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Save the DateJoin us to celebrate 20 years of God's faithfulness!October 20, 20187 months to go.
Category Archives: Events
Our #SweetHomesfor Alabama #NoMoreShacks effort raised $85,600 towards our goal of $100,000. We have another opportunity to make up the difference! We have Black Friday and Cyber Monday but we can outdo those with #GivingTuesday. Your gift will help repair homes for well deserving families and individuals on fixed incomes. You can send a message of love this Thanksgiving Season! If you would like to make a gift in honor of someone, we will send them and you an “in honor of card”. We pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as you use your gifts and bounty to serve and help others!
Just another manic Monday- total is $40,051
Rain bounced off the blue tarped roof of my little shack in the early morning. A mosquito buzzed against my ear and drew blood from my unshielded face creating a nice welt. Somehow an ear plug fell out accentuating the morning routine of dumpster trucks slamming metal and grating iron while cars sloshed water as they passed by. Waiting for the rain to subside, I made a mad dash into Wesley to start my morning routine of getting ready for the day.
After working through Nate all day yesterday, I was disappointed to see all the rain-although we need it. It keeps me from sitting outside and talking with people and putting out the material that tells our story, that tells Ms. Sanford’s story.
Media coverage for the shack last year was awesome. This year, despite several press releases, emails, and tweets to press contacts, we just do not seem newsworthy. Maybe because of recent disasters, maybe because we do not seem new, maybe repairing someone’s home who has few funds does not seem too significant. It is hard to tell. These culminating events have led to a decrease in the fundraising momentum we have experienced the past few years.
This morning I was reading in Mark 8 where Jesus heals a blind man. In previous healings, it came instantaneously and completely. In this situation, Jesus spits and puts his hands on his eyes. The man says he can see people walking around that look like trees. Jesus puts his hand over the man’s eyes again and he is completely restored. Such a curious display of Jesus’ healing power. Did this progression relate to the man’s faith and therefore take two iterations? Was this saying something about the way Jesus heals; that there are times when healing is progressive? Maybe a little bit of both.
What I thought about is that sometimes Jesus provides over time. Some things may not be instantaneous but progressive and over time. As I ponder our fundraising this fall and in light of all the disasters, maybe God will provide more over time, ensuring we have just what we need when we need it. The passage directly after this healing story has Jesus asking his disciples “who do others say that I am” and then asking them “who do you say that I am”. You are the Christ, the Messiah. In that truth is the assurance of who Jesus is, his direct identity and a confidence that God is in the business of caring and providing. Even if the funds are slow (and I am certainly ok if we get a surprising funding surge as we close), we know that we are loving our neighbors and especially the materially poor. We are living out the commands of loving our neighbors and reaching out to those who struggle. We are serving Jesus as we serve with the poor. I believe our faithfulness will be matched and certainly exceeded with God’s faithfulness even if it takes a little longer.
Cheers to a wet day-we needed the rain and I will try not to let it put a damper on our efforts today. Instead, I will think of our families and all those who have struggled when the rain, wind, and water cannot be contained. Prayers for ARM, for Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and more.
Let’s see what happens today!
Grace and peace- lisa
Sunday Oct. 8
Time is slipping by and I realized I had not updated since Friday. Hurricane Nate became the dominant center for most of us in the south east. We adjusted our plan; watched the weather and decided how to stay safe and dry. Tarps were emplaced, the shack strapped to the trailer, display booths taken down, and an action plan developed in case evacuation was required. If the storm had stayed closer to east Alabama, my evacuation plan was into the hard stand building behind me. For now, it is rain and some howling wind forecasted to strengthen for much of the day and then diminish early evening. Why a picture of a staple hammer? It’s a simple tool. Most people may not have this. It has become a necessity for me as I re-staple the plastic that is ripping away from my window which does not have a pane in it. This simple
What preparations did you make? Did it come easy? Were you limited financially or was it an inconvenience? How does your insurance work if your home was damaged? Most of us have a safety net in place for disasters. But thousands of people over the past six weeks have lost their homes, mementos and dreams. For many, FEMA assistance or insurance is unavailable. The quiet, unseen and chronic issue of substandard housing and rehabilitation needs goes unnoticed. There are few safety nets and choices are extremely limited.
That is why I stay in a shack. These all become real for me. I feel it and for a short time live it. I want you feeling it with me so that we “see” our neighbor. Your gift and helping others is deeper than the financial gift. It is coupled with Christian love and the fabric holding us all together.
On a lighter side, I enjoy all the people coming to see me; the kids visiting to paint the shack and learning about serving their neighbors. Meals and coffee flow from friends and neighbors and I am overwhelmed with gratefulness and love.
The Auburn alumni faithful and Ole Miss fans helped us raise over $350 in cash yesterday by getting lemonade and water from “KK”. “KK” goes to church with me and is in elementary school. Wanting to help raise money for our families, she set up a free lemonade and water stand. It was a great success and she was so excited to serve in this way.
Being warm, safe, and dry in our homes is a given until something happens. Your gift is ensuring our seniors, single parent moms, and small families have a safety net. Your gift is matched with some incredible volunteers and co laborers helping make a tangible difference and extend Christ’s love!
It’s that time and I cannot believe it. I get excited this time of year to see what God is going to do through so many people.
In the middle of my excitement is the heartbreak we all feel. So many unnecessary lives lost in Las Vegas to a senseless shooting. We question, why would anyone want to do that? Do we devalue human lives and our own life that much? What gets us to a place like that? A sickness of the soul is one of the most heartbreaking and destructible forces we face. Pain caused from so many who lost homes, memories, and lives is still fresh from the three powerful storms that hit our US coasts. The list of disasters world- wide and a Syrian crises grows. In the midst of pain and suffering, with lingering questions that can never be answered, we grasp for beams of light and hope.
Hurting people rush to the aid of other hurting people. Acts of violence are countered with acts of love and kindness. We commit to serving and loving our neighbor. Darkness never wins or gets the upper hand when we counter with expressions of love and light.
Living in the shack is the tangible way that I and others try to understand hardships. Hardships when we see the leaks, when we dodge the unsafe places, when the drafts come in and we do our best to stop them and even moments when we do not feel safe. I have names and faces of families who struggle with these conditions, who wonder if they will ever be able to raise the money to afford the repairs. People who wonder if there is another way and if people care.
The answer is yes. Yes, there is another way. Yes, we care. Yes, there is hope. Paul writes, “in Jesus, we have a ‘yes’”. We can co-labor together and repair homes. We can share our stories together. We can build trust, community and together bring about transformation. All of that from living in a shack? I would like to think so.
Come see us at the shack at 131 S. Gay Street. If you are out of town, take some time to watch the story unfold on Facebook and through Twitter. Share this with your kids. Find ways to serve whether with us or another ministry or organization. Together, our lights will outshine the darkness!
To give: www.arm-al.org or text 334-731-763
Want to set up your own fundraising page?
Thanks so much!