Sunday, December 15, 2013

A treia lumina de Advent

A treia lumina de Advent

Undeva inspre sudul statului Virginia, in Chesterfield Doamna Stacey Jones isi dedica zile, ore in administrarea unui centru de caritate pentru familiile nevoiase din regiune.
O data pe luna trimite prin intermediul firmei de transport Best Trans cateva pachete cu ajutoare pentru copii orfani din Romania, si pentru alte familii.
Angela, o colega de colega de serviciu cu Stacey activeaza ca misionar voluntar in Bucuresti. Voi vorbi despre ea intr-un articol viitor.

Va reproduc un interviu cu Doamna Stacey Jones:

 Jones from Chesterfield, VA is spending 2 hours every Tuesday and Saturdays on the phone, talking to people in need, receiving, sorting and putting various donations on shelves and hangers.

1.Good Morning, Stacey. I d like to introduce you to my Romanian Friends . Please tell us in a few words about you and your activity atMercyMall.

My name is Stacey Jones and I am a wife, home school mom, professional organizer, Christ-follower, and coordinator for the Mercy Malls of Virginia, USA.  MercyMall is a FREE clothing and housewares boutique that was started by our pastor, Shannon O'Dell, in Arkansas.  We give out nonperishable food, clothing, shoes, housewares, baby equipment, and toys to people in genuine need whether they are local or across the globe.  What makes us different is that we do not qualify our clients, we have an organized boutique-like setting, and the clients will not only material items and resources, but also smiles, hugs, and prayers.  

2. Was there anything in particular that prompted you to volunteer MercyMall

I loved the vision of Mercy Mall - to provide excellence to those who are usually getting the bottom of the barrel.  We provide a friendly, non-judgmental atmosphere that puts people at ease.  They are already in a tough situation; we want to encourage them and show them a greater hope.  I am naturally drawn to those who are the "least of these", as I am no different by nature than they are.  

3. It s not easy to be a Servant of the God through your activity. 
  • How do you define continuous improvement? 
In God's ministry, continuous improvement is measured by the number of changed lives.  God is leading us in this, so we do my best to step out of the way and follow His lead.  We have only been open 22 months and have had tremendous growth and increasing support and awareness throughout the community.  We have volunteers from many Christian denominations and from over 12 different churches.  We are not only providing for the needy, we are connecting the fortunate with the less fortunate and the urban with the suburban.  We move forward at the pace God allows and with the resources He provides.  It's been quite an adventure forall of us!! 

What is the last improvement/change you have implemented to allow you to do a better job and better serve others?

We have so many changes that are being made to accommodate our rising client base.  We now have a sign-in sheet so that we can keep up with the order in which families have arrived.  Also, I limit the amount of clients that I take shopping so that I can properly lead.  Our biggest day to date has been 30 families in a 2 hour window.  That is a lot of people in our units!

4. I know you send monthly packages to Romania and pay for the overseas shipping costs. Tell us about this project and what determined you chose a mission in Romania?

We actually do not pay for the shipping fees to Romania.  We get reimbursed by Children to Love for the boxes we send to their organization.  This money comes out of funds that were raised to support a missionary.  Our contribution is in paying for boxes, the time, and overstock we send over.  My good friend, Angela Molina, is an intern for Children to Love, an organization who works with orphans and special needs children in India and Romania. We had recently sent what we call "missionary boxes" to Ghana ahead of the missionaries that were traveling there over the summer.  That gave us the inspiration for sending boxes to Romania.  Angela gave me the information for Best Trans, where I got connected to Dave and Lilly Pierce, who pick up our boxes monthly, and also receive several bags of clothing and shoes for their foundation, called Lilly Bud, also in Romania.  She can tell you more about what is done with those items.  

5. You are a Mom. How many children do you have and how you balance work and family?

Jeff and I have been married for 21 years and have four children: Hannah, 16; Tanner and Tristan, 13; and Hope, 11.  They serve at the Mercy Mall regularly.  I could not do this without my family.  Because I homeschool and God has gifted me with organization, I am able to set our schedules to accommodate the responsibility of the Mercy Mall. I feel it is important for children to grow up serving others and being in contact with people of all socioeconomic levels.  

6.What do you know about Romania and its people?

I don't know much about the Romanian people, only what has been shared by Angela.  She loves the people of  Romania and has had a heart for that part of the world for many years.  I do know that it was once a communist society, but that has changed and the country is trying to still rebuild.  I know that the religion is mainly Orthodox which is very different from the Bible-believing Christianity that is predominant in the USA. I have only met a handful from that country and they have all been very friendly people.  We pray over each missionary box or bag we send… that the people that receive these items would not see me, the USA, Best Trans, or anyone else involved… that they would experience God's love and provision in a fresh way leading them into a genuine relationship with the only Savior, Jesus Christ.

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