GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – How can you connect your God-given talents and gifts with the needs in our community to make a significant impact? That’s the purpose of Mel Trotter Ministries’ partnership with WOTV 4 Women. As women, wouldn’t you say that we have an innate ability to see a need and meet it, to envision what’s possible? I recently re-discovered that gift while my husband and I were searching for our first home.
I never wanted a fixer upper… we are not handy people. If it’s DIY, we don’t even try. When we first visited the house, we only saw the flaws, the work and the expenses. The broken windows and slider, duck wallpaper, the carpeting around the toilet, baby blue bath tub, and yellow swirled vanity and a kitchen that could convince you that you had just stepped into 1974 [cue the John Denver Music]. My favorite piece was the medieval chandelier with fake candles. We knew it would take some serious time and money to get this time capsule back to the 21st century.
After the first pass through, it was clear from his scrunched facial expressions that my husband had his mind made up… a big fat nope. (Maybe because none of the rooms were wired for cable??) We circled the outside of the home and made another pass through before departing with a shoulder-raising sigh and an agreement that we would keep looking.
Later that evening, I imagined the possibilities of what some paint and light fixtures could do. It was a beautiful structure and lay out for a family. With a few years of investment and some creativity, I thought that we could grow with the home. I talked through my vision with Neil, but he just wasn’t seeing it. Finally, I resorted to none other than Pinterest to show him some photos of similar home layouts and remodels. We walked through the house one more time and his facial expressions started to change. A little perspective is all he needed to realize the potential of the home. The home was ours about a month later.
We started talking with our network of friends and family and they all offered their expertise in certain areas. Dad’s an electrician, mom’s great at painting, someone else can fix the sprinklers and there’s another guy that can help put on new countertops. We borrowed so many tools! We heard “I know a guy” a lot. Each person offered support in areas they were passionate. And we recently moved into a home that we love! And it’s even more special because it’s a home that has character and our family and friends are helping us make this home a new creation. We couldn’t be happier.
Now, there’s much more work to do, but we no longer see the home as a burden; we see it as an investment. It just took a little time to see beyond the surface and the circumstances to realize the home’s potential. Before we bought it, the home had actually been empty for 6 months. Our neighbors have come by and said “we are so glad to see the lights on again.”
I was challenged by this experience. Why don’t I always see the same potential in people? Are we investing the same amount of time and resources in our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness? Would we dare say out loud to the person next to us, “it’s too much work, and those people are too flawed”? Imagine if we shared tools, connected our networks and asked our friends and family to join us as we pour into men, women and children who are experiencing poverty and homelessness in our communities.
Every day, broken people come to Mel Trotter Ministries. Some have been abandoned, others have been isolated and passed by because society doesn’t see their value any more. It’s up to us to welcome anyone who is experiencing homelessness, look beyond the surface to see potential and help them understand that God has a plan for their life. Mel Trotter Ministries is in this community to rescue and restore. We can’t do it alone, though. It takes shared tools and networks, your family and friends and your investment. Envision what’s possible!
Here’s a new DIY to think about… what are you Doing In Your community? Learn more about how you can be light to someone. Join me at an upcoming Meet the Mission Luncheon and Tour. Sign up at www.meltrotter.org/luncheon.