Clothed in Compassion
Fall is one of my favorite seasons for so many reasons. Pumpkin carving, campfires and hayrides are all wonderful events that come along with autumn. Then there is the fall food and drinks…don’t get me started…warm apple cider, hot chocolate, and pumpkin everything. The part I love most about fall is the clothing…I love being wrapped up in scarves, flannels and hoodies.
Clothing is important. It’s obvious that what we wear keeps us warm and covered but clothing means so much more. Clothing is protection. Clothing is security. Clothing covers the things we want hidden. Clothing for a child says “My mom (dad, grandma, etc.) cared enough to buy these, clean them and dress me in them. I’m cared about. Someone wants to make sure I’m ok.”
If you’ve come to the NCCOC building during the week, you know our fellowship halls OVERFLOW with clothes of all sizes. People come in every week to get what they need. The other day a young teen came to the Church. We found out he was quickly forced out of his home and into foster care. He had nothing but the clothes on his back. His guardian called the Church and brought the young man to get clothes. The young man was thankful for anything we could give. His demeanor changed from thankful to truly excited as he found 4 pairs of jeans in his size, shirts, undergarments and to his great delight, a Nike sweatshirt that fit like a glove. You may be saying, “Well, that’s a nice story. I’m glad that kid got some clothes.” But I want to make sure you know that it was so much more than that. This teen boy didn’t have a mom and a dad that was able to clothe him. But that day the Church got to remind him that he has a Father who is longing to show him that he is loved, protected, and valued.
I’m so thankful that this Church family doesn’t stop after the clothing giveaways. Truckloads of clothes were sent to Zimbabwe this past month to bless the kids at the local school and to provide packing material to protect medical supplies for the new clinic that is being opened. Last week, two young ladies were clothed in Christ through baptism (Gal. 3:27). Each month ladies in our Needles & Knots group makes blankets, slippers, sock dolls, and wheelchair bags for 4 local hospitals and for several nursing homes. Each week we help our teens don the helmet of salvation and the shield of faith so that they are ready to step into the battles they face at school. Every Sunday our adults and kids are fitted with the shoes of peace that comes from the Good News (Eph. 6).
Church, as we go into the world this week, we need to make sure that we are dressed for the occasion:
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, humility, meekness, and patience…above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”(Col. 3:12,14). Look for opportunities to wrap someone up in the warmth of God’s love. Cover them in kindness. Remind someone that they have a Father who loves them and cares enough to clothe them in the righteousness of his Son. -SJL
This past month…
· Shyanne (Shay) Johnson was baptized at a teen event
· Rylee Scott was baptized through a personal Bible study
· Over 10 small groups/personal Bible studies met at NCCOC
· 592 families received food from our food giveaway
· 150,000 pounds of food was given away at the food giveaway
· Over 15 teens met to fellowship and talk about God every Sunday and Wednesday evening
· Over 200 people were helped with clothing
· 90 senior citizens were given food boxes
· 12 teens went to the North Hills youth rally
· Girls on the Run Program began at our building on Tuesdays and Thursdays