. Mom Kathy, after Krystal’s 6th arrest and incarceration for prescription drug use and possession, heard about Teen Challenge on the local SOS radio station and pleaded with her daughter to enroll.
Fast forward to December 2015, the couple reunites as graduates of the program and regain custody of their two children in addition to restoring their broken marriage. Most impressively, Krystal and her husband featured below now head programs for troubled teens at the local Lafayette branch of Teen Challenge.
In efforts to quickly respond to her parent’s devastated home, Krystal rounded up a team of Teen Challenge volunteers to help salvage belongings from the home, paying forward the kindness and unconditional parental love she received for so many years during her years of addiction .
As Mom Kathy proudly shared this powerful testimony, her two boxers remained by her side . Trixie, 6, and Zeke, 4. A week before the flood hit Zeke was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It has taken over his lymph nodes- giving him 6 months to live.
Family members Kari, Kyler, and Kaleb joined mom Kathy and the volunteers in a customary prayer circle that concludes each and every clean up mission with Samaritan’s Purse.
What do you have to bring?
Have you identified your spiritual Gifts? How may these gifts be used in conjunction with your talents to bring hope into your community and personal spheres of influence?
Join us in today’s prayer circle:
Stand in Love,