Ridgewood Lanes, Dollar Tree and Fort Dodge Middle School are some of the interesting places I’ve been doing ministry outside the walls of First Presbyterian this last year. These three places I frequent on the average once a week. I bowl on Monday nights, buy supplies on Tuesdays, and (guest) teach health class on Fridays. God has surprised me many times by putting me in just the right place at just the right time to connect with someone in need. I’d like think it is because of my actions that people randomly share their concerns with me but it may be more about people learning I work for a church. Let me share an example of how God guided my path to collide with someone in need. In a matter of three weeks I met a student in health class and then met her again at the Dollar Tree including her mom. One week later she is with her family at the bowling alley. Coincidence? not when God is at work. It was there that she told me about a big worry in her life, I asked permission to pray with her and that’s what we did on the spot! During my last day in health class I received a note of thanks from her.
My experience parallels one I witnessed at Cana. I also volunteer at Cana where Rev. Barbara Huisman serves. One Friday afternoon a young man stopped by Cana to say thanks to Barbara for the many prayers and words of encouragement she and others had poured into him. After a year of wandering in the darkness he was finally putting the pieces of his life back together with God’s help and was so excited to share about a new job and place to live. It was a joyful celebration and after he left those of us gathered offered God our prayers of thanksgiving.
Praying for others wherever I am has become an important part of my daily life. Standing in a customer service line, walking my neighborhood, scrolling through my cell phone contacts are just a few examples of the new ways God is nudging me to pray continually. It only takes a few minutes, doesn’t require any supplies but truly blesses my life and those I pray for. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15.