One Body

Posted by Ryan Foster on


At least $8 of t-shirt sales will go towards Helping Hands Resale Shoppes

 and if you can give more or want to give less you can here on the GoFundMe:

Like many other businesses, Helping Hands Resale Shoppes in Chillicothe, Peoria Heights, and Canton, Illinois have been forced to close their stores due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Why should people focus on this organization? Simple. Relationship. Helping Hands Resale Shoppes exist for the purpose of selflessly giving all by sharing in the communities they serve. Helping Hands to date has donated over $1.7 million into their communities. Their generosity is so limitless that when forced to close for at least 2 weeks, they simply do not have the funds to cover their fixed cost and employees in the coming days.  

I (Ryan Foster) have a dream/vision that I am working toward that seems humanly impossible to accomplish.  Looking at my resources currently, where I need to be seems unfathomable. After trying to make it happen for months in my own strength, I asked God to show me the next step to take because I wanted to give up. The word I was given was plant seeds and I immediately thought, 'I have nothing of value to give.' God then made it clear I am to call each Not-For-Profit I had contacted, ask how I can pray for them, and intentionally pray each and every day.  I have been doing this for over a month now (prior to the virus) and something shifted within me. After the first week, I found myself crying out, in tears at times, and petitioning for these organizations and their families. After two weeks, I became so invested in the lives of these Not-For-Profits that I do all I know to do to help them in their sufferings. God gave me compassion for them and it was through intercessory prayer that this developed. When they hurt, I hurt; when they suffer, I suffer. The word compassion literally means to share in suffering or to suffer with. When Jesus walked this earth, his compassion is constantly spoken of.  It led him to extend more of himself for his neighbors. 

Last week when I checked-in with my Not-For-Profits, my heart ached as I learned about how many of them were affected by the pandemic. My heart wrenched the most for Small World Connections/ Helping Hands Resale Shoppes. They told me the very real possibility of not surviving the quarantine period.  Then they brought me to my knees.  In the next breath they said they were organizing teams to go out each day to go shopping for the elderly starting in the Chillicothe community. In the midst of possibly going under, they were looking at their neighbors and asking how can we give more? Silver and gold they no longer had but what they had they gave thee.  What did they have? Themselves. Imagine if this type of heart became contagious? Contagious like Covid-19 contagious?  Could you fathom how this pandemic would be if more people shared in the sufferings of their neighbors?  There would be toilet paper for starters.

Could this be what Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27? Here we are called to be a unified body with Christ as the head. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it and likewise if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it (1 Corinthians 12:26). Here is your chance to follow the example of Helping Hands Resale Shoppes/ Small World Connections by looking beyond your situation and help the one that emptied themselves for the ones they love- their neighbors. 


Philippians 2:1-11: So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

One Body.


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