How God Redeems and Restores!
The ministry of the Diaconate, while incredibly valuable and undeniably impactful, often happens behind the scenes, unbeknownst to a large majority of Redeemer congregants. For those of us serving on the Diaconate, we have the privilege of witnessing firsthand the unbelievable stories of God transforming lives. This is one such story.
Within the structure of the Diaconate, we call the brothers and sisters who receive care “clients” because we want to convey to them that we are here to serve them and work with them. When the Diaconate initially connected with this particular client, he was a single man who had made his living for several years “busking” as a street musician. He supplemented his income with other gigs over the years, but in early 2017, the money wasn’t coming in as it had been, and the client needed help with rent. He came to the Diaconate for help. We had the opportunity to help him with financial assistance and walk beside him spiritually during that time.
After receiving help intermittently for a year and a half, the client got married to another musician. Though they struggled financially, they were able to make ends meet until the wife became pregnant and was no longer able to work. The Diaconate once again stepped in with financial assistance, and the husband also volunteered with our “Free Indeed Community Cupboard” (food pantry) to supplement his growing family’s nutritional needs. In the spring of 2018, the client couple was blessed with the birth of a healthy baby boy.
The couple still didn’t have long-term financial stability, and the prospect of raising their child in NYC seemed daunting; however, having come here to pursue careers in music performance, the idea of leaving the city for a more stable, affordable environment near family would mean walking away from all they’d worked towards for most of their lives. After receiving much prayer and counsel from the Diaconate and others at Redeemer, they decided to make the move. As difficult as it was, they accepted that it was necessary, and in faith they trusted God to meet their needs. The Diaconate was able to cover the cost of their move.
Three months later, the client couple sent this email to the deeks and those in the Redeemer family who had faithfully walked with them on their journey…
Thank you for supporting us emotionally, financially, and prayerfully, walking with us as we made this transition. It’s been a tremendous blessing to have such caring friends and wise counselors.
We both had a lot of trepidation about moving out of NYC. We had no plans and no prospects; just blind faith that God would raise up the people and things we need. And He’s done just that.
An elderly woman offered us the use of her finished basement temporarily while we looked for a place of our own. A very reasonably priced house surfaced near where my family lives, complete with all the space we need and more, for exactly half of what our apartment in Queens cost. To the dollar.
I was able to obtain work as a cook at a busy local Inn. I haven’t worked in a kitchen for some time, but I’m grateful that God has given me a skill set that I can monetize while also pursuing other passions. My wife is teaching online and giving piano lessons. We’re both playing music and will be starting a monthly show at the local theater nearby.
Life outside the city necessitates having a car. Not only did God provide an amazing car, but just the day before, I was approached by someone about hosting a weekly open mic at a local restaurant which will pay enough on top of our regular income to cover the car and insurance each month. Not with anything left over, but that’s how things have been: just enough for today.
We had a great spiritual community of friends and supporters in NYC, and I was very worried about being able to find fellowship upstate. I googled PCA churches and found exactly one, about 25 miles from where we live. When we walked in, we found that there were many families of all ages; a great mix of people for a small church plant. The pastor is well-spoken, approachable, and doctrinally sound. We now get together with a few families every Thursday night to discuss the Word and the sermon from the previous week. They’ve really gone out of their way to welcome us to the community.
We’re in a good place, things are secure, and I’m hopeful for the future. I’m so thankful for the support and counsel we’ve received, especially in the last year or so. I just keep thinking with the Psalmist, “...Only He will release my feet from the snare...” (Ps 25:15). If you’d told me ten years ago we’d be where we are today, it’s all just way beyond belief.
This is just one testimony of God’s faithfulness and mercy on display through a Diaconate relationship. There are countless others that are equally powerful, and without a doubt there will be countless more to come. We humbly invite you to partner with us and with God in writing more stories like the one above by financially supporting the Diaconate’s work at redeemer.com/mercygift.
Redeemer members, you can also consider other members who you believe may be uniquely suited to serve as deacons or deaconesses. Those individuals can be nominated this October and will help the Diaconate increase their ranks and continue supporting congregants in need across all four Redeemer churches. Lastly, please continue to pray for the work of the Diaconate. Thank you.
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