We all know them – Champions of the Faith – who press on toward the calling of God to bring hope, healing and transformation to the lives of others. Somebody Cares is blessed to partner with many of these Champions across the country and around the world. As we share a few stories from Somebody Cares New England, think about who YOU recognize as a Champion of the Faith and consider honoring them this Christmas through our Honor and Respect initiative.
To all Champions of the Faith: You bring honor to God through all you do each and every day, and are an amazing example to those around you!
I Will Feed A City Through You
When we desire to reach out, to be the hands and feet of Christ to the hurting and broken, the Lord shows Himself faithful to answer the cries of our hearts. Marlene Yeo, Director of Somebody Cares New England, learned this first hand. One day, she felt the Lord prompt her to “Get your eyes off of people and on to Me. Then I will feed a city through you”. So, in faith, she and her team prepared a room, shelves, and appliances, and got the necessary permits. But they had nothing to give the people. Marlene recounts, “We prayed and cried out to the Lord in the empty pantry. Within 1 hour a business man drove up in front of our building with a trunk full of groceries. Within the next few hours another business man placed a check for $500.00 in my hand for the pantry. Now every food pantry day, we always completely empty our shelves…only to miraculously see them refilled again! Freely we have received, and freely we give!”
In addition to stepping out in faith for provision to give to the needy, Somebody Cares New England has also seen great transformation in the personal lives of many that have come through their ministry; simply by standing in faith and loving well.
Kevin Legal*, a friend, had a brain bleed. The doctors performed an MRI and thought what they saw was a cancerous mass. In fact, an artery burst, and surgery was quickly scheduled. On the morning of the surgery a large group gathered together in one place, crying out to God for his life to be spared while on the phone with Kevin. He reported later, “I have never been impacted by such powerful prayer…I know it was what saved my life”. Kevin is alive to tell the story of God’s faithfulness today.
Flora, a single mother of an adopted Ugandan daughter, has pancreatic cancer. Her cancer treatments have given her $90,000 of debt. She has been bedridden for 2 months and is in constant, extreme pain. This means she is unable to work in caring for mentally challenged adults. Recently, SCNE went to her house to pray for her, and discovered she was losing her upper level apartment (where she housed her disabled clients) and had to consolidate into 4 rooms in the first floor apartment. Everything in the 2nd floor apartment had to be put in storage, which she had no strength or income to do. SCNE put out an emergency alert to rally the troops to care for this precious woman. The volunteers came, the move happened, and the need was met with a paid storage unit.
Marlene recounts, “My heart broke for this dear lady whom I have known and loved for 7 years. I so wanted to be here to help her, but I also had to trust Him. As my flight lifted off headed for Israel, I wiped the tears from my eyes and prayed, “Lord, You love Flora and you promised to provide for all her needs. Thank you Lord!”
These tangible, and powerful, expressions of God’s love in New England started in 1999, when Marlene saw a video about a community that had been transformed. She stepped out in faith and has seen how God moves tangibly in the lives of the people through willing vessels. Marlene explains that meeting Doug Stringer was key to helping her understand and mobilize her community to see God move in such remarkable ways. Marlene’s unquenchable, unrelenting faith has been instrumental in uniting people in Haverhill to pursuing others with the love of God.
Marlene told us that, “The crime rate has gone down, business is up, the church is coming together, the city is being blessed! I thank God for Somebody Cares, the Net that Works!”
Like Marlene, WE are grateful to be a part of something so much bigger than anything we could do alone. Through our partnerships with each of you, Champions of the Faith, a powerful, tangible Net That Works is expressing the love of Christ in communities far and wide! Thank you.