As I stated in TB#1, my list will include the things that I've been so thankful for that I've been brought to tears.
Today I am reminded, as I wait in the realm of the unknown about my future with the New Image Thrift Store, how thankful I am that God has allowed me to use the gifts He has given me to start and be a part of a ministry that has filled a void in our community for over 5 years now. I tear up at times when I reflect on the people I have had the privilege of befriending that I may have never "rubbed shoulders with" had we not started the New Image Thrift Store (formerly known as "The Light").
Our mission at the New Image is to find innovative ways to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals and families in rural Woodbury county and surrounding counties in Iowa. I love this ministry so much I don't have to look at the mission statement to copy it down, it is truly a part of me. Off the top of my head, for the most part, I can give you some pretty accurate stats about whatever you'd like to know from the number of families we have visited with in the past 9 months (98 families, approx 270 people) to the dollar amount of free items that have been given away in the past 2 years (approx $15,000 worth). Although my involvement has been more or less at different times, my heart is at the store every Saturday morning from 9am - noon.
If you've never had the privilege of visiting the store, I can only tell you the atmosphere that is created by the volunteers and the guests who come to see us is absolutely contagious. I am so thankful to those who have chosen to open up their lives to let us in enough to pray with them and check-in on how they are doing each week. I am thankful to be part of a ministry that takes "hearing the Word" to "doing the Word" seriously. The fellowship, worship, and unity is stronger there than many Sunday morning services I've been a part of in the past. As my time there may be coming to an end, I can't help but shed tears of thankfulness for God allowing me to be part of something so great.