MAKING A DIFFERENCE, STARTING WITH ME

(by Wanda Stutzman)

For a long time I believed the lie that the little town of Kalona was a predominately churched community and if you really wanted to reach our community, you’d probably have to go to Iowa City, and find all the liberal college kids.

Over the past number of years, God has slowly been opening my eyes to the fact that the little town of Kalona is in desperate need of Him. This little town needs Jesus ‘with skin on’ and I’m not even kidding.

Leon and I are constantly looking for ways to bless the community on our once-a-month outreach night with the youth group. Recently, we got information on the Summer Lunch Program and on Monday, kick-off day, I was privileged to help out there, along with my girls and 4 girls from the youth group. To say I was impacted is stating it mildly.

I watched as people from all kinds of social statuses and backgrounds came together and simply ate together, forming a beautiful little community gathered around food. I watched kids play and do art projects and get ‘loved on’. I watched lonely, elderly people enjoy conversation, maybe one of the few conversations they’d have all week.

Not once did it occur to me to ask what church these people attended, or if they attended church at all. We didn’t have to discuss our views on Creation or God or politics. We just ate together and shared a friendship. And it was simply beautiful.

I heard a message recently by Christine Caine and she talked about the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand men, plus women and children. She asked a question that I’ve honestly never thought of before. “Was the little boy who gave his lunch to Jesus really the ONLY person there who had brought a lunch?” Perhaps there were more, but they thought their little lunch far too insignificant to even bother offering that day.

You see, if Jesus was depending on me to change the town of Kalona, I’d have to have ALL the resources in place before I started the project. But Jesus has never depended on any one person to get the job done. He just asks us to be faithful and obedient. Ultimately, He has all the resources in place. He just needs us to offer our little bits and pieces, and then He can bless them and reproduce our efforts.

I’m excited about the Summer Lunch program! I’m not exactly sure yet how much God wants me to be involved, but I do know that it’s a ministry worth checking out. You may be called to do something else. But can I just implore you to do something? Don’t just sit on your duff while the whole world around you is crying out for someone to be Jesus to them.

This summer we have an unusual schedule for our church. It’s the perfect opportunity to invite people to the potlucks or invest in someone’s life that you’ve been thinking about for awhile.

We all have the same 24 hours in our day. We are responsible for how we use our time. Is it all about me, myself, and I, or are we willing to give my measly little lunch to Jesus and let Him use it for his Glory?

Have a great week! See you all on Sunday at the park.

Wanda Stutzman