By Barbara Jackson, Gilgal Volunteer
My daughter Catherine and I have been volunteering at Gilgal teaching piano lessons to the women. When we first started coming, Ashley, one of the residents, was in our group. At the time, she was disconnected and would hide under her hoodie, rocking back and forth in her chair. It was clear that she was interested in learning to play the piano, but she had a hard time focusing. Also, whenever we came, we would always include a time of prayer. The women are encouraged during this time to openly pray together. Ashley would always decline and say she wasn’t worthy of praying.
But each time my daughter and I came back, we noticed that Ashley was talking more and more. One day she sat next to me and rested her head on my shoulder. I just stroked her hair and reminded her that she was loved. I told her that Jesus loves her, and that I did too. I could tell it made a difference for her to know this.
Another time when we came to give lessons, I barely recognized Ashley. She was GLOWING! She had really grown. Her acne had cleared and she was truly excited to participate. She’d talk about the Lord and how he was changing her. Her knowledge of scripture was increasing, and you could see so clearly that CHANGE HAPPENED. What struck me was that it was physical. I could actually SEE the transformation in Ashley, and it affected me greatly.
Being with the women of Gilgal has truly changed ME as well. Spending time with them has caused me to grow in my love for them. I enjoy being with Catherine while she teaches them piano, and I adore getting to know each and every heart. It has given me a desire to do something tangible to help. So, through my catering business, The Southern Italian, I decided to tithe my proceeds to Gilgal.
Since I’ve started doing this, I have doubled my tithe and watched as God has blessed me in return with many new clients. I have been booked solid every week! My business is steadily growing, and one day I hope to expand and offer employment opportunities to the women that will help them earn a living wage and secure independent living.
CHANGE HAPPENS at Gilgal, and I am a part of it! To God be the glory for all the great things He has done!
Want to Become a Gilgal Volunteer? Barbara and her daughter Catherine are members of Church of the Apostles in Atlanta and inspire our women by sharing their love for music. If you or your group have a passion or specialized skill you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. Email us to find out how to volunteer: firstname.lastname@example.org.