This coming Saturday, November 22nd, is National Family Volunteer Day and we want to inspire you and your family to share Christ through volunteering in your own local community or as part of an international volunteer program!
Here is just an example of how one of our contributors at Crosswalk.com, Sharon Brani, and her family were led to volunteer their time and energy together as a family mission. How will your family be blessed through embarking on a new family outreach? I look forward to hearing your stories of how God has and will work through you and your family this Family Volunteer Day and throughout the year! Help us spread the word by blogging about Family Volunteer Day and giving your blog readers examples of how they can offer their time and service.
The Gift Goes On: Choosing a Family Outreach
Editor’s Note: November 22nd marks National Family Volunteer Day. Below, Crosswalk.com contributor Sharon Brani shares the blessings she and her daughters experience through their involvement in family outreach. If your family is interested in locating family-friendly volunteer opportunities, resources with links can be found at the end of this article.
It all began in 1993 when I, a single woman in her early forties, adopted a six month old baby girl from Russia. God’s Hand was so evident in even the timing of her adoption. On Christmas Eve of 1993 my life was changed when I became the mother of Noelle. And although many people refer to the blessing that my daughter received through adoption, I have always known that the gift was mine.
The miracle of adoption always shines with the wonder of God’s plan and purpose. There are no accidents. No mistakes. The little one wrapped in a pink blanket was His Touch to my life, breathing fresh hope and healing. He knew all about the pain of my divorce. He knew about the shattered dreams and broken heart. He knew and so graciously provided the gift of a very special child who for years afterward would bless me with incredible joy and laughter.
In 2000, God whispered within my spirit once more that there was another little girl that needed me. I questioned. I prayed. And after long months of waiting and even a failed adoption, I finally came home with my second daughter from Russia. Jenny, too, became His very special gift of grace and love to my heart. My two daughters continue to bless me and the lives of many others. What precious gifts from the Father’s Hand!
But it does not stop there. In fact, the story is only beginning.
In late 2007, my girls and I talked and prayed about a family mission for the new year. We tossed about various ideas. We were already supporting a child in India. We participated in the yearly Christmas shoebox ministry where shoeboxes are filled and sent to another part of the world to bless a child at Christmas. What else could we do?
After searching the internet and speaking with other adoptive parents we finally decided to adopt the Shoes For Orphans Souls project led by Buckner International Adoptions in Texas. Their website explained the process clearly so with open hearts we agreed to make this our own project for 2008.
I was so touched when each girl asked to go to the local shoe store to purchase their first pair of new shoes. My oldest, after much deliberation, chose a small pair of white DCs. She not only took them into her church youth group the next day to promote the shoes for children idea but also continues to keep them attached to her book bag. With brown eyes sparkling, she tells everyone that this is only the first pair that she will buy to help an orphan somewhere… Continue Reading Here
God Bless You and Your Family,
Kristie Rutzel, Salem Web Network Marketing Coordinator
Line: 804.205.9700 Ext . 152 Fax: 804.205.9648
111 Virginia St., Suite 500 Richmond, VA 23219
November 21st, 2008 at 5:53 pm
YOU have a blessed weekend!!>Big HUGS to you~~>love ya!>lori
November 21st, 2008 at 9:45 pm
Awesome, thanks for sharing. I love you.
November 22nd, 2008 at 4:09 pm
That sure is a sweet litle face!>I am so inspired by all the ideas for giving in such a selfless way this holiday season. Thanks for sharing these ideas.>Have a blessed weekend Angie.