2 years ago a woman came to see me in our Grace location. She had an idea and a passion but wasn’t sure what to do with it. We had a conversation and I just listened to what God was placing in her heart. About 1 ½ years later, Cindy visited me in the Oak Street location. Now the idea was a little more defined. We actually worked on another project together, a kids microloan initiative. A couple of days ago Cindy texted me with a picture and said, “A ministry I am volunteering with is going to be making this. Are you interested?” You are darn right I am!
What was the dream God gave Cindy? Her heart was for those displaced, refugees from different countries who were coming to make a better life for their kids. God placed a gift in Cindy. She loved art. How could she take what God placed in her heart and use it with her love of art? She volunteers at Caterpillar Ministries. They go into a specific mobile home community in Huntersville North Carolina and love on the kids. They teach them art and share the love of Christ. What they didn’t know was that this was the gateway for relationships with their moms. The moms needed something to do. This was the start of their income generating project. What if they taught the moms how to create and run a business?
What did Cindy show me? Beautiful wooden signs. Customer after customer come into The Marketplace and try to scale our walls and purchase our displays! They love the signs that we create. People- those are not for sale! Caterpillar Ministries is going to meet this need. We won’t have these wooden signs until the end of September, but I wanted to share. What do you guys think?
For me, this has been a fun process of watching someone discover their calling. It’s almost like watching a caterpillar become a butterfly. It’s truly been watching a metamorphosis. I love watching a God Story unfold! Be warned people- I started as a volunteer helping Jacaranda Creations in Nairobi Kenya. Now The Marketplace partners with 70 ministries in 24 countries.
I have traveled around the world, literally. The one thing that remains the same is that when my foot hits American soil and the customs agent says, "Welcome home!" I thank God that I am an American. Many times we take for granted all the liberty and freedom we have. As we celebrate our country's independence, remember that it came at a cost. Please take time today to pray and give thanks to all who gave in order for us to have our freedom.
How many times does God give us an assignment that we are not qualified to do? The world tries to convince us unless we have the experience, training, and follow a proven formula, we will fail before we start. But what I love about God assignments is that He knows you better than you know yourself. And here is the best part, He wants you to succeed. The hardest part? You gotta quit struggling and shut the self-doubt out long enough to hear your directives. When He gives you an assignment, He will be there to direct you. Will it be hard? Yep. Will there be sacrifices? You know it. I am the poster child of the unqualified. I have never run a store, a ministry, a fashion truck, or a webstore. I have no experience designing displays or products for that matter. I chose a store front in the community that everyone said was a “horrible location.” People told me this was impossible and “I would fail.” Yes- that’s what they said to my face. I shut their voices out and concentrated on the one voice that mattered. Today The Marketplace is in 24 countries working with 68 ministries. Is it because I am THAT good? Nope- it’s because He is that good!
Who are you going to listen to, the world or the one who created you? As you head into the week, start to believe who God is telling you YOU ARE. Have a great week guys!