Speaking of Community...
We awakened yesterday morning to hear that some close friends of ours had lost everything they had in a fire. Though we are thanking God for their lives, we also are grieving with their loss. Everything is gone, just like that.
The Oesterling family is one of the most respected families in our church. We think the world and more of them. They've got three girls in our youth group - Heather (a freshman in college), Aprille (a high school junior), and Christin (an eighth grader.) Their parents, Lon and Sharon, live out their faith daily by helping those in need. Because their kids see an authenticity in their own lives, they are following their parents' example. The girls have been on missions trips to Mexico City and Africa and are the first to volunteer at the homeless shelter. Recently, they have pretty much adopted a family in the area who live in poverty. They have loved on these four kids like you wouldn't believe and those kids adore them for it. We see it in their eyes every Sunday morning at church.
Now, it's our turn to love them. If the church is fulfilling our role as the church, then we need to love, give, cry, encourage, support, sacrifice, and show them the goodness of God in the midst of a pretty bad deal. This is community in action. Please pray for them as they seek to trust God while they are rebuilding all that they know. Pray for the body of Christ to make love evident to them in very practical ways. Pray for their circle of influence - including those 4 kids that I mentioned above. Pray that those kids and their parents would see Jesus in their response to this loss. And pray that God would so pour out His goodness on this family that they would hardly even know what to do with it all.
If by chance, you would like to send a note of encouragement or give a specific gift in their name, please email me at email@example.com. I will get back to you asap about how you can help. Thanks so much.