Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Every week we are challenged to write about something on Holley Gerth's website as part of our God Sized Dream Team. This week we are to write about someone who has 'gone before us', who's story encourages us.
Mine is about my friend Rachel O'Neill (Ok, so the truth is, I know her, we don't hang out of anything, but I consider her a friend, and a sister :) and certainly someone I aspire to be like!!!)
It starts with a pillowcase.
And if I remember correctly, she can’t sew.
That’s how I know God is in it.
Her name is Rachel. She started this amazing organization called “little dresses for Africa” (LDFA)
She doesn’t just send dresses, she sends hope (straight from her website). And it certainly has become more than dresses. Hope is big!
I’m overwhelmed by her joy. I’m sure there are moments when she gets tired of asking for help, especially on the days when no one shows up. I’m sure she gets tired as she unloads box after box of dresses, but you’d never know it by spending time with her. She’s always asking for something, because children always need something. And yet when she asks, it’s not out of desperation or obligation, it is out of love and trust, knowing that God will deliver.
I remember the first time I ever heard of LDFA, my daughter’s amazing life group leaders decided to have a sleepover and move The Kingdom forward. I think they might have been in 9th grade, and her AMAZING life group leader jones’d them up on caffeine and I think they made 25 dresses (the gift my daughter has for sewing pays off again and again). What a great idea!
I wondered how Rachel ever came up with it… well, she didn’t, it was God’s vision for her life. And she lives out that vision in amazing ways! I’m telling you, the joy this woman has! I want that!
I talked to her on Sunday as she was selling donuts to, of course, raise money for the team going to Africa this summer! (two of my former “kids” are going!! I’m so excited for them!) because sometimes I get so overwhelmed with this crazy vision of a community center that God has gifted me with. I said “I don’t think I’m big enough to do this”, Rachel’s simple but loving response something like: well, then that’s perfect because you aren’t, but God is. Truer words were never spoken.
I wish you could see her, and this vision she has to go, go make disciples, go love children, go love families, GO!
So Rachel, I’d like to say thank you! Thank you for living out the vision that God has set before you, so that those of us who watch in awe, see the love that you have for Jesus, the love He has for you, and the love that He has for those near and far. Thank you for allowing us to see Jesus in a real and tangible, ginormous way! Thank you for allowing so many of us, to walk beside you, learn from you, live Jesus with you. It’s an honor and its inspiring.
Rachel, I loveyou, and I’m thankful for you!
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.