The Lord Used Me and I Didn’t Even Know It

The Lord Used me and I Didn't even Know it.Besides being a member of my local church (Avondale Baptist), I am the outreach minister for the online ministry, Master’s Harbor.org.  In May of 2011, Joplin, MO was devastated by an EF5 tornado.  Our top staff felt that the Lord wanted us in Joplin, so off we went: three men, me, and two trucks filled with coffee and water.  We had no idea what was in store for us other than what we had seen on TV or heard from my husband and daughter’s colleagues who are police officers who went down to help.

When we got there and drove into town all seemed normal until we topped a hill.  We all said “oh, my Lord…”   because all you could see was utter devastation. It looked like what I imagined Japan looked like after the dropping of the Atom bomb.

We immediately started looking for people to minster to.  On the second day we stopped to talk with an elderly lady and her grandson.  She was sitting in her car sobbing while he tried to find anything in the pile that used to be her home.  I sat down on the floorboard of her car and wrapped her in my arms.  I asked if all her family was ok, if they all had lost their homes, and so forth.  To each answer she said yes.  Thirty-two family members had lost their homes.  Her brother was scheduled to have heart surgery on the following Tuesday at the hospital that had been blown to sheds.

I told her that I could not explain why God would allow this to happen, but for the fact that they all got out alive she should praise Him. If she never found one thing that she recognized, she should praise because her memories were in her heart and mind.  On and on the conversation went.  When I asked to pray with her she said yes.

In November, Women of Faith was in Kansas City.  Our church always attends.  When we went out for dinner this little lady walked up to me and asked, “Are you Jacque from Kansas City?”

I said, “Yes . . . and you’re from Joplin.”  She went on to tell me that almost all of her family had rebuilt their homes . . . but there was more to the story.  There was something I didn’t know:  She said that before I met her that neither she nor any of her family knew Christ.  But now they had all accepted Him,   were baptized, and attending church each Sunday.  “But,” she said, “most of all we’re praising Him!

The next time you think you’re not really doing anything to serve the Lord by asking someone if they’d like some water or coffee, just remember this story. Every time I think about how the Lord used me, it blows my mind. Then I praise HIM!!

Comments

  1. 2 years ago
    ONESMO BATUME says

    Shalom things are clear nothing more to add be blessed

  2. 2 years ago
    Wanda says

    This is a great testimony of what our obedience can accomplish. I pray that all believers will be obedient even when it seems like only a little thing to do.

  3. 2 years ago
    Martha says

    What a beautiful story, it is amazing what the Lord can do when we just let our compassion be the force that compels us to act, a willing heart that is all the Holy Spirit needs… Aleluya!!!

  4. He never ceases to amaze us does He? Praise Him morning, noon, and night! Hallalujah, praise be to our Father in Heaven, Who Was, Who Is and Is to Come!!!!! Praise Praise, Praise!!!!!! Holy, Holy, Holy!!!!!!

  5. Jacque… I was so fortunate to have God direct you to this ministry. I praise Him for your work as my Outreach Minister and the enthusiasm you have brought to my staff. You answered God’s calling that day in May and helped Master’s Harbor to turn a negative into a positive. From the comments I have read here, you have once again answered His call to bring comfort and inspiration to a lot of people. I admire your constant focus on our Lord and thank God for our friendship and the work we do together, for Him…

  6. 2 years ago
    Cheryl Brock says

    I am from Joplin and I thank you and all the volunteers. The church I attend provided shelter to hundreds of volunteers. We were so blessed. Though I didn’t lose my home or any family. I lost lots of reminders of the memories I have. Every home I lived in every job. My heart aches for those who lost so much. I can’t wrap my head around it yet. Probably never will. But I know this no matter how dark our world may be. God uses people like you to show us how not alone we are and that he lives us. God bless you and yours.

  7. 2 years ago
    Francis says

    Jacque your story is very inspiring, I couldn’t stop crying when I read it. It touched my heart and soul, and a wondeful reminder of what God’s goodness really is. The why’s of why terrible things happen is uncomprehensible at times but we do know that God has our best interest at heart. Sometimes when we are going through what appears to be a difficult time is also when we come to really know God.

    I have been blessed by your story and encouraged. Thank you.

  8. Thank you all for your kind words. Our God is so awesome!!! I sent this in and never thought that it would be published. In fact, I kind of forgot I’d done it. December 10th was the 18th anniversary of the death of my 17 year old daughter Kim. I was having a tough day, this year. I don’t always, anymore, but this year was bad. I prayed for comfort from our God. After that I thought I’d check my e-mails, and there was the story the Lord had allowed me to be a part of. I had to look at it about five times before it truly stuck that, yes, that’s the one I had written. Talk about comfort. I love my Lord so much, and he never quits amazing me. Again I say “Praise you, My Lord” for being my true all in all.

    Jacque L. Porch

    • Jacque, thank YOU for sharing your story with us so that we could share it with others. The minute we read it (blinking back tears!) we knew it would go in a newsletter at some point—but only God could have scheduled it for the very day He knew you’d need it. We’re blessed to have been a part of His plan.

  9. 2 years ago
    Linda Jamila says

    Hallejuah! What a strengthening story!

  10. Thank you so much for this reminder this day! The enemy is so determined to taint our thinking that we cannot make a difference in this world, so why try that we need, I need, these reminders through true stories like this….thanks!!!

  11. 2 years ago
    Carol says

    Wow! Your story brought me to tears. Thank you for the work that you do and for the powerful reminder that our God uses even *simple* acts in a miraculous way. Thank you for sharing your story and for the blessing I received reading it!

  12. 2 years ago
    April Knight says

    Love this story!!

  13. 2 years ago
    Ginger Bogle says

    I am from Joplin, MO. This story is just one of many that I’m sure could be told because the ultimate story of the Joplin tornado was the story of the Church. We were on every news channel and on everyone’s lips – and stories were told of the lost, the injured, the survivors, the volunteers, the heroes, FEMA, City Leaders and a thousand others – but the REAL STORY was the story of the church. I am so proud to be from Joplin, MO and to be a member of the body of Christ. Because what happened after the May 22nd tornado was that the Churches (local) and the Church (far and wide) poured itself into Joplin, MO and brought help and hope and healing. God was and still is being glorified daily by the stories of His people and their kindnesses to Joplin, MO. Thank you to everyone who came. But even more, thank you Father for your people!!!!

  14. 2 years ago
    Success David says

    Hi Jac,
    Good job. I pray for more annointing on you to expand HIS kingdom.

  15. 2 years ago
    Lisa Fekete says

    I really enjoyed this story!! God is so good and very amazing!

  16. 2 years ago
    Susan Grosz says

    God works is mysterious ways his wonders to perform. He is a great and wonderful God

  17. 2 years ago
    Mary Lynn says

    Jaque,
    Thank you so much for sharing and enabling God to encourage his body through your stooury. Bless you

  18. 2 years ago
    Nichole says

    What an awesome story and praise to God our Father, the blessed controller of all things!! Strong Work!

  19. What a beautiful story, Jacque! It’s a sweet addition that you got to hear results from someone in this lifetime. Many of us plant or water the seeds, but might not get to see harvest until heaven.
    It’s a celebration!!!!!

  20. 2 years ago
    Vivian Teague says

    Thank you for telling your story. What a beautiful story it is. That just goes to show how one kind act and speaking to someone about God can change lives completely. God bless you. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Jacque,

    I know exactly what ‘hill’ you’re referring to in Joplin,MO. Friends and I also responded to the call for help there in July 2011. We’d been there for a few days working to remove debris from destroyed homes to the curbside so that it could be picked up by FEMA.

    By the fourth day, as we hit the top of that hill where all that was insight was miles of destruction, my wall came tumbling down, and I began to cry. I tried hard to hold back the tears but was unsuccessful in attempting to show my usual bravado. As I continued driving, heading towards the site where we were working with two other groups of mostly teens and college students from Texas and Tennessee,
    I regained control for the moment.

    A couple of hours into the work day, the woman whose house was next door to the one we were carrying piece by piece to the curb, who had damage to her home and several family members whose homes were completely destroyed, broke down while telling a group of us her story.

    It was heartbreaking, and yet heartwarming, when one of the young teenage girls grabbed the woman and held her while she cried. It’s not often that I see such compassion in a 14yr old, and once again my own tears came. Needless to say, I cried periodically for the rest of the day.

    I want to thank you for sharing your story. It brought back for me the memories of all of the kind church people, mostly from outside of the area, who were driving around Joplin bring volunteers Powerade, water, sandwiches and homemade cookies while we worked. In that moment it was easy
    to set aside denomination religion and recognize that we are called to be ONE BODY, and they were answering that call.

    I have been volunteering with disaster relief since Hurricane Katrina, and your story echoes what I’ve been saying from the beginning, that it’s less about the ‘work’ and all about the people.

    God Bless You,
    Charlene Marie King ~ Keep The Faith…Until The Last AMEN

  22. 2 years ago
    WANDA HUDNALL says

    That was a fantastic story. What an awesome God we have to minister to others when we don’t even
    know we’re doing it. It gives me courage to do more for God.

    • Thank you for your sweet words. Don’t be afraid. Just be the best yourself you can, and the Lord will fill in the rest.

  23. 2 years ago
    Marcia* says

    WOW! Brought tears to my eyes…Thank you SO much for the wise advice: always praise God and for the encouragement and reminder that we never know how the things we do affect others but just keep doing them! *

    • I know what you mean about the tears. I still get them every time I think about how God arranged for us to meet again, so I could hear her wonderful news. And I go to Why use me Lord? I’m not the best vessel on the block, but it doesn’t matter as long as your willing to let him use you. Thank you for your kind words.

  24. Praise God for people who remain faithful to His voice and obey …others always benefit whether directly of indirectly and God blesses each act of obedience. Thank you also for sharing so to that I am encouraged to obey. Like you over and over again I have seen God work and move in ways I never expected…HE IS SO TRULY AWESOME !!

    • You are so very right. He shows us in so many ways big and someyhing very
      ,very small, but all are amazing.

  25. Praise the Lord, again I say “Praise God.” Amen

  26. Amen!!!!!

  27. 2 years ago
    Dorothy says

    Praise the Lord for your story Jacque! We must all be willing to trust and obey. May God continue to bless your every endeavor.