Perfect timing for some of the items this week, was that during our fellowship class at church it was announced that a new seminary family was arriving soon from England (there are two other sem. families arriving - from India and the Dominican Republic - soon as well)...with nothing but their bags of clothing...oh boy, what an opportunity to serve by giving from some of my excess. We had a twin bed wooden headboard but no bed...someone else had the twin bed with no headboard...how awesome is that? I had a perfectly good enamel tea kettle...I just rarely used it and got very tired of cleaning the cooking grime from its exterior as it sat 'decoratively' on the stove, hey, England - tea, works for me :)
The manager of the apartments where these families will be living is also a seminary family and I asked if any of them could use any boys' clothing (clothing wasn't on the original list). Yes! I had at least a couple dozen tees and as many polo-style shirts, along with a pair of black slacks and dress shoes - both had only been worn once for Nick's 6th grade graduation. I also was able to offer them some hangers, a bag of non-perishable foods & paper/plastic products (those because I shop at Costco and had plenty on hand and who knows when they'll get to a grocery store), some microwave cooking dishes, kitchen towels, and other things I forget now. What a joy it was to see the joy on the face of the manager when I took these things to her. And I'm sure I'll be able to offer more items as I progress in sorting through things in my kitchen as I pack up. Not to mention toys/books and who knows what else when I get to Nick's room and elsewhere in the house.
While I was sorting through things, I could only think what an amazing ministry it would be if someone had a building that could be dedicated to serving our seminary/missionary families by having usable items available like this that could be loaned out to the families for their household needs for the time they're here and then returning anything still usable when they leave for their home state or country. Missionaries rotate 'home' on furlough for only weeks or months at a time, sem. students and their families anywhere from a year or more depending on where they are in their studies and how much employment they have to do to provide for themselves and their families. Some arrive quite self-contained, others have more needs.
So, as we welcome new families to our neighborhood, to our church and to the seminary, we can rejoice in being able to help provide a few things to them. God has blessed