Kansas-Nebraska Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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God in Shoes Training
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God in Shoes Ministry - What it is Benefits of the God in Shoes Program God in Shoes - "Ladies' Free Spa Day"

Wichita God in Shoes - 2012 from Sue Carlson

 

“Good afternoon,
 I just wanted to share with you that the Spa day for the ladies left a big impact. Everyone who came out was full of joy and they first approached me showing off their new shoes that they were wearing. Then they talked about how much their children had a wonderful time and wanted to come back again.
 
They told me that they were treated with so much respect and noticed how prayers were offered as an option. One comment that stood out is that they wish their churches would do the same to others in the community to show that they care for them.
 
For those who know Zainab Al-Baaj, she is our Middle East North Africa Hope project coordinator. She invited some of the clients that she assists and they all told her that they had a wonderful experience. They want to thank you all for God in Shoes ministry. She was there herself and says that she could feel the presence of God and she bragged about her new shoes as well that she was wearing.
 
May God bless everyone who participated in one way or another.”
 
Tom Randa, Executive Director
Good Neighbor Community Center
Lincoln, Nebraska




Asked to be a presenter for "God In Shoes", I wasn't sure what to expect.  I had only heard little bits and pieces of what  the program was about.  After praying about what to present, I felt the impression to modify my Masters' Thesis into a presentation for our God In Shoes program.   The night came for my presentation and with USB in hand, I downloaded it onto the laptop and poured my heart into my speech, "Helping Your Kids Make the Grade; Keys to Success."  Never in a hundred years did I expect to receive what was coming next!  After the program, the mother of one of my student's parents was walking toward me with another lady who had been attending the program and had been listening to my presentation.  She told me how much she enjoyed it and how she wanted her two grandchildren to go to my school and be their teacher.  Flattered, I smiled and dismissed it completely.  A week later, I was shocked when she and the same mother came to the school for a visit with her two grandchildren!  Well, long story short, they have been attending my school for a year now.  Did I "wow" her with my eloquent speech and fancy graphics?  Of maybe it was electric personality?  There's only one answer and it has nothing to do with me at all.  I thought God would allow me to present to a bunch of people I didn't know and then go back to my comfortable classroom and continue life as usual.  But no!  God brought someone to me so that I can practice what I preach!  Every morning, at my school, there are two students with the cutest smiles on their faces and a grandmother with tears of joy in her eyes that her grandchildren can walk into my school, greeted with a happy "Hello!" and feel like they are a worthy part of my day.  God In Shoes?  For two special students and a grandmother, I was their "God In Shoes!"  Do I have it all figured out and perfected? No, but God does and I don't have to worry about all the details.  I just accept what He gives me to work with!!

Gina Harvey, Grand Island Platte Valley Adventist School




 

Love beyond Language

The young boy shook his head violently in opposition.  ”He’s not going in there,” the adult helper informed Josephina.  ”I was just bringing him out here to play with you guys in hopes he would be happier.  Are yousure you can’t stay outside with him longer?” she asked hopefully as the group of kids headed into the room for a snack.  She watched Josephina’s face for an answer, then hesitatingly added, “Oh, and, uhh… he doesn’t speak any English.”

Josephina’s thoughts scrambled for an alternate solution.  There was another helper who spoke Spanish. Why couldn’t he watch this boy? Why was the question being directed toward her? But the Spanish-speaking helper was mentally exhausted from dealing with the last child that had been left to his care and had long-since disappeared into the building. Josephina stood looking at her newest charge.  ”Sure. I’ll stay outside with him.”

His name tag said Eric. He only mildly responded to Josephina’s attempts at broken Spanish. “Eric – carro!  Vroom, vroom!” she said, running her hand back and forth across the hot sidewalk she sat on, hoping to inspire Eric to play with the toy car he clutched in his hands.   The sound of a far-away train caught his attention instead. His tears stopped and he looked into the distance, searching for the unseen train. “Oh, what is the word for ‘train’ in Spanish?” Josephina fretted to herself. “Why didn’t I internalize my Spanish class more in college?” She groaned inwardly with helplessness.

Utilizing her Dora the Explorer skills, Josephina convinced Eric to “Vamonos!” with his car over to the grassy knoll.  After watching a tractor move pallets between the empty fair ground buildings, the two began a game of tossing the ball.  ”Uno, dos, tres! Wheee!” and Eric threw a ball as high as he could into the air. The two repeated the play innumerable times.

Josephina sat on the dry, prickly grass and continued to fret internally. “God,” she said. “I came to witness for You.  I wanted to tell others of Your loving kindness. I wanted to bring hope to the hopeless. And, Lord, here I sit with a boy who understands nothing I say. God, I can’t even remember how to say ‘Jesus loves you’ in Spanish. I’m sorry for not studying ahead, God. But I never dreamed I would need Spanish today. Lord, send Your Spirit to translate for me. I pray, Lord, that my English words will fall on his ears as Spanish.”

“Eric,” she spoke aloud. “Jesus loves you.” No miracle occurred. Eric stood motionless holding the soft ball, distracted by the far-off train.  He then turned to talk to Josephina. He spoke so quickly she could not understand anything the child had said. “I don’t know,” she responded. Eric again spoke, full of questions, this time asking something about his mother.  ”I don’t know,” was all Josephina could say.  Now the boy rubbed his eyes as if rubbing the tears away before they could spill onto his cheeks. Josephina felt sad for the boy and sad for the situation. She knew she had no words to speak to comfort the boy. So she sang. She sang “Jesus Loves Me”, ashamed that after all her mission trips she could not produce the song in Spanish. She sang “With Jesus in the Family, happy, happy home,” and wondered what Eric’s home was like. Eric came and stood by her now.  She reached her hand out and touched his shoulder. He fell into her arms. His head on her shoulder, he cried. She continued softly singing. “There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place…”  The words didn’t matter. She knew he wouldn’t know if she got them wrong. So she kept gently singing and slightly rocking the crying, young boy. Soon his body relaxed, and his hands and feet began to twitch. He slept.

Josephina knew the boy was too big for her to carry. And the room inside was too noisy for him to sleep. So there she sat. She and the boy. On the dry, prickly grass.  She talked to her God aloud now. She prayed for the boy’s home. For his mom. For his security and safety. For people to be present in his life who can show him love. For his teachers. For his friends and influences. For his future wife. For the challenges that face a youngster in this world. And most of all, for his walk with his loving Heavenly Father.

Josephina relaxed into her role and smiled to the One who knows all.  His sense of humor is so keen. He knew her love and devotion for Him. He also knew the plans she had for the day. And He knew she needed to learn again her witnessing needs to be all and only about Him and where He leads – not about her plans and efforts. She is an instrument. Not the Band Director. She is pottery. Not the Potter. She is a pitcher. Not the Water. She is a reflector. Not the Light. Her plans need to beHis plans, not her plans.

God in shoes

Forty-five minutes later relief came with a blanket to lay the boy on.  The other volunteer offered to sit with the boy since the group needed Josephina’s help with the other kids. She hesitated, now connected to the boy and not wanting him to awake and feel frightened. Shortly after, a messenger came telling her it was her turn to work in the adults’ room.  She felt humbled that her God would trust her to be His reflector, relying on The Light. She looked back at the sleeping form on the blanket, thanking God for the discipline He had provided her that day. She had come to bless others, but instead had been blessed herself. And isn’t that the way God always works?

Author’s note: I am Josephina. The name is penned due to my self-recognized propensity to dream big dreams. Unlike Joseph of the Bible, it appears my dreams are self-inspired.  But praise God, He still works with me. He is a good God.