3371 Chattanooga Valley Road Flintstone GA 30725 706.820.2833

3371 Chattanooga Valley Road Flintstone GA 30725 706.820.2833

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mercy Ministry Conference in Chattanooga!

Enriching the Kingdom: the next step... going deeper. Taking mercy ministry to another level.

When: March 15-17 2012

Where: New City Fellowship. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Who: speakers include Amy Sherman, Steve Corbett, Randy Nabors, and many more!

Cost: $175 to register before March 1.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Training!

ADDC is co-sponsoring a training event with the United Way & Consumer Credit Counseling services to help nonprofit & church staff be more comfortable with financial literacy principles both for their own benefit and for knowing how to counsel clients.

When: Monday, November 7, 2011 – 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Where: New Covenant Fellowship Church, 1326 N. Moore Rd

Lunch is provided!

This event is appropriate for ministers and church leaders, church staff and laypeople, deacons and benevolence committee members – anyone involved with directly assisting those with financial difficulties.

To register or find out more information, click here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

CCDA Indianapolis 2011

Last week, Hope for NWGA was privileged to participate in the annual Christian Community Development Association conference in Indianapolis, IN. What a time we had! CCDA hosted workshops, networking and plenary sessions, and countless other activities. It was a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with and learn from fellow development workers.

Check out a few of the photos below:

Downtown Indianapolis

JW Marriott, where the conference was held

3000 in attendance!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saving Mary... Saving Nancy

There is a great article in The Chattanooga Times Free Press from September 18 entitled "Saving Mary". You should read it here before reading my comments on it!

I propose that the real title should be "Saving Mary... Saving Nancy," because the real story is not just about one woman who needed saving. It is a story about two women, both created in the image of God. Both women had the power to change one another. Both had value. But one woman had the power to change the circumstances of the other, while the later remained powerless if left on her own.

Nancy, the woman who sought to change the life of Mary, had her own struggles. She had a disease that many would say left them powerless, and yet she chose to stand up for a stranger, and fight for a woman no one would fight for. She didn't hand her $5 and wish her well. She didn't buy her a meal and go home feeling slightly better about herself. Instead, she chose to struggle daily to walk with a broken woman... until she had "fixed" what was broken. And she found that it wasn't just Mary who was broken. It was the system itself, the world, the people in it. At every turn, Nancy was met with frustrations and failures -and yet she didn't give up. She didn't say "this is asking too much of me" or "someone else could do this better." She made it her business to love recklessly.

And with that reckless love, she gained the trust of a broken woman who had completely lost her ability to trust. She gained the joy of giving without expecting anything in return, and the wonderful surprise of gaining a friend in the process. But she too was also "saved". The moment she chose to live for other than the all important self, she saved herself from... herself. Of course, as a believer in Jesus Christ, I would argue that true saving can only come through Him. (If we think we can save ourselves through saving others, we are in trouble!) Although it isn't clear in the article whether Nancy loved Jesus, it is clear that she grasped something rare that unfortunately, many of us Christians don't.

Nancy knew that 10% effort just would not cut it. She allowed Mary to become a part of her life... and did so not simply by compartmentalizing her life, but by inviting Mary into every facet of life. Yes, she gave financially, but she also gave of her time. She shared her gifts of management. She stood as a connector and advocate. She introduced Mary to her friends. She went forward, knowing that this would be a long-term relationship, and a taxing one at that. And lastly, she allowed Mary to have a place in her heart.

So let us applaud Nancy. But let us learn from her too. Could you do it? Could you open yourself to a Mary? To be honest with you, I'd have to say NO! Thanks be to God He has not left me to do this by my own power. (Philippians 4:13, Zechariah 4:6)