I love what I do for a living and am grateful that I get to work from ‘The Bunker’, my home office located in our basement. I also enjoy any time the phone rings and my caller ID displays a name I am not familiar with. The reason for this is that if it is a ‘first time caller’, then there is a chance it could be a prospect or new client.
That said, when my caller ID indicated “Joe Fambrough” was trying to reach me, I picked up the receiver with anticipation. I did not take long for me to realize that Joe was not calling to inquire about my services, but rather tell me about his. More specifically, Joe was calling to introduce me to ‘AlongsideHer’ and wanted to set up a meeting.
My first thought was, “Joe, you’ve got it all wrong. I make calls to get people to see me; I don’t take calls from people wanting me to see them.” However, I listened to what he had to say and have to admit, the very unique nature of his offering did pique my interest and something inside me said, “You need to meet this guy.”
Not much later, I met Joe and his lovely wife Andy and listening to them tell me about AlongsideHer, their ministry for widows and single mothers. As compelling as their presentation was, before the conversation was over, I had to tell them both that between our church and our girl’s Christian School; we seem to get three or four opportunities a month to support some new ministry, mission trip or fundraiser. Money was tight and I would have to discuss this with my wife.
I will admit, my modus operandi in such situations is to take their information, write a check and find a polite way to share with them their ministry is just not in our budget at this time. However, there was something persuasive about what Joe and Andy shared with me and while I make no claim to be a Bible scholar, I am well aware of the many directives to take care of widows.
The more I thought of all Joe and Andy’s story, the more AlongsideHer resonated with my heart and I knew that this was something that I had to become involved with myself. I knew my participation had to be more than any ‘obligatory’, “Well, I certainly will pray for your work.”
This past year my, my mother’s sister became a widow after being married to my uncle for 65 years. When we all get to Heaven, you may recognize my aunt Rena’s place as it will be huge! She is a dear soul with a heart of gold.
During their marriage, my aunt and uncle were foster parents to over 80 children and when I know I need some serious prayers, I ask my aunt Rena for help. Maybe it was seeing the transition in her life to becoming a widow that moved me. Maybe it was the truth, conviction and sincerity in Joe and Andy’s vision. More than likely, it was all the above with a great big dose of the Holy Spirit using them to move my heart.
AlongsideHer is more than just a ministry to help the widows and single mothers of a local church. It is a ministry to grow and equip other churches to have an established and focused response of their own. While my taking the call from Joe and agreeing to meet with him and Andy may not quite be a ‘road to Damascus’ awareness, it is for me close enough to know that God is using this wonderful couple to actually change lives.
I am so very proud to be a part of AlongsideHer. If you have a widow or a single mother in your life, please consider supporting this amazing organization. If you would like to hear the unabridged version of my ‘conversion’, feel free to contact me. If you are unable to financially support AlongsideHer, but have a skill, gift or talent that you believe would be useful, let Joe and Andy know. Finally, please share with your friends AlongsideHer’s story.
Taking that call from Joe may not have been a road to Damascus conversion, but it has proven to me to be close enough. In the most turbulent economic times of my life, I have learned to step out of my comfort zone to help grow this wonderful ministry as best I can.
Because of Joe and Andy’s vision, their willingness to follow the Lord’s calling, to put in countless hours to do for others has had an amazing impact on so many people’s lives, mine included.
If you are even remotely intrigued and would like to know more, let me know or visit us at: http://www.alongsideher.org