Fourteen years ago I walked into the Harvest Center on a sunny fall Tuesday ready to serve meals to over 200 homeless Charlotte citizens. I left there that day transformed. I was a mom of four, a wife to Clark, possessed a deep passion to paint, and was seeking to systematically serve others.
I got in my big, brown suburban and thought as I drove away, “How am I going to do it all?” That still, small voice I have come to know as the voice of the Lord, whispered to me, “paint and give back.” Since that transformational Tuesday, I have partnered with the Harvest Center and have had the pleasure to serve lunches, clean out coat closets, organize a storage room for coats and clean under garments, host the movie “Facing the Giants,” serve as co-chair for the Center’s annual Love Thy Neighbor events for 2 years. My heart is full reflecting on all the different opportunities I've had to serve.
This past Wednesday I walked into the new headquarters of the Harvest Center off of Charlotte’s Freedom Drive (it's no accident that it's sitting on the street called "Freedom"), and I was overwhelmed by the raw emotions that were touched by the transformation. The Center moved into a nearly-condemned building, but with the amazing vision of and the countless support of board members and partner corporations, the building has been completely transformed.
God took something that was so ugly on the inside and made it incredibly beautiful, filled with his holy spirit. Isn’t that what He does with us? He takes our brokenness and our ugly parts that should be condemned, and He radically transforms us.
Walking into this new building with beautiful scripture everywhere I just welled up with emotion. Friends, we serve a BIG God. A God who is in all the details. A God who cares for the least of these, and I was emotionally right where I was fourteen years ago. I want to continue stewarding this vision to helping others who are less fortunate than I have been. My prayer is always for the Lord to show me His ways and show me how to step up and step out.
Three individuals graduated from the Harvest Center’s Transformation program this week. Eight started out in the program 9 months ago, but only three finished. What an amazing testimony of how God radically and completely transformed these three lives. And transformation is not a one time occurrence. We are all in the process of being transformed daily and continually. I cannot do it justice in a simple blog post, but I want to encourage you that in the heart of Charlotte, NC, on Freedom Drive there is another little slice of Heaven pouring out into our city to transform the lives of the homeless in our city.
If you are reading this and live out of town, I encourage you to spend a little time on the Harvest Center website. If you feel led to donate, then donate! If you are reading, and you do live locally, I encourage you to grab your family and sign up to volunteer and experience the transformational power of the Harvest Center.