I am not even sure where to begin with this guest post intro, so I’ll just cut to the chase.
Mary Helen is my grandmother. My only living grandparent. And trust me when I say, she makes up for the lack of any others. She is the grandma of all grandmas…and I do not just say that because she is mine. She is the inventor of roof ball, the fixer of crumbled cupcakes, and the maker of the meanest mashed potatoes and chocolate milk shakes you will ever have. Most importantly. She has been my most faithful and loyal supporter in prayer and a bright and shining example of what it looks like to live out the love of Christ. In true Mary Helen fashion, and being the spectacular loving, supportive grandma that she is, she agreed to share on the Press today. She learned how to use Facebook so she could follow my life away from home, she has figured out how to read the Press so that she can support our dreams at The Pearl Press, and she asked my aunt to send what she wrote via IPhone so that she could share today. I am beyond honored to have my grandmother, Mary Helen Lovitz sharing her heart and her story of how she has put the love of Jesus in action. I hope she will encourage and inspire you as she always has me.
1980 was a year of great change for our family. Through the witness of our new son-in-law, Rachel’s father, our whole family accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior one by one. By the end of that year, our lives were changed and a new life began for all of us.
We all joined a new church and began to learn about Jesus. We started reading and studying the Bible. We met new Christian friends and became involved in different ministries and began serving the Lord.
Life was good.
In 1997, within five months, six women in our church lost their husbands due to illnesses of various kinds. Most of us were in our sixties, retired, our children raised and gone, and now we were alone with a lot of time on our hands.
Our pastor brought us together and helped us form a group for widows in our church. He wanted us to be united in fellowship and in prayer. We called the group the J.A.M.S. which stood for Jesus and Me.
We soon learned that when God takes a spouse or a loved one, he always has a plan for those left behind. Our group would meet at the church for prayer and social gatherings. We became good friends, attended senior camp together, and were able to travel to other places also.
We became involved in different ministries in the church and were so thankful to serve the Lord. Our pastor had started a small food pantry for the widows. Shortly after that, a couple in the church ran with it and started facilitating a food bank. Right away the J.A.M.S. wanted to be involved. We were able to meet so many people and not only serve them and meet their physical needs, but also pray with them and learn about their lives and their families.
Our food bank grew from a small chest in our church lobby. It is now the second largest food bank in our valley. Not only do seniors serve, but many others young and old.
Age is not a boundary in serving the Lord.
Our J.A.M.S. group has also grown and has been involved in teaching Sunday school, volunteering in many areas of Vacation Bible School. We have worked in the church library, sang in the choir, worked in the nursery, and led sign language ministries. Some have done home health care, hosted Bible studies in their homes. Some used their sewing talents to donate to different benefits, many have been involved in missions, others have run the kitchen ministry for dinners and funerals. Almost all of us have served and volunteered in nursing homes. But always our most important ministry remains our prayer times and partners. We believe we have a faithful father who answers prayers and so we never stop praying for each other and our families.
We have been blessed to grow lasting friendships through the years and to have had pastors and their wives who have preached the true word of God. That true word has helped to mold us into the women we have become.
Two years ago our pastor who had initiated our J.A.M.S group began a citywide Senior Saints Bible study at his current church. Many of our J.A.M.S. are still able to attend. We always share a great time of praise and worship. We hear a solid teaching and enjoy reuniting with old friends. We have come full circle. Our group is close to 19-years-old now.
Due to our ages, many of us have had to make some changes in our lives. Some have moved to smaller places and some have settled into churches closer to their homes.
We are still serving at the food bank and teaching, but our most important ministry is to be prayer warriors. We are now in our late seventies and eighties. One woman is 95 and still praising the Lord by playing hymns on her mouth organ. She is a precious saint. About eleven of our original group have gone on to be with the Lord,
Those of us remaining are looking forward to eternal life with Jesus. Our prayer for you is that you would choose Jesus and eternal life. And that in choosing Him, you will choose to serve and love with all of your heart for all of your days.
Don’t let anything stop you from taking action. Not loss or change or suffering or even your age!