I am beyond proud to say that I was one of the lucky few to be employed full time at the Redeemed Ministries’ Assessment Center. The Assessment Center was merely a 30-day shelter to some, but to the volunteers and the staff who put their heart and soul into it, it was so much more.
The “AC” was a safe-haven overflowing with grace, compassion, kindness and above all, the unsurpassable love of Christ. The time I spent serving with my fellow staff cannot compare to any other job nor experience I have ever had. With that said, out of all the incredible miracles God performed and all of the amazing things that I witnessed, the most inspiring to me was God’s tangible love.
I grew up following Christ (with a few bumps in the road of course), but for the most part, I always knew one thing was certain, and that was how much God loves me. I don’t know every verse in every single book of The Bible, but as a child, it was crystal clear, God loved me so much that He gave His only Son, so that we could receive forgiveness and in turn, eternal life (John 3:16). This was a truth I could cling to in the troubling moments of this oftentimes frustrating life.
However, witnessing God’s love for humanity changed drastically once I began my work in this wonderful, life-giving ministry. It was one thing to read bible verses as a child and attempt to comprehend how much God could actually love us. But watching God love these women is what made those special verses come to life for me.
I saw His forgiveness and His love in the most simple and precious details. For instance, being able to witness a former addict celebrate one week of sobriety or being able to watch a 10-year abuse victim praise and worship God with every ounce of her spirit. It was delicate moments like those that beautifully painted the love of Christ in a very new light for me. Those are the memories that I look back on when I am having a rough day or trying to make sense of life’s uncertainties.
It was very hard for me to find peace in the closure of the AC, and some days I still struggle to trust God’s sovereignty through it all. However, when I think of these intricate experiences, it gives me hope that God really can come through for anyone, anywhere and at any time.
I was fortunate enough to see some women throw caution to the wind and pour everything into their mighty, mighty Savior. Yet for every woman who was receptive, it felt like there were at least two more who couldn’t care less about change at all. Somehow though, God would come through for them too, in different ways and at different times, but He always came through and He always made a way for them.
With every day that passed, I saw more and more proof of exactly how unworthy we ALL are of both forgiveness and unconditional love. I also realized how much God loves us regardless of past mistakes or bad attitudes that we might hold onto. Just think, if life were truly “fair”, none of us would be granted the opportunity for an eternal life in God’s perfect Kingdom. Yet we are all given this opportunity and we all have a shot at real, authentic love. It’s almost too good and too pure of a love to even comprehend, and that is part of what makes it so beautiful.
This was when I started to realize how much He undoubtedly loves us and how He pursues us in a remarkably clear and evident way. God certainly loved me unconditionally and pursued me relentlessly throughout multiple intervals in my life, but watching God do this in the lives of others changed everything. It was like finding God all over again, and seeing His incredible love and compassion from a different viewpoint than I had ever imagined.
I walked away from my position at Redeemed after the AC closed indefinitely due to a lack of funding, and it was without a doubt one of the hardest things I have gone through. Getting a taste of ministry and losing it so quickly was heart-breaking to say the very least. But working at Redeemed gave me a new set of eyes in which I view the world and the people around me. Now I am able to see God’s tangible love and His evident actions in a completely different way than I had ever experienced before. I am so grateful to walk away with a vision and a new purpose in pursuing love.
The truth is that witnessing God’s tangible love can happen anywhere and anytime, all you have to do is open your eyes (and your heart) and intently look for it. Sometimes, I see His love in the lives of others when I realize how flawed we all are, and how merciful He is. Other times, I see it in my own life when I think about how inconceivably blessed I have been to work with these women and do such mighty work for His Kingdom. His love is evident and it is everywhere. Blessed are we to serve such a kind-hearted and loving Savior!
“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 86:15
Author: Amanda Richardson
Amanda has spent the better part of the last two years finding new ways to fight social injustice and advocate for sex trafficking survivors in the Houston area. In this short time, she has worked at both short-term and long-term care facilities within Redeemed Ministries all of which promote and produce holistic healing and recovery for survivors. She plans to continue this work fighting for “the least of these” and go wherever The Lord may lead her in this process.