Samaritan’s Feet….Changing lives one pair of shoes at a time!

Making pair of shoes at a time!

Samaritan’s Feet volunteers & staff, Gaston County Commissioner, Tracy Philbeck and I washing feet and giving a new pair of shoes at Rhyne Elementary in Gastonia, Making Friends, one pair of shoes at a time!

Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern,  you understand, is holiness,  not hygiene.” John 13:10

Spending time at the feet of others was the example Jesus set for us to follow as He bowed in subjection to the disciples for the purpose of washing their feet as an act of honor and service. Nothing can be greater, than knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, humbled Himself to the position of servant. As we put ourselves in the position of service, we look up into the eyes of the ones that we have come to serve and say. “You are the most important person at this very moment. I want you to know that you are loved by God and by all of us. We are here today simply because of our heart to love and serve you just as Jesus did.”

Today, I was once again blessed to participate in a shoe distribution with Samaritan’s Feet. The mission and heartbeat of founder, Manny Ohonme, is 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million children in the next 10 years You can read more about Manny’s story of how a simple pair of shoes changed his life and led him to follow what was exampled to him by the love of  one who came to serve him.

I have had the privilege of serving alongside Manny Ohonme and his wife, Tracie since 2005 and have nothing but the utmost love and respect for this man and his family who daily live out what they believe. While we do not often share the same schedule, we are often in contact and communication. Today, however, Monty and I were blessed with a most special opportunity; to give back to children, teacher’s and staff at an elementary school near our hometown of Dallas, NC. We rallied and gathered our friends to help us support the effort of Samaritan’s Feet in our Jerusalem. Gastonia, NC

On this day, 400 plus children, teachers, and staff would receive our undivided attention as we spent time getting to know them, focusing our hearts and attentions towards them, washing their feet and providing a new pair of socks and shoes for each one of them. The event was a surprise for the entire school and spear-headed by their caring principal, Rebecca Huffstetler.

The day started as usual with the younger children filling our stations. So, precious. Timid. Embarrassed and confused by all these people taking off their old shoes, putting their little feet in cold water, washing them and putting new shoes on their feet. Refreshing, but in time the older children would fill the chairs and their disbelief was often verbalized.

My breath-taking and life-joy moment happened near the end of the day when a less than thrilled tough 5th grade boy sat down in front of me. What would become my favorite conversation of the day began with, “So, lady, how much are they paying you to wash my feet, be nice to me and give me this new pair of shoes?” And with attitude and no smile, I might add. He was not rude. Simple putting it all on the table and in all likelihood, wanting to call me out and say, yep, told you so, they don’t care about me.

“Nothing.” I replied. “God loves me (us), we love you and I came here today to tell you how very special you are to Him and to me. Nothing more. Nothing less.” A cynical 10-year-old smile ensued. Our moment together ended within five-eight minutes and toward the end a new-found, whimsical, wry smile appeared. I held his hands, looked him square in the eyes and ended by letting him know that every step that he takes in these new pair of shoes, that I will be thinking of him, praying for him and trusting his life to a God that wants to do great things in and through him. His name will be written in my prayer journal and I will believe God for His very best until heaven.”

I continued as the Holy Spirit kicked my heart into gear and shared the gospel message of hope, a future, and of surrendering his heart to receive the free gift of life now and eternal through Jesus Christ. The promise of forgiveness, new life and God’s perfect plan for his life. You see, we get moments like these on occasion and I felt the urgency to seize the moment while it was sill today! I continued. “God’s plan for you is perfect. Your story is still being written. When you want to give up or you struggle, think of the silly lady who said, you can do it through complete surrender of your heart to the Lord and the power of God which is greater than your mind can conceive.” God wants you to know that you matter and that He has a plan for your life!! An, sweet friend, I pray for you, I will claim each step for the rest of your days for  God to do “exceedingly, abundantly in your life above all that you can ask or think.” HE IS ABLE!!!

He sheepishly, smiled. I said there is just one more thing. “Can I get a hug?” I have yet in my life until today, felt a more genuine embrace than from his big ole size 10 men’s shoe bear hug that I received from Gods most precious possession.
You see, God spoke directly to his heart today. The Holy Spirit penetrated the deepest part of this young mans soul and there is no doubt in my mind that the God of the universe will make good on a prayer prayed forward for a life in the balance between the god of this world and our heavenly Father’s will for his life.

So, when you wonder if God still uses the smallest of opportunities for His good and His glory, remember the hardened heart of my friend today. And when you pray, you need not know his name but that his heavenly Father is well acquainted with the matters of his precious heart and life. Next time you think, I should do something to help….just do it. Don’t wait. The true blessing will be yours. And when you wonder, does God really still open hearts in the least imaginable ways….like through a pair of shoes, a smile, a hug, a word of affirmation, a touch or a smile? May you see my face smiling back at you and saying….Oh yes He does!! Remember, Jesus said it best….”My concern is holiness…” May we walk simply on this path of righteous living….and trust God for life-changing results! For His glory! Amen and Amen!

Caring for God’s beloved!

About Simple Life Heartenings

I LOVE my crazy, busy life traveling with my NASCAR family through the ministry of Motor Racing Outreach. My full joy comes from loving, doing life, teaching, leading and encouraging women, children and families who journey with me. Grateful for God's grace all along the way and the discovery that living simply in the midst of this crazy, busy world has led to simply live fully in every moment. I am a Thrift Store Junkie and lover of all things lovingly used and in need of a new home. I have been collecting discarded items since my teens and find great joy in seeing life in what would have likely been tossed out and lost forever. My closest friends call me Mel. My alter-ego, Lucille Ball (aka Lucy) and I have much in common. We (I-Lucy) like to get our friends involved in crazy-fun adventures that are often considered unorthodox and idealistic. I must confess that our adventures sometimes end with me making the following statement. "Whose great idea was this? There is no dram too big and challenge too hard for the faithful God who writes His dreams on our heart so! Me: #1 in my life after Christ is my family. Married to my high school sweetheart for almost 35 years. Mom to Ashley and Ryan. Children by marriage Jeremy and Karly. Blessed MeMe to Mason and Emma Mae. Rookie blogger. I have been skydiving, hot air ballooning, swam with dolphins, raced in an all-female Bandolero race and survived them all. A picker before picking was cool! Love sunsets from my front porch and everywhere else too! Master Gardener. Favorite color is yellow and the well-worn patina, in any color, on old stuff is a very close second! Love cards, stationary and the lost art of handwritten letters. Popsicles make everything better. Love daisies, the beauty of nature and my life in the country. I'd love for you to join me on this journey of faith....simple living from my view of life in the fast lane! Crazy Life. Simple Joys. All Grace.

17 responses »

  1. Thanks for some other informative web site. The place else may I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I’ve a mission that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.


  2. Thank you for sharing the awesome story of this 5th grade boy. Sometimes I am still that boy, doubting whether or not God really cares. What a great reminder to get out there and serve!


  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! Such a heart-touching/melting story; so thankful for the little things we’ve been given to do that through them, He might work great and mighty things.

    God bless you.


  4. My heart is full and my eyes are teary as I read this. What amazing words you spoke into his life, it all touched me, but I so love that our stories are still being written. Blessings on you and on this amazing ministry.


  5. Thank you Melanie! I love that the simple things and acts of service, done in God’s love, can change the world. So many times, I think I have to do something Grand or Great- His love can be shown through the small, insignificant things if done with His love! You inspire me! #bloggercaregroup

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Let’s change the world on mission and with passion for loving others in he name of Jesus! All glory to God! Thai will be a year to remember as God’s abundant love is lavished through grace and mercy in the daily! #oneword365 #abundance


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