If you really want to see God do great things, then you have to find where He is working and join Him! This principle isn’t something that originated with me. It’s the basic premise of one of the most life-changing Bible studies I’ve ever done- Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby.
While I certainly don’t disagree with that one bit, what I have discovered, through Scripture and my own experience, is that sometimes, the work He is doing usually originates with His unmistakable call to an individual. Look at Moses, for example- the man God called from a burning bush! So if I were to add anything to that above premise it would be this- be attentive to what the Lord is saying in your life.
I want to tell you about my friend Dana Bittner and how God called her to begin a very impactful ministry. He didn’t use a burning bush or an angelic messenger. Instead, He used a Happy Meal. Literally, a Happy Meal! (Which might just be one of my favorite details of this testimony.)
Dana is one of the most caring women you will ever meet. In fact, she has a very busy career as a care-giver. Once a week, her client gets a Happy Meal. Of course, the thing that makes the meal happy is the toy! However, as Dana’s client is an adult, the toy usually was just discarded. Until Dana started wondering, “What can we do with these toys?” And, because God has given her a heart that sees needs and meets needs, He opened her eyes to a need that is most often overlooked- taking care of the children who are transitioning from their homes into foster care.
Through a series of God-appointed encounters and conversations, through a burdened heart and a determination to help those who are among the most helpless, Seeds of Truth Backpack Ministry was born.
It’s really such a common-sense concept. Dana purchases backpacks, then fills them with the bare essentials that a child would need in the circumstances of being taken, often suddenly, from their home to an unfamiliar and uncertain place. The backpacks, for ages ranging from infant all the way to 18 years, are then distributed to individuals who will make sure the backpacks and age/gender appropriate items, including a toy of some sort, make it into the hands of the children who need them.
But this isn’t just about giving the children a clean pair of socks and a soft blanket. As Dana puts it, the bare essentials that she puts into the backpacks includes Jesus. That’s where the ministry name, Seeds of Truth, comes in. Older children will receive a teen Bible, while younger children will receive a Bible story book along with the other items. Will they keep the Bibles/books? Will they, or someone in their new home, read the books to the children? There’s no way for Dana to know. All Dana knows is that God has called her to be faithful to plant a seed- and she trusts Him to provide the nurture and care that will help that seed to grow.
Dana doesn’t know how many backpacks have been given out so far, but she estimates that she has delivered about 80 since the ministry was born in late 2018-early 2019. While she does appreciate donations of items and backpacks, most of this ministry is funded out of her personal budget. Despite the financial stretch this is for her, God has grown this ministry to include four counties in central Georgia, even requiring her to find a place to store her supplies.
Dana may never know this side of Heaven the specific impact that this ministry is having on the children receiving these backpacks. But she presses forward, praying for God to always be in charge, to give her guidance, and continued provision for the ministry, knowing that this work that she has been called to do is an investment in eternity.
Do you want to see God do great things? Are you wanting to find where God is working? He is working right here- through the faithfulness of this determined, caring woman. Take a look at the ministry’s Facebook page and find out how you can be involved.
Each of us has the need for our hearts to be stirred to action by the One who wants to use our hands, feet, and hearts for His glory. How is He calling you today?
2 responses to “Seeds of Truth”
I am so honored to call this beautiful woman my friend.
She is truly an asset for the Kingdom and I am privileged to get to see her selfless actions for those in need.
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So proud of you ,Dana , and your ministy. I have 25-40? I’m McDonald toys that never been open. So if you can use them , I will be glad to send them to you!
God bless you and your ministry!
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