Wednesday, July 18, 2018 3:44 PM

Responding to a “Whisper"

By Glenda Van Woerkom

About 23 years ago, my husband, Jon and I were asked to open our “basement apartment” to a young lady, Sheree,  who would be in Pella over the summer as a crop scout for Dupont.  She soon became like family to us and our young daughters.   We were there to celebrate her marriage to Shelby and a few summers following, we met their first born Gunnison.  As life often takes us different directions, the Nold’s moved to Colorado and explored God’s plans for their lives and family, as we did the same in small town Iowa.  Our busy lives allowed us to stay in touch via Christmas cards, and social media in the recent years. 

Recently, an interim pastor encouraged our congregation to recognize and respond to a “whisper” or a Spirit led thought.  I have often envied others who were convicted by such a thing.  I am humbled to share my recent “whisper” and what it has meant to me personally.

Our church has been busy.  Busy focusing on a vision, looking for a pastor, and discussing future church structure obstacles.  These are all great things to work on, but when we work so hard internally, it’s common to have road blocks, frustration, and dissension.  Early in February, I felt God laying it on my heart to focus outward -  to organize a serve project for Pella II CRC, including families.  I prayed that God would lead me.  That very night, I heard a whisper as I tossed & turned “Majestic Outdoor Adventures” or MOA.   I remembered reading about the historic flooding and damage, but other than prayer early on, they hadn’t crossed my mind since.  So this “whisper” was no accident, it was intentional and filled with purpose.

The timing for our church was perfect.  Our original plan was to head to MOA during summer vacation.  It didn’t take long for us to realize MOA’s need for continued clean up help was immediate.  Though only three weeks away, “how about Spring Break weekend” was presented?.  We were blown away with response - families, adults, and volunteers with access or ownership of skid loaders, brush chippers and more signed up.  Before we knew it, a team of 37  was on our way to Dora, Mo!  

What a joy to witness children, teens, and adults working side by side.  What appeared to be an overwhelming task was soon divided and tackled.  Working independently felt overwhelming, but when we worked in groups, side-by-side, we made great progress.  One of the strong desires of this trip was hidden in a word that Sheree discovered when we were sharing information - opportUNITY.   In addition to blessing MOA, we desired UNITY in our church and purpose.  It was so beautifully prepared in advance for us - isn’t God amazing!

We were so blessed to work alongside the Nold family - they didn’t watch us, they helped us!  Complete strangers soon became friends, and the body of Christ was glorified.  We shared meals, devotions, worship and much more together.  We returned to Pella with a new fire, passion, and hope.  We continue to reflect on this Serve trip as God’s perfect timing.  We look forward to continuing to partner with MOA in this opportUNITY as they desire to grow their ministry.  To God be the Glory!  If you’ve been looking for a similar experience, don’t hesitate - answer the call and be the hands and feet of Jesus, wherever that might be.

Praising our Risen Lord,

Glenda Van Woerkom