We’re in our third week of Be The Message at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. We’ve been learning in worship, we’ve been exploring further in small and large group study times, and we’re preparing to take action in our community during Be The Message Action Week May 30 – June 3. Individually, we’re engaging in the Be The Message 30 Day Challenge and bringing new awareness to God at work through us in each day. Pastor Eric again lifted up the importance of prayer by calling us to #Pray316, praying together at 3:16 every afternoon. And through all of these pieces, God is present and He is on the move – we are learning exactly what it means to “Love the one in front of you.”

This became very real for one SPL family last weekend. They asked for their names to not be shared, for God to be given the full glory. Here is their Be The Message story shared with our pastors:


“I want to thank you guys for teaching us and leading us. Tonight we were leaving the Cardinals game in St. Louis and a car hit us. What a wonderful experience we then had with “John” (the man that hit our car).

fixingbumperHe had scraped together two pay checks to buy his car (he used to drive a scooter to work). He works near the stadium. The whole front bumper of his car came off when he hit us. My husband was trying to tell him how he could drill through the bumper to screw it back on. “John” kept saying, “I don’t have anyone to help me do that.” He didn’t even know what a Phillips head screw was. I had some black electrical tape in our car so we taped up loose stuff so he could get home. We discovered his turn signals did work so we thought he would be road legal and able to drive safely.

While my husband was trying to explain things to him, he started tearing up. We all put our arms around each other and prayed for him. He just cried. I cried. Our son cried. My husband and I started walking away and our son stayed back and said something to “John”. Our son told him “we all struggle” and that he was struggling right now too, and that “it’s never too late to do great things.”💕

BTMActsOfKindnessIf it weren’t for you guys, we would have handled this situation differently. We wouldn’t have been mean, but I never would have prayed with a total stranger. We are going to try to go back there next weekend and try to fix the bumper for “John”. Or if, God willing, we can find a replacement at a scrap yard or something, we could bring that to him.

I think it was a good experience for our son to see us respond this way too. He has fallen away from the church as many young people do. Like I said, if it wasn’t for your teaching and for you inspiring us, this never would have happened. I’m so glad God led us to St. Paul’s. So really, to God be the glory!!” 😊

Special thanks to this SPL family for allowing us to share your example with others. Praise God for your courage and for the ways you allowed your family to be used by Him in this situation. Thank you for showing us how to “love the one in front of you” even in the midst of a challenging event.

Do you have a #BeTheMessage story to share? What ways have you shared Acts of Kindness? Have you been impacted through an experience in your large or small group or through the 30 Day Challenge? Have courage – share your story with us. Talk to one of our pastors or contact Andrea Gerhard at 217-423-6955.

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