I started volunteering at Shepherd’s Gate several months ago, and although many things about my experience have stood out to me, I want to share three that have struck me the most.
The first thing I have noticed is the great need for a shelter. I’ve had the opportunity to watch what this Christian shelter and Christ can do in a short amount of time. It breaks my heart to see some of these women who are obviously so broken and in such great need of God’s love. Even within one to two weeks time, a change is evident and there is hope. To hear stories of what Jesus has been able to do in some of these women’s lives is so compelling. I do believe the angels gaze in wonder at the power of Christ to make a new creation of a person and give them a new beginning and a new life.
Stepping Into The Battlefield
Personally, it has made me step out of my protective suburban life and see firsthand the casualties of believing the lies of Satan and living life without Christ. During most mornings at the shelter, I answer the phone, greet people, make small talk with the ladies and take in donations. But there have been a couple of ladies who have just brought tears to my eyes and I have lost it. How, I wonder, is Jesus going to rescue this one and how many others are living on the fringe of society just like this? Do they even want to be rescued? Lord, help them!
The second thing is the amazing staff at this place — Minda, Grace, Kim, Carrie, Jack, Mike, Amy, Emma and Anne. These are just the ones I get a chance to visit with. They have a heart for Christ, and it fills me with great encouragement to talk with them about their faith. I can actually feel the Holy Spirit move through these people. In the midst of all the hurt, there is a lot of laughter and they are a pleasure to be around.
An Uncommon Warrior
In particular, Minda, the Director of Shepherd’s Gate, has been a huge blessing. A couple of times I have been wrestling through some personal struggles. In the midst of her incredibly busy day, she has taken the time to listen and give Godly counsel; her wisdom has helped me tremendously and her advice has been crazily spot-on. I have thanked God for her willingness to listen and serve as a mentor. Most of all, though, I am so pleased that God has called and equipped these people to serve and minister in His kingdom. They look normal and average, but they are doing mighty things.
Lastly, for a long time I have suspected the enemy (Satan) is at work. The churches I have attended rarely speak of the enemy except as some general concept. It is as though all the damage and destruction Satan and his minions are doing is masked by a huge curtain, which most of the churches refuse to pull up and expose. The enemy is having a field day in America, and I believe the church needs to wake up! Here at Shepherd’s Gate the fight is real and the power of God is real. I have long suspected that the things happening in our culture are far more dangerous than just bad behavior and normal changes; I can now affirm them (without sounding ridiculous and crazy) as particular strategies the enemy is using to destroy lives.
There it is. God spoke to me the first day I went to Shepherd’s Gate to volunteer. He whispered, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:15) I have gotten a lot more out of volunteering at Shepherd’s Gate than I ever thought I would.
Post submitted by Jennifer Northcutt — devoted wife, mom, volunteer, and disciple of Jesus Christ.