It was a simple encounter, but yet the transaction was transformational. I was breezing through our Neighbor Services waiting area on my way to pray with the GraceWorkers and just so happened to say hello to one of our Neighbors standing there with a bag of food in her hand, (for the sake of her privacy I will call her Mary).
To my surprise, even though Mary was in our waiting room, she was there to donate food. She told me she often drops off food for our Food Pantry. I was so moved by this tangible gesture of “Neighbor serving Neighbor” that I stopped for a moment to ask her what motivated her to do that. Mary told me that a while ago, she and her young son moved to Franklin from California. This single mom came to Tennessee to escape a set of unfortunate circumstances. She was new to the area, unemployed and needed some help. Mary didn’t know where to turn.
Someone in the community told her to come to GraceWorks. After coming here the first time, she left with a grocery cart full of food and a heart full of hope. A simple transaction of receiving food and the encouragement that came with it made a huge difference! Her worries were transformed from anxious concern to a calm belief that she and her son were going to be ok after all.
And it turned out to be true. Mary is now gainfully employed and in addition to being able to take care of her son, she is able to come back to the place where she received help in an effort to help others. And she knows firsthand the difference a simple cart of food makes!
Mary’s experience with GraceWorks was so transformational that frankly it became transformational for me as well. Every time I see the fruit of this ministry, my heart is transformed to a stronger place of conviction that we are doing the right things, in the right ways, for the right reasons.
At GraceWorks, it is common place that a simple encounter, a onetime transaction, becomes transformational.
We often see Neighbors who need help just one time. They may be transitioning out of a difficult situation, overcoming a medical problem, or a government employee suffering from the recent shutdown, or any number of other scenarios that put people in a short term financial bind. These temporary situations just need a little tangible grace to get the person through it.
GraceWorks is rightly positioned to give just that! And you make that possible. We have all been in the position where we needed just a little help to get over one of those “proverbial curve balls” that life throws us. I am grateful for all the ways you serve our Neighbors who are managing those curve balls. What you might think was just a simple transaction of offering a cart of food turns out to be the vehicle of tangible transformation that moved that person from hopelessness to hopefulness.
The ministry we do here at GraceWorks matters to many. And you matter greatly to us (and to me!). Without you, we are just a resounding gong or clanging cymbal. Thank you for all you do to provide services to our Neighbors that transform their hearts for His glory.
By the Power of Grace,
Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO