As I've wrestled with the American Church and wondered how much of it is what God really intends, I've come to believe that there are two necessary ingredients which come from the first Christians.
The first is sold-out service, or radical giving of ourselves to those who are hurting, the subject of another post for another day.
The second is community. We need to encourage and support each other as we live out our lives of service to others.
I have never experienced community like we have experienced it during our journey to Victor Noah.
The first time we stepped out in faith, many in our faith community turned on us. They questioned why we were doing what we were doing. We struggled in an environment where the leaders around us didn't ask, "How can we support you as you follow God's call?" They weren't excited to see where God would lead. Instead they got angry and others followed suit. Looking back, it was a time of tremendous growth and leaning on Christ but in the moment it was the most difficult time in my life. I also believe it was necessary to go through that in preparation for the journey we are now on. It was moving higher on the ladder of giving Christ total control and trusting His ways even though we can't see the outcome.
This time, when we stepped out of the boat, the response has been the total opposite. While a few have questioned our actions, it was done lovingly and with a desire to understand where God is moving. The support has been overwhelming. We have experienced Community with a capital C.
Each member of our supporting Community has acted out of his/her strengths, gifts, and availability. Some brought meals, some provided transportation, some donated money, and some cleaned. Others taught lessons, donated services, or threw in a load of laundry.
And you prayed. I hope that in Heaven we can "see" the power of all of these prayers. We have felt them, we have seen evidence of them, and someday I'd love to know them from God's perspective.
But then the call came to fast. And again, the Community rose up to support us. And for some of you, this fast is bringing trials that you certainly didn't ask for. Yesterday's post brought numerous Facebook and email messages. Satan is doing his best to block this fast. He has tried to block this little boy's life from the very beginning but prayer has allowed him to be victorious and to amaze. But that's not just Victor's story; it's your story, too. God has great plans for your life. You are here to let His glory be known. Fasting is drawing you closer to Him and Satan does not like it. Press on.
And now I have one more request from the Community. The vision therapist was here today and talked about different toys and repurposed items that will be useful in developing Victor's tactile and auditory senses. She mentioned a quilt of various textured materials from silky to rough, from knobby to smooth. I have some textured fabrics but I'd love more. I could spend money to buy some but I'd rather not. I'd love to have donations from any of my sewing and crafty friends so that Victor's quilt is not just textures to feel but representative of the love of the Community. I don't need much, just a swatch big enough to cut out a 6 in. square. Color doesn't matter; the texture is key. What fabric do you have left-over from that creative project? Anything other than cotton calico fabric. Ribbons, too. Pieces long enough to make hooks for him to hold and to explore. Bring them on! Let's make Victor a Community Quilt!