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Serve and Be Blessed

It’s Giving Depot time of the year. The Giving Depot means different things to different people. For me it always means an opportunity to serve and share Christ’s love with our Rise Up! students, watching their faces light up with joy as they shop for family members and anticipate their excitement on Christmas morning as their gifts are opened.

The Giving Depot is an annual event hosted by Grace Fellowship Church that allows Rise Up! children to earn "giving bucks" through positive behavior and in turn purchase gifts that have been donated by generous GFC members. I have always made it a priority during the busy Christmas season to be a part of this event, which is now in its 12th year. Last year was no different. I signed up to be a shopping partner, which is one of my favorite things to do since I can personally walk alongside a child and guide them through their purchasing process and shopping experience. Their own sweet personalities come to life as some make quick decisions while others have to ponder for quite some time. Sounds easy, right? Well, last year God had other plans for me.

I didn’t go out looking for it, but a particular need came knocking on my door. GFC needed a volunteer to oversee the entire Shopping Partner area. So do I decide to stick with what's familiar and commit to a small amount of time and effort or do I allow God to stretch me a bit to a much larger task? Needless to say, I said yes and was very glad I did. It not only afforded me the opportunity to meet just a few children that I would have normally shopped with, but meet and witness the smiling faces of EVERY SINGLE one that participated that day! That was a huge blessing! In addition to that, working with every volunteer that came to serve as a Shopping Partner was an added bonus and special treat.

God can use us all in special and unique ways utilizing the gifts He has given us. Do not let your gifts go to waste. Be blessed by serving and giving back in ways that will come back to you tenfold. That is what The Giving Depot is all about - "it is better to give than to receive." The Giving Depot is such a fun and festive way to get into the spirit of Christmas, but ultimately just one of many serving opportunities at Grace that are available year-round. Let me encourage you to allow God to stretch you from your comfort zone. You will not be sorry.

By the way, my husband and I are looking forward to being shopping partners again this year. Hope to see you there.

Jan Jacobson










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