Stories

Stories from "Giving"

Serving is the Real Gift

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At Long Hollow, we want our single moms to know how much they’re admired and appreciated. It’s a pleasure to offer The Gift again this year to help with that!

Saturday, December 5 Nashville-area single moms are invited to join us for breakfast and lunch, unique sessions created especially for single moms, quality programming for your children (6 weeks old-5th grade), giveaways, and more. Jackie McDonald has served at the Gift in years past, and cannot wait to be a part of it again. She tells us more about serving at the Gift below:

The first time I was able to serve at The Gift was two years ago. I had heard what a great event it was and what a blessing it is to so many single moms, but I had no idea the impact it would make on my life. It TOTALLY WRECKED me and broke my heart as I heard so many stories from these ladies. I have met ladies from all walks of life, all ages, and in all different situations. Some have shared how this event helped them get gifts for their children, connect with other single moms, gave them a day out with childcare, and one even continued to come to church and was baptized!

It opened my eyes to what God is calling us all to do. 

You see, for me, it didn’t just end with serving at The Gift. I felt compelled to do more.  On the way home, I kept thinking of the verse where Jesus said,”From everyone who has been given much much will be demanded; and the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48) The more resources, talents, and understanding we have, the more we are responsible to use them effectively. This does not necessarily mean financially, although it could.

As I prayed, I felt so overwhelmed and said, “But Lord we can’t help everybody.” I felt him say,” NO, but we can help just ONE.” And I was reminded of the story of the ONE sheep, the ONE coin, and the ONE son. This has been my prayer each year as I meet ladies at The Gift. Lord, just send ONE who needs to see YOU in some way. 

The Gift is one of the best ministries we have here at Long Hollow, and I can testify just from the two years I have been involved that I have seen the impact it has made on so many single moms lives. But it also has had a tremendous impact on my life. 

Being able to serve these ladies who are being both mom and dad is not a duty, but an honor I GET to do. I look forward to each year. 

You can sign-up to serve at The Gift this year at longhollow.com/thegift.

November 10, 2015

The Nations are Here

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This summer an incredible group of interns flooded our campuses with passion and drive to reach people to Jesus. Here’s a story from one of our Missions’ interns:

The smell of spices and cigar smoke filled T’s apartment. T proudly showed me her new furniture given to her by donors. We laughed and carried on conversation about her new life in America and her previous life back home in Iraq. I remember closing my eyes for a second and almost believing that I was in a home deep in the heart of the Middle East. How was I in my hometown of Nashville? T is a believer. She moved to America because of religious persecution in Iraq. She received an education and had a great job back home, but moving to America is like starting all over again.

I had the opportunity to meet with T a couple of times this summer to help her with her English. You know, Matthew 19:24 says to preach the Gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation. There are 7,000 different tongues on this earth and so many people who have never heard the name of Jesus. It can be easy to stay still and comfortable, frozen because we don’t know how to even begin such a task. Often, when I think about fulfilling this commandment I picture a foreign mission field with zero Gospel witness anywhere. I’m learning, however, that the picture that I usually have is not the only mission field there is. Did you know that there are over 60,000 refugees living in Tennessee? The majority have moved here from countries where preaching in the name of Jesus is illegal, and as a result so many know nothing about Jesus that is actually true.

T’s friend, SJ, came over to join us for dinner. SJ has been living in Nashville for a few years now. He grew up in a Muslim family but no longer identifies himself with Islam. SJ has been searching for the truth ever since he began to have troubling dreams. These dreams have haunted him and despite all the searching he’s done, he has yet to find anyone who wanted to talk to him about these dreams. As T made dinner, SJ began sharing his dreams with me. They all had uncanny similarities to bible stories. One of them stood out to me the most.

“In my dream Jesus was carrying heavy wood on his back (the cross). There were crowds of people on both sides of Him, but no one was helping Him. I looked at Jesus and I couldn’t understand why no one was helping him. I ran to Him to carry the cross for Him so He could just walk beside me, but when I put it on my shoulders the weight was too much. I fell to the ground because the cross was too heavy for me.”

MJ has shared his dreams with priests and friends before, but until that evening no one had ever been able to tell him the meaning of his dream. His dream was so clear to me and that night God gave me the words to tell Him the meaning. The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to go to seminary or be any sort of expert on the bible to share the Gospel with someone. All that is needed is to look at them and tell them that they are not able to carry the weight of their sin any longer and that they will always fall down while trying. Jesus is the only one who can carry the weight of the cross for us. There are so many more people searching just like SJ. Jesus is going before us and preparing the hearts of people – right here in Nashville.

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Once I heard these wise words, “You never know who is standing on the other side of your obedience.” I think this is so true in refugee ministry because you truly have no idea how far the Gospel will spread because of your obedience. You may be reaching one family or a whole village deep in the middle east – both equally important because either way souls are being written in the book of LIFE. I pray that SJ will continue to be troubled enough by his dreams to seek the truth even more. I pray that God will place people in his path who will share the Gospel with him. I pray that soon seeds will come to fruition and He will let Jesus carry his cross for him. Will you pray? And will you do more than pray? Go into the harvest. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” – Jesus (Matthew 9:37-38)

We partner with a ministry called World Relief in Nashville. They resettle hundreds of refugees in Nashville every year.  If people want to get involved or have questions they can email cory.haney@longhollow.com.

September 10, 2015

Financial Peace

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My husband, Jim, and I recently led a Group through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, which just finished on October 29. We want to celebrate with our church family that out of the 24 people who stuck with the program for all 9 lessons, $26,000 was paid toward debt and they finished with almost $5,000 more liquid cash than the first week of class, 11 weeks prior.

These numbers are remarkable considering that everyone was extremely overwhelmed the first couple of weeks. However, they persevered and applied the principles they were learning to their financial lives, and they finished strong. We all had a great time and feel like there is so much more hope than the Group felt before taking FPU. We will try to offer FPU at least twice a year moving forward, and this testifies to how effective Dave’s principles really are, and how empowering they are, as well!

When we’re intentional with our financial situations, it also enables us to worship through giving more than we ever imagined possible. We celebrate this lesson learned during our session and pray for many more in the future!

November 4, 2014

Stunning Generosity

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God moves us in different ways to act on behalf of others, often on account of how much He’s done for us. Recently, a Long Hollow member noticed a need posted on our Long Hollow Acts Facebook page. A local grandmother working to raise two grandchildren was in desperate need of a refrigerator – in any size or condition. Our anonymous Long Hollow member immediately purchased a brand new refrigerator and had it delivered to this family. The Grandmother was stunned!

In the LH Member’s own words,

I guess everything boils down to helping people in our community. I am a working mother of two boys. My youngest was born premature and wasn’t supposed to live. But God gave us a miracle and we have a healthy, amazing child. For lots of reasons, traveling to foreign countries on mission seems impossible for me. So when I saw LHACTS was supporting local needs, I knew that was my chance to help someone (and remain anonymous as Jesus encourages us in Matt 6:1-4). And I praise God that I was able to help her, and He allowed my oldest son to witness what we could do and what the impact was.

What a beautiful example of God using the willingness and availability of members of His Church to meet the needs of others. Our abilities or resources may not always allow us to meet material needs for others, but as this giver was taken by surprise and obeyed what God called them to do, may we always be willing to do what is asked of us, any time and any way we can!

July 24, 2014

Faith like a Child

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Long Hollow member Brian Klinger, Aaron’s dad explains his son’s two-year journey:

Two years ago, our 6 year old son, Aaron, set a goal to save $1,000 after he became wrecked for the orphans in Haiti. He first learned about them through Long Hollow’s Children’s Ministry, lhkidz. Every dollar Aaron earned from chores and money given to him on birthdays and Christmas was placed into a toy mailbox he used as a piggy bank to save for the orphans.
For 2 years, Aaron has been telling people about the orphans in Haiti and how he’s saving money to help them. After hearing this, people would sometimes donate a dollar or even $20… because his story would inspire them to give.

His mom, Charlene and I are so proud of our son because Sunday, March 23rd, Aaron was finally able to give his $1,000 offering to help the orphans in Haiti! What makes this even more special, is that last Sunday was also Aaron’s 7th birthday, plus he was baptized that day, as well to let everyone know Jesus Christ is his Lord and Savior. God is so good!

Aaron’s mom, Charlene also shared with us:

We have been very blessed but we never want to give Aaron more than he needs. He gets gifts for his birthday and Christmas only. Anytime we are out shopping and he asks for something I tell him if he wants it he can spend his money and he never does. In 2 years he has not spent one penny of his money on himself.

The Saturday night before Aaron’s big day, Aaron and I counted his money. We counted it every few months and would take the money from the mailbox and put into the shoe box that he brought to church. I thought he was going to be a little bit short but he had just enough, $1002. We had kept good records too so I know that God made it just enough! Aaron screamed with excitement! He took the $2 he had left and put it right back into the mailbox. He said this would be the start of his next offering!

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That Sunday was hands-down one of the best days ever! To see our sweet child give so happily everything he has is just incredible. We are so thankful to Long Hollow for allowing him to be part of this ministry. As you know, it is an incredible blessing to be part of a church that truly loves and cares so much for the orphans and others in need. Doing what God calls us to do can be seen at any age no matter how small. We are all so blessed! I love how LHKidz teaches the children about the importance of love. Aaron soaks up every song and story and we are so thankful to be part of that ministry, too.

God put us in this exact place for His purpose and to see how God is working in Aaron’s heart and our own is just AWESOME!

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1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

 

March 27, 2014