Guest post from Mercy Church member, John Eskridge, who serves with local ministry Compassion to Act.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” – 1 Peter 4:10
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45
God has blessed Mercy Church and her members abundantly. My hope and prayer is that our response as a church body to God’s goodness would be radical generosity in the lives of those around us and in our city. I believe God’s purpose in blessing is often so that we might be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:2). I have to think the Lord smiles upon his children when he sees them choose to love and serve one another in the same way he chose to love and serve us some 2,000 odd years ago.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to share with Mercy about an organization I have had the privilege of serving alongside called Compassion to Act. Compassion to Act is a faith-based ministry that serves victims of human trafficking through awareness, liberation, and restoration. My involvement with Compassion has largely been monthly club outreach nights where we visit strip clubs and bring meals to share with the women who work there. The structure of our night is simple. We meet at 7:30 to pray together before driving to the clubs where some will bring the meals in for the women and others will wait in our cars in the parking lot to pray over the time and relationships being built by those who have gone inside to minister.
Building relationships has proven to be difficult. Amidst other reasons, many women distrust our motives, are fearful of the consequences of reaching out for help and simply are not always there when we come. But God is faithful. There have been numerous times some of the women will reach out by text or phone for help and Compassion has been able to offer assistance in various ways. Prayer is crucial. We are making efforts to invite the women to events outside of the club to further serve and love them and their children. John 13:35 speaks of all people knowing we are Christ’s disciples by our love for one another. Our prayer is that the women and their families might catch a glimpse of that love and ultimately come to know the love of their heavenly Father who sent his own son to die for them.
Serving others certainly isn’t always glamorous, but neither was dying on a cross. It requires sacrifice that goes against the selfish desires of our heart. May we be a church that submits to what the Lord has called us to in serving others in our city and be filled with joy by our good Father. I pray Serve Charlotte will be just the launching pad for many members in our body, as it was for me, to come alongside schools, businesses and other organizations throughout our city and minister to hurting and lost people. To God be the glory!
“No to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” ~ Ephesians 3:20