Why I’ll Never Look at a Bar of Soap the Same Way Again

Guest Blogger


Nov. 10-16 is Guest Blogger Week at ngumc.org. The Conference has invited leaders of Action Ministries to write about hunger issues and how NGUMC churches can and are making a difference! They'll be posting all week and you are invited to share the messages with your own church and community. Follow along on social media by using #‎ngumcHungerAction.

Why I’ll Never Look at a Bar of Soap the Same Way Again

By Rebecca Wicker
Guest Blogger

I’d been working at Action Ministries for about a year, when I received an unusual email request.  
“I lost my house caring from my elderly mother who is now living in a nursing home,” wrote a man I’ll call Adam. “I’m a veteran and was living in my car until I could no longer make the payments. I go visit my mother each day in the nursing home and eat her leftovers, staying until visiting hours are over. I’ve slept outside for the past few weeks, but I don’t know how to survive on the streets. People try to rob and hurt you. I’m a proud man and have never had to ask for help, but I’m praying you’ll respond. All I need is a bar of soap.”  
I asked him why he needed a bar of soap. 
“I’m going to a local technical college to become a dialysis technician so I can rebuild my life,” he replied. “I go to school really early before anyone else gets there so that I can wash myself because I don’t want anyone to know I’m homeless.” 
My heart sank. I told him I’d do more than give him a bar of soap if he’d call me. When we talked, he told me that no one had ever paid any attention to his cries for help before now. 
He felt invisible.
A few days later, Adam took a bus to our offices in Atlanta. An Action Ministries food box filled with vegetables, proteins, bread and other items was waiting for him in the lobby, along with some money for daily bus fare to school, a hygiene travel kit, a toothbrush, mouthwash and multiple bars of soap that he could hide in his backpack. We gave him the number of a shelter where he could live while going to school. He was so grateful for so little. 
A bar of soap was like gold to him. 
As we waved goodbye, he promised to stay in touch. I knew that was unlikely, although I’d included a note with some cash and told him that in his darkest moments, he should know that someone cared about him. Action Ministries and its multitude of volunteers cared about him.
Several weeks passed, and one afternoon I got another email from Adam.
“Dear Rebecca, I just wanted you to know that I am doing well and working hard in school. I was placed in an apartment and am in counseling to help heal some past hurts. I pray things are going well for you and everyone at Action Ministries. I often think about how you reached out to help me, and I’m still grateful. The card you gave me about others caring for me is now framed and on a shelf in my apartment so that I can look at it each day. I hope you are well. Take care, Adam.”
I never knew a simple bar of soap could change a person’s life, but it was the hope that gave him the courage to wash away the pain, dust himself off and take the first step back to a life he’d forgotten. That bar of soap changed my life, too. You can be sure I’ll never look at a bar of soap the same way again.
Anyone can make a difference in the life of someone in need. Won’t you join the movement and become a Life-Changer today to help lead people out of poverty? One simple way you can help right now is to text the word FOODBOX to 41444. Any amount is appreciated and will be leveraged to provide the maximum support to those in need.   
In gratitude,
Rebecca Whicker
Vice President of Strategic Marketing
Action Ministries, Inc.
Action Ministries is a related agency of the North Georgia Conference and our local mission "Bridge." The Conference-wide Action Ministries Offering is Dec 7 (or any time that works for your church). Find promotional material at http://actionministries.net/calling-all-life-changers-action-ministries-sunday-is-dec-7. To give, write a check made out to your church and marked "Action Ministries" and place it in the offering plate of any North Georgia United Methodist Church. Text FOODBOX to 41444 to sponsor a food box for a needy family.

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