It was a drizzly Saturday morning.  The sky was gray, and there was a bit of a chill in the air.  It was the perfect morning to hit the snooze button.  But today was a day we had been praying about and planning for for months.  So we put on our work clothes, grabbed our gloves, and gathered together with more than 30 volunteers to show love to a widow in need and to a growing family.

Last weekend, my husband and I were blessed to be a part of a special project for Matt and Nikki Wimpelberg.  These dear friends of ours are in the long, expensive process of international adoption.  Their beautiful baby girl is being loving cared for by a foster family in South Korea while paperwork is processed, and they hope to bring her home very soon.  In the meantime, in an effort to raise money to help with the costs, Matt and Nikki arranged a fundraiser through the Both Hands Foundation that embodies true Christianity.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 (NIV)


The idea of Both Hands is to raise money for adoption costs through sponsorship of a day’s work helping a widow in need.  As part of this team of volunteers, we wrote letters to our friends and family requesting sponsorship, and then we volunteered a day of our time for Ms. Sandy.

When we arrived on work day, there were many options for jobs.  Different volunteers pulled up bushes and power washed the deck, and cleaned out gutters, and painted lawn furniture, and hauled away old flower bedding.  Being a rainy day, and since as a librarian by trade I love to organize things, I jumped at the chance to tackle Ms. Sandy’s garage.  Everyone has a place where they put the things that they want to save but then never use again.  After a while the space becomes overwhelming.  This was the case for Ms. Sandy and so we began pulling her treasures out and helping her to sort through them.  It took us several hours, but in the end we hauled away what she no longer needed and reorganized what she wanted to keep.  Work like this can be scary, but it is also very cleansing, letting go of the past, and finding space to twirl today.

The smile on Ms. Sandy’s face when we finished was worth so much more than any monetary payment we could have received.  She was thrilled with the transformation, and we all felt the weariness and satisfaction of a good hard day’s work.  What a blessing it is to work alongside fellow Christians to help others!  Praise God for these opportunities to serve the widows and the orphans!

For more information about the Both Hands Foundation and to join us in helping Matt and Nikki and Ms. Sandy, please visit the Wimpelberg Both Hands Project page.

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