A few days ago, Sheila Edeliant at sheila4hastenhome commented,  “Those ‘slow, daily efforts’ often seem the most trivial at the time, then have the most lasting impact later. May we all cultivate patience and perseverance!” 

When I visited her blog site Hasten Home, I was amazed at the amount of work this lady does.  She has an on-line store.  Her ministry specializes in helping and encouraging Vacation Bible School leaders and teachers.  She has published original VBS material. 

A few days ago, I was reminded of a neighbor, Betty, who started a Bible study about 30 years ago.  It was small.  Only a few neighbors were invited.  But it grew and many lives were changed by this weekly gathering of friends who focused on the truths found in the scriptures.  They met for more than 15 years.

When my husband was in the skilled-nursing center, Betty was a weekly visitor.  She brought books and candy.  Each Sunday evening, when I made my second visit for the day, I knew that a sampling of her homemade deliciousness would be on his night stand.  I found out later that each Sunday Betty made visits to the men and women living on the nursing home side of the building.  Betty is still impacting lives for Christ.  In the process, she has learned that small things make big impacts on lives.

A few weeks into my husband’s stay, Betty broke her leg.  It was little wonder that her room was constantly filled with flowers, candy and trinkets.  Each had been sent to her by someone touched by her love. 

Perhaps my daughter said it best when she was 5-year-old.  That Halloween as we made the free-candy circuit around our block, I reminded my daughter one more time to not eat any candy until we got back home and we were able to inspect the candy.

There had been a scare that year in Central Florida because someone had put a razor blade into an apple and injured a child.  As we crossed the street to Betty’s house, I was delivering my final warning, when Leah interrupted me.  “You don’t have to worry about Miss Betty.  Everybody knows that she loves children.  In fact, she loves everyone.”  I had to agree.

For years the small things she has extended to others have made big impacts.  The last time Leah came home she visited Miss Betty.  “I wanted to tell her how much she affected my life with her love and generosity.  She was always willing to give to me.  It meant so much to me as a young child,” Leah said. 

Laboring within the mentally challenged community can be a great challenge.  Within our members, progress and growth for Christ is painfully slow at times.  But your efforts–measured in inches rather than miles–allow the Lord to change lives and heal wounded hearts.

As Sheila said and Betty demonstrated, slow, daily efforts often mean big impacts for Christ.