Where it all began…

In an effort to inform about Potters Hands, what we do, who we do it for and just how much we depend on God to actually do the work all the while making us think we did it. But more than anything, it is about how we came to realize that we serve a God whose mercy and love and grace is fully extended to ALL who call on his name regardless of the pit that they are in. So here is a brief history from my perspective, and I pray that He will lead me to be able to tell you the stories of those who do call out to Jesus.
Potters Hands (The Beginnings)
In the study of God’s Word, eventually you have to ask yourself “What to do with what I have learned?”. The resposes are as varied as the people doing the study.
For one group, it was “put your money where your mouth was”, and in response, a Saturday Morning breakfast was born. About one year later, may family and one other joined the bible study and shortly after, work in the kitchen as well.
As we were all disenfranchised from any church, we felt that if we were to meet at the kitchen on Sunday evenings in stead of private homes, we might attract some of the people from the street to join us. In our eagerness to witness, we soon had a study every other Sunday morning and also on alternate Sunday evenings. It wasn’t too long before we went to every Sunday Morning. Then before long we hesitatingly called ourselves a church, and Potter’s Hands was born!
Everything we did with and for the street people was done by the seat of our pants, because we really had no clue as to the psychology involved in dealing with these people. They willingly ate the food we prepared, but when we tried to get close to them, we ran into an inpenatrable wall. Over time, as we began to know them, the walls started to come down, and we began to form relationships with them. We thought we were dealing with a bunch of misfits, but we soon realized that we were the misfits in their community.
Pastor Stan delivered a constant message of a caring loving God whose Son bore all of our sins, no matter how great or small, and forgiveness was available to and for all. For four years it was the same, and seemingly without a great breakthrough. Sure, there were some who recieved the word and made changes, but no real big breakthrough.
At about this time, the Soley family, convicted to serve, went on a mission trip for one year to work in an orphanage in Mexico. In so doing, they effectively reducxed our core number by about 40% and we were worried that the reduction in numbers might discourage some of the others, because our numbers had stagnated some what. So what to do but pray that God would provide the increase, and he did! From that point on our numbers steadily grew, including many people from the street. I guess that it didn’t hurt that we had coffee and cookies available, but they came in ever increasing numbers. This proved to be a drawing card, and as they grew more comfortable in an atmosspere where they were not judged, but accepted in the name of Christ, more and more stayed for the entire service. Eventually they began to speak during a sharing time, and when the found that they were not rejected for what they said (which was not always the nicest to hear in church), they began to take a greater interest in what was being said. This led to questions and acceptance that God actually did care for them, and that they could become part of a society that really did care.
I write this not so much as a factual history of Potters, but it shows how it came about that we are in the position to share in some small way the lives of people on the street.
It is hard sometimes for me to describe the feelings that I have obtained for these people, but this much I do know; over the years that I have spent working in some small way with them, I have learned not just about them, but also to care for them and to love them. It doesn’t take too long to learn and appreciate the characters involved, what brought them to this point, and the struggles they face in trying to leave this life behind. They all have a story to tell, and with God’s help, I will try to tell some of them.

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1 Comments to “Where it all began…”

  1. anne sullivan says:

    I for one am very grateful that potters hands is around.Thank you all for everything that I learnt about God and his love for me

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