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God’s Closet
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On January 30, 2013, a tornado hit the area where I live. The twister tore a swath across two counties in northwestern Georgia. Fortunately only one life was lost, but one life lost is always too much. Hospitals mended many injuries. Almost 600 homes and buildings were destroyed or severely damaged.

As is often the case, out of the ashes rises a phoenix. In this case, the phoenix provided an idea that formed in one young mother’s mind. “Clothes will be needed, especially for the children,” she surmised. She set to work to see that those who lost their clothes closets got new ones.

Almost two years previously, a tornado hit an area 45 minutes from where I live, in north Georgia and up into south Tennessee. Jessi, whose daily prayer is to do something for the Lord, organized women from her church women’s ministry group to transport and distribute clothes in that area. She saw first-hand the great need met through the generosity of individuals. It seemed similar to the experience of the five loaves and two fishes that fed more than 5,000 recorded in the Bible, and still twelve baskets of leftovers! The abundance of leftover clothes found storage in their town in case of another disaster—one that came too soon.

More Abundance

The cache of stored clothes provided a basis for what she and many other volunteers helped distribute “at home” this time. However, more than the stored cache was given to families because more donations poured in with both gently used and brand-new clothes, household items, and toys. The fellowship hall at their church became a distribution center. In two days, volunteers gave clothing and prayers to more than 200 people, whose closets were blown away. One of those days was Valentine’s Day, which meant a great deal to the victims, especially the children, as their eyes lit up when they saw the toys. Like the early Christians who were of one heart and one soul, the church members responded in kind by sharing, “….neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common” (Acts 5:5).

A Visionary

However, beyond those two days, Jessi saw further: a need for the church to provide clothing to people in need at other times. Not having decent clothing to wear to school can seem like a major crisis to a child. Jessi knew that her children would be embarrassed if they had to wear ragged clothes. She didn’t want to see other kids wear them either. That’s when the wings of the phoenix rose yet higher with Jessi’s prayer of doing something for the Lord, and a new ministry of the church, God’s Closet, was launched. Now a band of volunteers, including, Jessi, will see smiles and hear voices of appreciation from those who can hang decent clothing in their personal closets.  

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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