Saturday, October 23, 2010

A warm home

6:16 p.m. Today's project was to join Pete and Rita in their new Moreno Valley home for a housewarming. I took along a modest gift of a silicon oven mitt and my homemade spicy yellow tomato jam, which I am sure they can enjoy with two small children in the family.

Even though Proverbs 18:16a says that "a man's gift makes room for him," I would have been welcome in the Name of Christ with nothing in my hands by my sweet sister Rita, whom I first met at the Moms' Morning I was asked to start at Calvary Chapel a number of years ago. Her little boy wasn't even born yet, but her daughter was already a real charmer! I've only met Pete, a coach for Calvary Chapel, a few times, but he is very friendly also.
As I met family members and friends from various churches and ministries, I saw the wide net the Lord has used the Garzas to cast out as "fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Rita is very active in the "White as Wool" ministry for women who have had abortions and are seeking healing in the Name of Jesus, and part of Riverside Life Services. In fact, she was showing me a picture on her camera of a new granite tombstone at the Pierce Brothers Crestlawn cemetery in La Sierra where a donated plot hosts markers with the names of deceased babies. The group held a memorial service for them recently. Even women who have had spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) like I had prior to conceiving Heather, can find a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. And prayerfully, the women will come to know the source of the love and caring: the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!
One new friend I met is Kathleen, who leads recovery classes for grief, substance abuse and a range of personal losses from a scriptural vantage point. Her heart is huge, as shown in her elder care facility visitation and concern for Alzheimer's patients and their caregiver/family members. She was very moved by Steve's family genetics, the early-onset variety of the disease.
Kathleen has ministered to end-stage patients whose families no longer visit because being ignored as strangers is just too painful. As a believer with her own painful rhuematoid arthritis, she comforted me and encouraged to me to take care of myself. I replied, "And that's why I'm here! I'm a people person, love fellowship, and this get together is perfect for me. And Steve's doing what he loves, working in the yard, walking the dogs." Within the hour, we connected online, and will be praying for one another. Kathleen said, "To me, Facebook is like church 24/7. People praying for one another, posting scripture for believers and unbelievers to view alike!"
Home away from home, or I guess, home within your home!
It was a warm house indeed!

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