Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Movers and Shakers

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

Are you living in comfortable surroundings, enjoying nice things, lacking none of life’s necessities? If so, walk in someone else’s shoes for a moment…

Imagine coming home to find there is no table on which to share dinner with your family, no sofa to relax on, and no bed to sleep in. Instead you eat sitting on the floor with your plate resting on a cardboard box, you relax in a plastic lawn chair trying to read in the fading light coming though a window, stalling going to bed because sleeping on the floor is so uncomfortable. Your clothes rest in a neat pile in the corner because you haven’t a dresser, and your children do their homework in their laps because there isn’t a desk in sight.

For many people not far from our own doorsteps, this scenario is a stark reality. I know, and so do others who give up a Saturday morning now and then to work as volunteers for The Movers and Shakers, a furniture ministry. We’ve seen people living in such circumstances, sometimes stopping at as many as eight households in a single day just like the one described here.

The Movers & Shakers Furniture Ministry collects and, through its partner ministries, distributes donated furniture to those in need throughout the north metro Atlanta area. Two Saturdays per month throughout the year, volunteers begin the day at 8AM, loading the trucks and making deliveries in Gwinnett and North Fulton counties. As furniture pickups and delivers are completed, the team members also extend a hand of friendship and offer prayer for the donors and recipients, showing the heart and will of God to those we come in contact with.

I’ll never forget the first time I volunteered to be a Mover and Shaker. Our first stop was at a small two bedroom apartment, home to a single mom and three children. They shared one queen size mattress and took turns getting to sleep alone on the tattered love seat in the living room. We had come to deliver three beds for the children. It was just a few days before Christmas.

As the team of four volunteers made our way down the hall with the beds, we couldn’t help but notice the children. They were jumping with excitement. Their eyes danced and they playfully fought over who would get which bed. The beds didn’t match but the siblings didn’t give a care. They were finally going to have a restful night of sleep, alone in their own bed.

Their mom cried as we all held hands and prayed before we volunteers left to go on to our next stop. It took all I had not to cry too, and I wasn’t the only man so moved.

I’ve given three Saturday’s to the Movers and Shakers Ministry since that first delivery, and I look forward to serving still other days. Not only do I get to witness moving scenes, I get to meet other men of all ages from Perimeter and other participating churches. I’ve worked with men as young as sixteen and as old as Randy Pope, all men who were willing to break a sweat in the course of finding non-believers. As we work we tell each other about ourselves, our families, our churches, and our own journeys to Christ.

After six hours of carrying furniture, the day comes to an end and the volunteers part and go their separate ways. I go home tired, once with a blister and another time, a huge bruise on my leg. But I go home happy, rewarded, and thankful for the opportunity to serve. I go home knowing that I, along with the other volunteers I worked with that day, heard and heeded God’s call to demonstrate our faith through our works.

After volunteering only twice, you are awarded an official Movers and Shakers tee shirt. Without thinking I grabbed mine one day on my way out to run errands. Someone recognized the logo and said, “That’s a great ministry!”

Indeed it is.

To learn more about the Movers and Shakers Ministry and how to become a volunteer, visit http://www.atlmoversnshakers.org/

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

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