Eighteen months ago it seemed like a pretty simple concept.
- Pregnant teens needed a home
Logically speaking when you see a problem you search for the solution. This one seemed like a no-brainer.
I honestly couldn’t figure out why I seemed to be the only one to see the solution. I’m a fairly intelligent woman but not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. As each month passes it’s pretty clear now why nobody wanted to touch this one. As each month passes the stacks of papers, regulations, applications, policies, procedures, licenses, requirements grows exponentially. The budget is nowhere near what we originally thought. We have to convince a whole heck of a lot of people that what we are doing is a good thing. And now we found out we have to have a parking lot.
A Parking Lot? Really?
All we want to do is help those in need
And that, is exactly what we are going to do.
Are you ready to dig in with us? Are your knees ready for some bruised up prayer time? Are your knuckles ready to be bloodied as we climb the side of this cliff?
We have a tough road ahead but it’s necessary.
Are you in?
Leave us a comment below to tell us. Thanks!
2 Corinthians 4:8
The Message (MSG)
7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side;
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And you thought
forgot what I was doing…
A couple of weeks ago I started this series on Nehemiah and how the re-building of the wall relates to the Building of The Nest for The Sparrow’s Nest. I bet you thought I wasn’t devoted to finishing this series. But…
In Chapter 4 of Nehemiah we read Nehemiah and the people were facing great opposition to the rebuilding of the wall. But despite the frustration and distractions verse 6 tells us they “rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”
We’re getting into that time of year when we’re distracted by really good wholesome things, not at all like the evil Nehemiah faced. But Fall is starting, college football is in full swing, kids soccer is every weekend, and all those holidays are coming. With all that being said, we have fabulous momentum going. This is the time, just like Nehemiah, to put our noses to the grindstone and get the Nest built. This is the time to constantly be putting the word out, to be creative in our planning and implementation, and to give sacrificially to this ministry.
So, you may have thought I had forgotten about writing this series. But I’ll reply rather snarkily in a biblical manner:
I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.
Why should the work stop…” Nehemiah 6:3
This is the time to fully devote ourselves. Just as Nehemiah and the wall builders devoted themselves to building a legacy that would last generations, we need to devote ourselves to this work. Just as Nehemiah and the wall builders devoted themselves to hard work despite financial and provisional struggles, we need to devote ourselves to finding every resource available to Build The Nest
And just like Nehemiah and the wall builders stated as recorded in Nehemiah 5:16 “Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall.” We need to state:
We devote ourselves to the work of building the nest for The Sparrow’s Nest.
Can we count on you? Are you devoted?
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I don’t want you to forget.
I don’t want you to forget what the point is. What the reality is in our community.
Our calendar is filling up with events and fundraisers and these are important and necessary things. We really want you a part of these things so we can become fully funded by the end of the year.
But don’t forget why we need to be fully funded.
There are unborn babies who need us to fight for them. There are pregnant teens scared out of their minds that we need to comfort and protect. There’s a future for both in Christ that we need to help direct.
We will have a great time at these events. I know I can count on you to be extrodinarily generous. But we can’t lose sight of why we are here.
We are here to walk hand in hand with a young woman and her unborn baby. We are here to make a sure a difficult situation doesn’t go from bad to worse. We are here to minister to hurting young women. We are here to lift up The Least, The Lost, and The Lonely to our Father.
Priests to Perfume Makers
Nehemiah 3: 8-9 Uzziel son of Haraiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hanaiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that.
One of the most fascinating things to me about this passage is the diversity of the workers. Nehemiah inspired priests, goldsmiths, rulers of other districts, countrymen, and even a perfume maker to rebuild the wall . He cast such a vision that anyone with a heartbeat and hands could make a difference and significantly contribute. The passage that caught me up is found in Chapter 4 of Nehemiah. Verse 19 says Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
This resonated so strongly for me. Our volunteers and workers mostly work independently. We don’t have central location for every one to gather and meet, to hear the trumpet when they are attacked, or scared, or overwhelmed. But these are not things to hold us back. We have a common goal . We have common timeline. We have a common passion. We come from all walks of life. All levels of education. Gifts and talents and every sort of personality marks the identity of our phenomenal volunteer force. God has brought together a unique group of individuals into his vision for The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home.
Our tasks are spread out of a large time span. But I want our volunteers, our own wall builders to know that even though the work is extensive and spread out that you are doing an incredible work. Especially this coming fall, we have some tasks before us, primarily fully funding this vision, and YOU are key! You are building your legacy in your own Jerusalem just as Nehemiah did in 500 B.C.
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Do you remember when your toddler was learning to build with blocks? They would take those 2 or 3 blocks with those little mitten hands and try over and over again to stack them up successfully. During the process they would undoubtedly get frustrated when the blocks would fall over. They might eventually throw them or trying to push down even harder to get them to stay stacked. The irony is the pure joy they get in knocking them down again themselves. 🙂
My heart was drawn to a different type of building this morning. God drew me into Nehemiah. He’s been whispering parts of this story to me for a year and I’ve only read and studied it bits and pieces. This morning I read its entirety and God has brought me to my knees.
The parallels between Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and our building The Sparrow’s Nest are obvious. But I just wanted to share a few points that God specifically showed me this morning.This week I’ll share a 4 part series over what God gave me from Nehemiah.
1. Prayer : It seems so obvious. But Nehemiah gives us the example at every start, every turn, every adversary, every thanksgiving to pray to God .
Nehemiah 1:10-11 They are your servants and your people, who you have redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. O, Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
Nehemiah’s heart had been broken by the despair of his people. Nehemiah knew this would be a huge undertaking . Building the wall again would not be a popular project. Nehemiah also understood he would need the support of powerful people. But the very first thing Nehemiah did was to ask God for forgiveness before favor. When Nehemiah was given the opportunity to ask permission of King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah quickly first prayed to God and then answered the King. When the opposition was in full force against rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah and his men prayed to God and made preparations to meet the threat.
I believe with all my heart in the power of prayer. I also believe we will not be successful in this endeavor without on-going, consistent, bold prayers. Just as Nehemiah did, we need support from powerful people, we need guidance and direction in our decision making, and we will need prayer warriors posted at our doors to protect the young women and those precious babies.
The next 120 days are a critical part of our history. My instinct is to get through the fall and start wrapping things down for the holidays. But God has always had a different plan. I believe God has some incredible wall building coming down the pipe this quarter and I challenge you to boldly pray what your role will be in this endeavor. I ask you to pray for generosity in spirit, time, and money. I ask you to boldly pray for protection, guidance, and direction. YOUR prayers will determine our steps.
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I want you to get out your calendar. Because 364 days from today you will be sitting on the lawn of The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home no doubt sweating, drinking lemonade, eating ice cream sundaes, and listening to incredible live music as we celebrate the opening of The Sparrow’s Nest.
Can you just see it? Can you feel the excitement of that day? Can you imagine the faces of our neighbors? Can you see the face of the first girl walking through our doors?
But I can’t tell you the location yet. I can’t tell you the time. But I don’t want you to just hang. I need you to MOVE.
We have so much to accomplish in the next 12 month and we need all the help we can get. And I have to admit my fragility as an Executive Director. I cannot physically do this without you. I can’t be everywhere meeting with everyone that needs to be met. I can’t fill out every single piece of paper and file every license we need to get going. If this all falls on me we’ll miss the opportunity. We won’t be able to help as fast.
I need you to feel the urgency for efficiency and productivity. I need you to have the desire to build a quality organization based on biblical foundations. I need you to get fired up and answer the question “What Needs to Be Done?”
This isn’t sitting on the sidelines cheering us on. This is getting in, learning a lot. getting your hands dirty, leaping in and getting this thing done. This isn’t the time to worry about your age, or your money, or any other excuse. This is not waiting on me but it’s you rallying your community. It’s you getting the word out to your small group, your neighbors, your friends, your family and saying “this is what is going on, I think you might be the right person to help or to spear head this action.”
But this also isn’t the time to sit back and say this isn’t my gift or talent. Maybe this is the time when you answer that question that has been nagging your heart, “I want to do more, I’m just not sure what it is…” Maybe this is the time not to fall on your natural abilities but it’s time to take a leap of faith with us and say “Lord, I don’t know what you’re doing to me but I trust you. Use me however you see fit even if it’s something I’ve never done before.”
Grow with us. Make an impact with us. There will be time next year to sit back and enjoy that glass of lemonade. Now it the time to MOVE.
Call me at 636-336-2534 or email email@example.com to volunteer. Let’s talk about what you can do.
Image by m.gifford via Flickr
If you are looking for a place to plug in this is the week to jump feet first. We have one happening schedule!
Join our Golf Tournament Planning Committee tonight 6:30 p.m. Bread Co Clarkson/40. Do you know more of golf than what Wii can teach? We need help planning our inaugural Sparrow Scramble for this fall. We need help securing sponsorships, promotion, marketing, and registration.
Tuesday 5:30 p.m. 5K Debriefing/Planning Meeting Email Carissa at firstname.lastname@example.org for location. We’ll be processing the success of this year’s 5K race with Bridgeway and starting to plan next year’s event.
Thursday 6:30 p.m. Meadows Pkwy Early Childhood Center Board Meeting. Curious how a non profit operates? So are we. Our board meetings are always open especially if you feel you have the passion, leadership, and experience to guide a fledgling organization .
And of course there’s this little matter of GIVE WINGS 30K in 30 DAYS. We are in our final week and we currently stand at just about $22,000. We have 8 days to raise the rest of our goal. If you’ve been holding out to see how close we get I would encourage you to donate today at http://www.thesparrowsneststl.org or snail mail to The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home ATTN: Book Keeper 911 Hampshire Heath Dr. O’Fallon, MO 63368