where love is alive 

A few weeks back we had the opportunity to serve a sweet lady in town through Ocoee Outreach.  If you aren’t aware of what Ocoee Outreach (O2) is, it is a local ministry that shares the love of Christ to less fortunate people through the means of home repair.  It is a wonderful ministry that we have in our community in large part because of two church members I have a lot of respect for: Michelle McCluskey and Steve Roper.  I respect them a lot because they loved on me when I was an 18-year-old passing through the BCU at Cleveland State.  However, the bigger reason that I hold them in such high regard is because there was a time when they heard God’s voice to do something quite crazy and start a ministry in Cleveland called Ocoee Outreach!  It’s a beautiful story of how it all happened that would be told much better by either of them- so if you see them, ask them to tell you how it started!  Fast forward some 25 years later and O2 is still going strong.  The ministry currently is operated out of our local association of churches (Crossnet Baptist Network) and championed by my friend Randy Bonner.  Over my tenure at NCBC, we have completed multiple O2 projects that we are all very proud of. I remember a home we did where a husband was taking care of his bedridden wife.  She passed away just a few weeks later.  Last year we served a lady that was in her 90’s, whose house had been damaged by the Easter Tornadoes.  I remember showing up at one house to build a wheelchair ramp and the lady that lived there turned out to be the mother of a guy I was friends with during Jr. High School.  I have a pair of work pants that probably has ten different paint colors on them from different houses our students have painted.  Over the years, we have built multiple wheelchair ramps, roofed several houses, and put a lot of paint on houses (most of which went where it was supposed to go!).  I’m certain that all these homeowners were blessed by the students of NCBC.  But as almost always happens in these projects, it’s the participants that somehow are blessed more than the homeowner. It’s a touch ironic as that is not what you ever expect to happen, and yet it happens on almost every O2 project, mission project elsewhere and especially on the international mission field.  The person taking the message of hope ends up being the one with the biggest blessing!  It’s a mystery of God that I often forget and am surprised every time it happens. 

This past project was no different.  Mrs. Linda was blessed with a new roof and a beautiful new paint job.  She thanked us all week long and always had the warmest smile on her face.  But in those moments, the magic happened, and we were the ones that received the blessing.  May there be MANY more mission projects in our future and may there be many more Michelle McCluskey’s and Steve Roper’s out there willing to take a chance and follow God’s call!

In His Service,

       Jason

 

 

 

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