I have been spending quite a bit of time thinking about discipleship and the true picture of discipleship. Bible studies and classes are good things but when I really look at scripture and study Jesus’ model of discipleship there is one word that comes to my mind, “Investment”. Investment is the essence of discipleship. Investment and discipleship both communicate value and importance. “I see you as valuable. I believe that you are worth investing in, caring for and walking with. I believe that God has great plans for your life and I am willing to walk that hard long and sometimes wearisome road with you to see you become the gem that God designed you to be”. This is discipleship!
A few weeks ago, Lynn Caffery from the organization Safe Harbor came and shared with us. She shared about the painfully insane life road that she had to walk to get where she is today. She shared about people who used and abused her but then she also shared about some people who saw her. They didn’t see a “throw away life”, a number, or just another criminal that deserves to be locked up. They saw her and they loved her, they invested in her and waded with her through the tumultuous waters of her life. Lynn encountered Jesus through their investment. Now, Lynn is doing the same for others who have similar stories to hers, but she cannot do it alone. She needs others to walk with her as she walks with them. She needs partners with likeminded hearts which I believe is the heart of Christ.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:1-8
This is my theme verse. This is what I aspire to become as I chase after the heart of Jesus. Family, I invite you to chase with me through the privilege opportunity of being involved with Lynn’s precious mission to find and through the love of Christ and hard work redeem lost souls. If you are interested in being a part of getting on the front lines and fighting the good fight against Human Trafficking, I encourage you to prayerfully take some time and look at the list below of the different ways that you can become actively involved in making a difference. Then once, you hear our Lord speak, respond. I am excited to see what our Lord wants to do through us. I love and am truly grateful for my Southside family.
Here is the list from Lynn:
Lynn Caffrey is the executive director of Safe Harbor Youth, previously known as Tennessee Valley Family Services Inc.
- Adopt a youth when they come in the program for shoes and clothing items they are in need of; we did an underwear drive and have plenty of under clothes and socks except for larger sizes for bigger youth. (This can be great for Sunday school classes and small groups.)
- Mentor and simply come and get to know our kids!
- Come and cook with the youth, play games, watch a movie, etc.
- Help us with fundraising and getting donations from companies to help complete our remodel.
- Help with Christmas by giving a gift card to Walmart, Rue 21, Visa, MasterCard, or Target to help with the youths’ Christmas lists.
- Make stockings for Christmas.
- Once the remodel is completed, help the youth decorate the rooms.
- Bring us canned and boxed food. We are always in need of canned veggies, dry beans, box food items like hamburger helper, rice, chicken helper, and fresh fruit and veggies, paper products, laundry and cleaning supplies. These items are hard to get at the food bank.
Blessings upon you all,
Pastor Michael Walker