BY TAMRA BALZER
Bratcher’s Crossroads Free Methodist Church
The New South Conference Women’s Ministries International (WMI) decided we wanted to get behind Sister Connection and build a house for a widow in Burundi. As a small conference, we felt a $600 house was something we may be able to do. We suggested that each church’s WMI group do some type of fundraiser and then bring an offering to our spring retreat in Gatlinburg.
Bratcher’s Crossroads (BCR) did a yard sale. The members all contributed items to sell. BCR is a rural church in the middle of cow pastures, cornfields and soybean fields. We literally had to drive between 2 and 5 miles to post signs at somewhat busy corners. We also made flyers and passed them out at work and in some local stores (the closest is about 5 miles from the church). We set up for Friday and Saturday.
I was very excited because in the almost three years that Ron and I have lived here, I had not met my neighbors. God says “love your neighbor,” but at BCR I needed to find my neighbors first. What an awesome pleasure the yard sale turned out to be. I had the privilege of praying with several neighbors, chatting with them, serving coffee and inviting them to visit the church or stop by anytime for more chatting and coffee.
One neighbor who is also a local business owner asked about Sister Connection. After we explained what it was about, he said, “I don’t see anything I want, but I’d like to contribute to your effort.” He handed me $100. At the end of Saturday, we had raised $395. On Sunday, I challenged our church to bring in more items because I had so much fun meeting people that I decided to have another yard sale the following weekend. They met the challenge, and after all was said and done we had raised $650. Hallelujah!
Not only did we raise money to help a widow, but we met our neighbors. On our church sign, we put “Thank you for helping us build a house for a widow.” BCR didn’t do it alone — our community helped, and we wanted them to know we appreciate them.