Love at Work

There are many ways to put one's love for God into action.  On this page we will ask some people how they seek to follow Jesus' commands to love others.  (Scroll down to see them all.)

Caleb Harbison
Caleb Harbison
is a very active young member of the congregation.  This summer he assisted in morning worship.  He's away at college, now, but kindly took time to answer our questions.

Q. How long have you been following Jesus?  What made you decide to trust Him as your Savior?
A.  I have been following Jesus since I was about 8 years old.  I decided to trust him because of his unfailing love for me.

Q.  Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage?  Why is it important to you?
A.  Psalm 23 and Colossians 1:15, which says, The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.(NIV)  These are verses of comfort to me.

Q.  Into what vocation do you feel God is calling you?
A.  God is calling me into the pastoral ministry.

Q.  How do you seek daily to follow Jesus' commands to love others?
A.  I always try to find Jesus in others by looking at their good qualities.  I do my best to avoid looking at the bad side of people.

Ruth Womack has served as a missionary to Romania for many years.  That's the flag of Romania in the picture.Ruth Womack in Romania
Where is Ruth?  You'll have to ask her.  That's how missionaries are--they serve in the background and support local, grassroots leaders.  

Q.  What is the role of a missionary?  
A.  A missionary shares the good news wherever they are.  Jesus instructed his followers to go home, to places nearby, and to all the world.  Sometimes a missionary's role is very specific: a Bible translator, a teacher, medical assistance--using the talents God has given you to help meet needs wherever you are sent.

Q.  When and how were you called to Romania?
A.  In 2005, after praying for direction from God, (I was providing financial support to a Bucharest ministry at the time) God spoke clearly: "You already know what I want you to do."  By God's provision, I was in Romania within a few weeks.  I have served in Dorohoi, Bucharest, and in Sibiu, among the Gypsy (Roma) peoples in the southern villages.

Q.  What do you love about Romania?
A.  The people!  The opportunity to work among "the least of these"--even a cup of water given in Jesus' name is given to Him.  Also it feels as though I've come home every time I am there.

Q.  Why are you going back to Romania now?
A.  Hope for the Children International (HCI) will start an English-based outreach for children who live in English-speaking households, Classes 5-8 and later classes 9-12.  I will get Class 5 students. 

Q.  Do you have a Bible verse that has inspired you?
A.  All of the Scriptures that tell about God's desires for the poor and the orphaned....The Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearns has also been a guide and a glimpse into the reality of the "Great Commission."

Q.  What advice do you have for others re finding God's will for their lives?
A.  Follow your heart.  God leads you from there to your mind and then you will be able to make a lasting commitment to a relationship with those you are privileged to serve.  Seek God's heart--a good place to start.

Lonney McDonald [in purple jacket], bases her work on Proverbs 3: 5-7:  
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

Q:  What missions activities have you participated in?
A:  I  am not on our church Missions Team -- they do so much and are such a blessing to so many!  However, my husband Brett and I did help them out a little on a house needing some upgrading.  We've mostly volunteered for improvements and new construction projects on our church building.
Recently we went to Chattanooga to be trained as part of a United Methodist team responding to natural disasters.  We were in Hurricane Andrew in Florida.  We really appreciated all the volunteers that helped us. We always said we wanted one day to help others in that it seems that now is the time. 

Q:  How and why did you get involved in GriefShare?
A:  Sitting in the choir, I could see a lot of hurt in our congregation due to the loss of several of our members.  I said a prayer asking God to show me what to do to help.  The next week, someone mentioned that she was looking for a grief support group after the loss of her husband.  I mentioned it to another friend, who reminded me that they had GriefShare in her church in Florida.  I got online and found that GriefShare was offered in Blairsville.  Their coordinator graciously agreed to come to our church and explain the program.  We were so impressed, that our church decided to go ahead with the program, too.  Jennings Neeld  [pastor emeritus] volunteered immediately to be our lead facilitator.

Coincidently, they were having boot camp training for facilitators that next week in Raleigh, NC.  (Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous!)   I called my girlfriend who lives in Chapel Hill and asked if I could stay with her for the training.  When I got back home, I trained 15 other volunteer facilitators.  Larger churches often feel fortunate to have just 2 to 4 facilitators.  We are so blessed to have such a loving congregation.

Since we started GriefShare, 2 other churches in the tri-state area have started GriefShare.  I have held 2 more boot camps to train these facilitators.  We have formed a Local Network Fellowship for Facilitators and we meet every quarter.  Each church has volunteered for a specific 13 week time slot – so GriefShare will be offered somewhere in our area all year.

The feedback from the Participants has been wonderful.  Since you are at a different stage in your grief journey as time goes on, some participants have repeated the 13 week sessions.  They pick up something new each time.  We all become like family.  Although I got involved with GriefShare to help others, it has been such a blessing to me.   I have watched how faith has sustained people through their grief.  They are such an inspiration to me.