"You have tangibly displayed the glory of the Lord to us this week by supporting us this week, praying for us, and giving us a sense of value in our efforts to be women, mothers, wives, and church planters. Thank you from the deepest place in my heart."
Each week we gather as a church for mutual encouragement and prayer. It's easy to assume this is all that happens as "The Church at Brook Hills." But there is so much more you have a hand in around the world through the Global Offering. Each December we get the privilege of peeling back the curtain so you can see the impact you've had beyond Birmingham through your giving.
The words you read above expressed deep gratitude of one of the women you will likely never meet but you deeply impacted in 2022. For a few short days, over 140 women were able to gather together, worship, and receive teaching in English - something many of the attendees have not had access to for some time. They were able to lament together, pray together, and be encouraged to endure in the good, hard work among Muslim women in Central Asia.
The unique trials they endure came through in one letter where an attendee explicitly mentioned her gratitude "for a few days of consistently hot showers." At a glance, financially giving to this retreat could seem impersonal, but for this sister, and many more, it was deeply personal. The retreat was a gift that fueled these women to press on in spiritually dark places. Her daily heaviness found comfort in the simplicity of consistently hot showers. Brook Hills, you communicated that these women were valued in their sacrifices and you enabled them to be equipped for the work. Even from Birmingham, your ministry of giving strengthened and refreshed their souls.
The gifts you give to the Global Offering enable us to say "yes" to this conference. One of our mid-termers was at this conference and did not find out about you sponsoring the event until she arrived. You can only imagine the encouragement and value that was communicated to this sweet sister upon hearing that her sending church made the weekend possible. She writes,
"I am grateful for you guys because in funding things like this meeting, you help us remember the immense and eternal value of loving people through the local church. So thank you for loving us sacrificially by supporting us individually and on a broad scale..."
Her teammate specifically wanted to thank you in this way:
"The Lord has used your preaching, your sending, and even your gracious giving to provide coffee as a gift to our souls and taste buds. We have also been blessed by one of your members serving alongside us. She has been a joy and watching you all care for and support her from afar has been a gift. Thank you."
Just as Paul rejoiced to pour himself out for gospel ministry because of the "sacrificial service" of the church at Philippi's gift to him, these ladies arrived home refueled because of the sacrificial way you gave to Global Offering.
Faith family, know that you are a part of so much more than what you see each Sunday. Your part in Global Offering may feel removed from real people or like a cold, monetary transaction. But to these women, it was the needed reprieve of a hot shower.
**Each Sunday in December, you can visit the Community Room to read more hand-written notes from the attendees of this conference and see more ways your giving refreshed our partners in 2022.