It is a principle that's repeated often at LifeNet Church: “Church doesn't just happen on Sundays. We are the church.” I was able to experience just what that means shortly after I relocated to Belmopan in August 2022 and LifeNet became my home church. I got involved with the Young Adults Group, and at my first meeting, I met Ebony. She was so welcoming, and whenever I said something to her, she would engage me, making me feel included. Afterwards, she would always greet me at church. One day at Young Adults, I was talking to her about missing home and how much I longed to eat a home-cooked meal. Without hesitating, she said I should come to her house for lunch someday. She didn’t mention a date, but I was excited about the idea. Then came the day. It was a Sunday, and Ms. Ivory, her mom, drove us home from church.
As soon as I walked through the door, I felt at peace. Most importantly, I felt at home. Ms. Ivory was so welcoming; she had prepared shake and bake chicken with rice and beans and a salad. Finally, food cooked by a mom! Someone who reminded me of the joy I felt eating the food that my mom would cook. Ms. Ivory cooked differently from my mom, but motherhood is a universal language, and as a young woman longing for my mom, I felt that motherly love in her house and her cooking. The food was delicious, and from the many different flavors, I knew she had started preparing it well in advance. We spent the afternoon talking about life and sharing a little bit about the great things God had done or was doing in our lives. This wouldn’t be my last afternoon at their house; it was only the beginning. They had agreed to help me move into my new apartment, and when the time came, they even put together some household items for me.
This was an answer to prayer because I didn’t have anything house-related. All I had were two suitcases and a heart filled with dreams.
Fast forward to January of this year when my life was at a low point. Ebony and Ms. Ivory opened their doors to me even more. I spent every Sunday after church at their house. My soul was crushed, but just being with them made me feel like I could get through life and that my circumstances weren’t going to drown me. They kept me in their prayers and checked in to make sure I was okay. They were both faithful listeners, even when I kept talking about the same subject over and over. My life kept going through a process, and they continued to be an important support system. I spent my first birthday in Belmopan, and they celebrated with me as guests at my birthday dinner.
They were ministering to my soul without even knowing it.
Ebony is so smart and well-spoken, and I admire the way she speaks about God and all the things he has done for her. She knew when I needed more help, and she got me into biblical counseling, which helped me get started on my healing journey. On the way to healing, another friend suggested that I start writing, which I did. But I knew that I needed some guidance, and I also knew I needed to brush up on my grammar skills. That was when I turned to Ms. Ivory, who is a seasoned writer, teacher, and published author. She is also someone who takes the time to understand people as individuals. I remember spending a windy, rainy afternoon at her house, going through some clothes, and talking about how life was going. As our conversation progressed, I started asking questions about writing. Listening to her responses, I started developing a greater interest in writing. She suggested that I use writing as a healing tool: to sometimes write for myself and not necessarily for others to read. Since that conversation, I have written several different articles, then I went on to write devotionals, and now this story.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” This verse speaks to me because of the way Ms. Ivory and Ebony are constantly finding ways to help me improve my life. They are always there for me when I ask for help.
My life has also been greatly blessed by others at LifeNet Church. For example, Ms. Doreth, who always makes time to encourage me and pray with me. And Jonathan and Earl, who patiently mentored me when I signed up to serve on the Production Team. At first, I was nervous. But they were always very encouraging. They still are, as I continue to become better and better when I'm the one behind the computer on a Sunday morning. God does a great job of bringing people into our lives when we need them the most.
We can all make a difference in people’s lives. Sometimes all it takes is opening your heart or home to a stranger and allowing God to use you to minister to them. Because church doesn't just happen on Sundays. We are the church.
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