Thursday, November 17, 2011

24 Days of Thankfulness: Day 17

The SWAP shop is a wonderful on-campus ministry. The "SWAP" stands for surplus with a purpose. People (anyone--on campus or off) donate clothes and other items including food and people can come in and choose whatever the need/want free of charge. It is a bit like a free Goodwill store; there's often A LOT of stuff and if you have the time and visit often you can dig through and find some great stuff! Since we've lived on campus, I've visited the SWAP shop. A lot. Not only has it met many of our needs (and wants), I believe it also serves as a sort of "retail therapy" for the ladies on campus, without the big cha-ching at the cash register, of course!

We've gotten almost all of our children's clothes (and mine now that I think of it!) from the SWAP shop. We got our fabulous purple couch at the SWAP shop. We got Ryland's car bed (that match Jathan's which we bought off Craigslist) from the SWAP shop. We got Jathan's little TV at the SWAP shop. Time and time again the Lord has provided for us through the generosity of others. I remember one specific morning when I was doing laundry and remarked to myself that I really needed some more clothespins. Guess what I spotted first thing upon walking into the SWAP shop that afternoon? A whole gallon-sized freezer bag full of clothespins!

It has been totally amazing to me the amount of money that can be saved simply by sharing with one another. I truly hope that the things we've been able to pass along--our "surplus"--through the SWAP shop have been even half the blessing to others that the things we've received have been to us.

Luke 6:37-38 says, "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."

Thank You, God, for those who have so generously given to this ministry! May Your blessings rain down on these people--pressed down, shaken together, running over! And may we never forget what a blessing being an Acts 2 sort of church is.

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