B-Street Women Stepping Out “4” Missions
Beginning in 2018, the B-Street Women, working with the BSUMC Missions and Outreach Commission, identified four ministries to support for the next two years. B-Street Women has been and will continue to support BSUMC Crisis Ministry, Circles, ZOE, and Serenity Place.
Each of the four focus areas offers strategic intervention to improve the lives of those they serve. Crisis Ministry responds to emergencies by helping a family remain in housing, lending a listening ear, and prayer. Circles is a friendship model of solidarity, in which volunteers partner with families as they develop the skills and connections they need to rise out of poverty. ZOE empowers children across the world to move beyond charity through creating their own businesses. Serenity Place transforms families at risk of collapse due to addiction.
Regardless of whether you barely have time to brush your teeth, or if your resources are stretched thin, B-Street Women has a place for you to serve or donate. Through our faith, we are called to love our neighbors and be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. These ministries are way to communicate God’s love for our neighbors in spiritual and tangible ways.
Additional details illustrate how the programs work. Each year about 120 mothers and children live on-site at Serenity Place for approximately six months while they pursue healing and stability. This is a local program that touches people in our geographic area. Circles is another program operating locally. During the first Circles cycle, a single mom in poverty became an entrepreneur, creating a home health business. Through her hard work and the support of her Circles allies, her business employs over 40 people to provide compassionate care in homes. ZOE touches people living in communities where most people live with less than two dollars a day. Fridah, who had become orphaned because of the AIDS epidemic, found herself responsible for three younger siblings ages 11, 9 and 7. After two years in the ZOE program, Fridah is experiencing great success with the hair salon business she started with a micro-loan from her ZOE group. Her consistent income has enabled her to repay the business loan with interest to the group, as well as pay back the money they loaned her to re-enroll her siblings in school. Right here at Buncombe Street, the Crisis Ministry meets needs at a critical moment in their lives. Following an icy day in Greenville, a young family showed up in the lobby, embarrassed to ask for help. The dad had been unable to work his construction job do to the bad weather, and one of his sons had been hospitalized and diagnosed with epilepsy. Through the help of BSUMC Crisis Ministry, this family was able to receive the help they needed to remain housed, rather than end up on the street.
With just these quick stories of each ministry, it is easy to see how the ministries are helping those in need. Yet, as we serve, sometimes we find that the individuals whose lives are being transformed our own. Judy Brown shares her experience in how she began to serve and how it has changed her life.
Judy’s Story in Her Own Words
My parents instilled in me the principle that there is a service requirement beyond our home. They always encouraged me and yes, sometimes threatened me, to be involved in church and community. Although volunteering is about giving back to the community, it is also a receiving experience. When I was approaching retirement, a question weighed on me about being a productive member in our community. Jerry Hill talked about the Circles program one day and that initiative really pulled at my heart strings.
Circles is all about providing the right tools and support to families so they can achieve economic stability. My volunteer experience with Circles began in 2015 and going into 2019 it has become my passion. Volunteering with Circles put me outside my comfort zone. It has given me an opportunity to meet people that would never have crossed my path (many are now dear friends) and I have learned to appreciate the barriers faced by many people in our community.
The blessing to my life from this experience is that it has deepened my relationship with God. Circles has shown me that by making a commitment to serve others, I am showing God my love and thanking Him for the many blessing He has provided to me.
As you prayerfully consider how you step out “4” missions in this upcoming year, we ask that you allow your service through faith to transform the lives of your neighbors and perhaps your own.