An angel of the Lord descended upon the city delivering a message for one called ………Saint, for the Lord said, “There is a family that has cried out to me, but the cares of the world have made them deaf, they cannot hear me. Go to the one called Saint and say to him, ‘I want someone to go and reveal me to the family that has cried out to me”. When the angel found Saint, he told him what the Lord had instructed. Saint looked to heaven and said, “send me Lord, I will go”.
“This is not an easy task, there is much difficulty and many struggles that lie ahead”, said the Angel. “I have no illusions of it being easy, my only hope is that I complete, and not shrink, from the assignment entrusted to me, as one worthy of being called ‘a son of the living God’, said Saint. “Well said, mortal man; the first difficulty is finding and recognizing her”, said the Angel. “But, where should I look”? asked Saint. “Worry not, my friend, you are favored by the Most High God, you will not fail”, said the Angel, as he faded from sight.
Saint is a born-again Christian who came to the Lord late in his adult life. A former drug addict, booster (professional shoplifter) and, ex-con. He accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior while doing time in a State Prison. He spent the last six years of his sentence as a Christian. Fifteen years after leaving prison he is still a committed Christian.
“Life has many twists and turns, ups and downs, tragedies and pleasures. None of these are to sway you from the commitment you made to the Lord”, Saint whispered to himself. These were the words of the Angel seventeen years ago; or was it all a dream?
The Keller family, headed by Dana Keller, a single mother of three (3), two boys and one girl. Dana came to our Church four (4) years ago after volunteering in our ‘Thrifty Clothing Store’. She was between jobs and wanted to stay busy. She especially wanted to keep her children active. Even though we could only pay her, and one of her sons, minimum wage, Dana worked as though she was at a Fortune 500 company. She was the epitome of courtesy, respect and service. People started coming from miles around because of her.
Usually, people have very low self-esteem when they lose everything (material) like she had. Some even walk around mad at the world and everyone in it. Then, there are those who give up, and succumb to a beggar’s life; but not Dana. She could rub shoulders with all of these, and inspire them, what they thought had been lost. Hope! Her children, ages 15, 17, and 21, had great respect for her. She was a walking epistle if I ever saw one.
When Dana came to our Church four (4) years ago she was biblically illiterate. She had a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, but because of all the downsizing going on she was cut from her high paying white-collar job. It never occurred to her that this would happen. After eighteen (18) months of sending out resumes, and going on countless interviews, she had finally hit rock bottom. Her money ran out, she was forced to sell her suburban home and she and her children had no health care. She couldn’t even afford to get sick. She was desperate.
Dana’s sister, Corrine, invited her and her children to come and stay with her. Dana was a tremendous help to her five (5) years ago when she lost her husband to prostate cancer. Dana stepped in to help while Corrine began readjusting her life without her husband of 26 years. Corrine often testifies in Church how Dana was a tower of strength for her when she just wanted to give up. But Corrine was on a fixed income, and could only do so much. Being a member of our Church, Corrine brought the situation to our attention, and asked if we could help.
We were a small Church, with only 81 members, a third of which was unemployed. How could we take on another family on such a shoestring budget? I did what any mature, prudent and wise pastor would do, …I Prayed. The answer came back ……silent. After three (3) days of silence I knew what had to be done. I learned over the years that, many times, silence means you already have the answer, do what’s in your heart. So, I did. I hired her and her oldest son to work in the second-hand clothing store we had. She inspired people to give to the store as much as she inspired others to come and buy from the store. Soon afterwards, the one store we had turned into two, and then three. Within nine (9) months we had six (6) thrifty stores, and two corporate donors.
After attending our Church for a year, she and her family became members. For the first time in many years, after fellowshipping with the saints, she could see and hear Him. “Now I remember”, said Saint. “It was not just a dream”.