A Bag of Groceries

What a difference a bag of groceries can make!  For most of us, the food we have in our cabinets is so abundant we don’t even use it all.  Our pantries have cans and jars that have probably been there quite a while. It’s hard to even imagine a kitchen where the cabinets sit totally empty, and there aren’t even half-used bottles of oil or ketchup in a corner somewhere.

This month, we received a call from a woman who has formerly been in prostitution and has been a part of our ministry for a while. To my knowledge she has not committed her life to Christ, although she comes to all of our Bible studies and every program we offer.  She’s got some learning difficulties and struggles to read the Bible, but we’ve been working with her in a social work capacity as well, to fill out her legal documents and municipal paperwork here in Spain.  

groceries - arielrainey.com

She called to say that she was out of food.  Completely.  Not a bottle of oil, nor a package of pasta or rice remained in her home, and she has two sons in her household, too.  Thanks to the generosity of our church, we had some imperishable items stocked up, but I also went to the grocery store to “complete” the  donation for her family.  

It blessed me to be able to help her for two reasons: one, in her time of need, she knew who to call.  She trusted us and believed we’d help her, and of course, in the name of Jesus, we did.  The love and the certainty that she feels for our TPC women led her to reach out in her time of desperation, and she came to meet me with a rolling cart, which couldn't even hold all we gave her.  She ended up with extra bags to carry, too.  That’s the love of Jesus we want to demonstrate: His abundant life, His more-than-enough provision.  

The second reason it meant so much to me is the profound heart change that it represents. For most of the women we work with, when they have a financial need, they simply turn to prostitution.  They know that they can go out on the street for an hour or two and get some quick cash, and most of them have a hard time breaking that dependency cycle.  For her to choose NOT to resolve the problem in the same old way shows a great improvement in her own standards.  I believe Jesus is showing her the correct way to live, and her choice to resolve the situation by reaching out to TPC shows great advancement in her lifestyle.  

Our social worker is continuing to meet with her, to help her receive government aid for her children and even to find jobs that will fit her time schedule with her children.  We’ve got a long way to go with her, but by God’s grace, I see the steps she’s taking so far to trust TPC to help her in better choices.  I believe the groceries were just a first step, just a small investment in the ultimate plan that God has for her life