Updated: Jul 9, 2021
In the midst of a global pandemic, while working at home and feeling so disconnected from people, I sat and scrolled through social media mindlessly. Then off the screen jumped a post from a diaper bank in Knoxville, TN, Mamas Helping Mamas. They had listed facts about diaper needs across the state. All I could think was, "is this real?" The numbers astounded me.
In fact it is real! The National Bank states that one in every three families in the state of Tennessee struggles to purchase diapers on a monthly basis. They are often left with the choice to make whether to buy diapers or groceries. Diapers are not only an essential need to children, but access to diapers also allow parents to have access to childcare. Most, if not all, childcare centers require families to provide diapers for their children in order to provide care. If a family can't provide diapers, how are they going to have access to childcare in order to work?
Maybe you've been there or maybe you are there right now. The truth is, we all have stuff and seasons of life that we experience. Maybe your struggling financially, maybe your a grandparent that has taken in your grandkids, maybe you left an abusive relationship with nothing....please don't be ashamed, at some point we have all needed a little help to get by.
As I sat and pondered these numbers, I couldn't get it off my mind or my heart. I started looking into resources to learn more about the needs. The truth is that the needs are so big, one person can't do it by themselves. This was a scary thought...and selfishly I started to think about me. I have a lot on my plate....I am a wife, a mom, a full time employee, and a small business owner. All the questions started flood in.....How much time would this take? What if we fail? Where are the diapers and donations going to come from? I have never done anything like this, why would I think I would be qualified?
As much as I tried to push this new idea to the back burner, I kept hearing the whisper. "Trust me, I will provide", I couldn't escape it and even dreamt about. I prayed and had many conversations with God about the fears, the worries, the how to's. And once again, "trust me, I will provide" was ringing in my head like a record on repeat. I told my husband that I couldn't get it off my mind and felt like this was where God wanted me to serve. Oh boy! What was I committing to??
There was no way to start, but to jump in, so jump in is exactly what we did. I quickly realized that this mission that God planted in my heart was not only for our community but it was for me. Remember, I told you we were in the midst of the pandemic. I was in a lonely and depressed place. I was confined to the four walls of my house with my dogs, day in and day out. While I am beyond blessed, the solidarity really started to affect the state of my emotional being.
Here we are 9 months later, Mission Agape is thriving and so am I. This mission has been a light to our family and our community. God has done exactly what He said, He has provided. We have served more families and children than I could have ever imagined. We outgrew our original space and God provided. We can't wait to see what is next!
Stay tuned for future blogs about how we came to the mission's name and our journey in the last 9 months.
Till next time....."do all things in love"