At LOV, we have a handful of dedicated volunteers who have been serving alongside us week in and week out for many years. Mrs. Barbara Barber is one of them. After our after school program Christmas party, she took a few moments to record what the Lord had revealed to her that day and shared those thoughts with us. The Lord blessed us through her words, and we would like to share them with you.
“I have several thoughts rumbling in my head, and I hope I can get them on paper in a fashion that you will see the awesome hand of God at work in and through you and the privilege He has entrusted to you with His work at Light of the Village.
God very clearly spoke to my heart and directed me on my first visit to LOV a few years ago. From that first visit, I saw the hand of God at work in the ministry. Each and every visit since that time I have asked God to give me a glimpse of what He is doing in the lives of the people involved with the ministry. And, without fail He has let me see a small part of the mighty work He is performing daily. Often what He shows me are not the big events but more than likely they are small things that might seem insignificant, except from God’s point of view.
During my Christmas visits, one thing I saw was a senior from Vigor High School in her basketball uniform. Not a big deal unless you were at the after school program on the day she walked in as a ninth grade student who wanted to play basketball but had no way to pay the fee or get a physical. There she stood, dressed in her uniform, one semester away from graduation. I saw a young man about 8 years old running, playing, smiling and enjoying the safety of the after school program. Not a big deal unless you saw him as a shy four year old who was so afraid that he could not sit down and participate with other children in an activity or game. I saw many, many older students and adults who show up because this is where they know they will receive unconditional love and hope.
On Tuesday, December 16, I drove out to the village and brought a car load of presents. We unloaded the presents, and volunteers were busy making ready for the grand celebration of a birthday party for Jesus that would take place when the students were dismissed from school. Later in the afternoon I returned to help guide my friends who were bringing the horses for horse rides. By this time the LOV grounds were filled with volunteers bringing in pizza and lemonade, two large inflatables, crafts and games. As the Christmas music filled the entire neighborhood, students and parents followed the music right onto the campus. Soon a basketball game started, the inflatables were bouncing, pizza was being enjoyed and everyone was laughing, talking, singing and having a great time. Parents and grandparents talked with us and thanked us for helping with such a wonderful celebration.
After a time of great fun Mr. John rang the bell, which everyone knows is the signal to come inside for devotional and prayer. Because I was helping get the horses loaded and on their way, I was late getting into the building for my favorite time which is the Jesus time. I especially love this time because it quickly becomes evident through the student interaction that God’s Holy Word and His instructions have been consistently taught to the students. When I arrived inside the building there was an overflow of parents and visitors that filled the kitchen hallway and overflowed onto the porch. When I realized that I could not hear Mr. John and the students, I asked Angela who was in the kitchen if I could come in the kitchen. She graciously said I could, and we opened the window to the school room where we could hear Mr. John telling the students about gifts and Jesus, our greatest gift. At the same time we were listening to Mr. John the people in the kitchen hallway were talking. As I heard their conservation, I remembered that on the afternoon news it was reported that little Hiawayi Robinson’s father had been arrested for her murder. In my right ear I could hear Mr. John speaking about Jesus and His gift of love to us, and in the left ear I could hear people who felt betrayed because they had walked with Hiawayi’s father searching for her. Their hurt, anger and unbelief rose in angry voices until Angela had to ask them to lower their voices but you could see the looks of betrayal on their faces. As Mr. John finished and prayed for the children they filed out to get their gifts and head home.
It was not until I was in my car driving home that Holy God pulled back the veil and let me see a little of what He had done. On Tuesday, December 16, 2014 He knew that the Alabama Village would receive the news of Hiawayi Robinson’s father’s arrest and would be in pain, so He decided that was the day He would select to hold a GRAND, FREE, BEAUTIFUL, JOYOUS celebration of His Son and invite all of us to enjoy Him.”
Barbara Barber, December 2014
If you have never been to see LOV for yourself, we would invite you to come and see what God is doing in the Alabama Village. Contact John Eads at (251) 680-4613 or Morgan Carnley at (334) 406-0221 to schedule a visit.