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Posted on Jun 21, 2015 by Debbie Marsh, Children's Minister


I woke up early this morning, with a name from my past on my mind. She is a member of my “great cloud of witnesses” described in Hebrews 12:1. Mary was certainly not perfect-BUT she taught me about servanthood and allowed God to plant seeds in my heart!

Her name is Mary-she was in her seventies when I met her in 1991. I was the young mother of 4 children; 6, 4, 2 and an infant.  Mary and her husband Pat were both retired and spent much of their time at the church. They watched our family of 6 as we struggled.  On many occasions God used thems to show us His love!

God woke me up with a reminder of one of those occasions this morning.  Mary was my sponsor for The Walk to Emmaus in early 1993. This is a 3 day spiritual retreat, away from home. I had to make tons of arrangements for my 4 children during this time away. Rick worked horrible hours in those days; 12-14 hour/day-beginning at 3:45 am & he worked on Saturdays. Let’s just say it was a miracle that I got to attend the Walk to Emmaus.

But as things often do in our lives-my plans did not work out! The baby sitter that was scheduled to care for my children on Saturday got sick. But God’s plan was better.  Mary came into my home to care for my children so Rick could go to work. Remember, Mary was in her seventies, she was not a ‘baby’ person(her words), never taken care of a special needs child, much less handle 4 children under the age of 7!

As the years have passed, I have heard Mary tell the stories of caring for my 4 children that week-end many times-they are funny stories of God and His provision for her that day.  God continues to teach me through that act of servanthood Mary provided that day.  That one act of servanthood from Mary provided so much more than she will ever know this side of heaven. She allowed God to finish a work in my life on the Walk to Emmaus. God showed me that week-end that He loved me-I knew He loved all His children, but I did not understand the magnitude of that love for me until THAT week-end.

That knowledge of His love is fundamental in the building of His kingdom and the firm foundation for ministry to children. I believe children need to KNOW that they are loved by Jesus-just like I needed to know that Jesus loved me on that Walk to Emmaus so many years ago! Mary’s act of servanthood is still bearing fruit.

That is why God woke me up with this morning-serving God is so much bigger than we think! What we do matters, one simple act of serving others in His name has eternal and far reaching impact! I am so thankful for my ‘cloud of witnesses’! They encourage me and show me how and why! Debbie

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