And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Merriam-Webster defines a lighthouse as a structure (such as a tower) with a powerful light that gives a continuous or intermittent signal to navigators. My lighthouse is so much more than that. My lighthouse is Jesus and as I grow more in my faith His light shines brighter every day. I was very blessed to grow up within a ministry called The Lighhouse Mission. This mission was started many years ago when I was just a small girl. It got started by Dennis and Laura Holland, who have turned out to be pivotal people in my life. I can scarce remember a time without them. They started this mission out of the back of Dennis’ pick-up truck serving sandwiches and coffee in downtown Worcester. Having a “helping heart” I wanted to volunteer but since I was seven, I got to stay home instead. So, I went around our neighborhood with a coffee can and collected pennies for them instead. Mom volunteered and dutifully walked the streets sharing her love of Christ. Eventually we grew to a big blue bus which was used for years until the church it was started out of fell apart and we all went our separate ways.
I was around fourteen when we found Dennis and Laura and of course, the Lighthouse, in the basement of Pleasant Street Baptist. Only this time, I too could volunteer. I spent many a Tuesday and Thursday ((and then we switched to Saturdays)) pouring coffee, plating desserts, handing out food, and watching as God continued to grow this ministry and we became a family. As I got older, I spent less time there but I still always found myself there at least a few times a year witnessing and worshipping. We grew into a full grown-up ministry right around the same time as I reached early adulthood. And seeing the work we were doing ((giving bikes away, having block parties, providing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, even giving clothes to those in need)) I saw God.
I saw God in the eyes of a little child whose name was called for a bike. I saw Him in the souls of those who volunteered from other churches. But never, have I seen God more than when works through Dennis and Laura. Dennis is kind of gruff and comes off a tad grumpy at times but I have seen this man bow his head and pray earnestly for the lost around. And Laura is just so sweet, even when she’s mad at you, she makes it hurt just a little less. But she has such a warmth and a beautiful smiles that lights the darkest day that you do everything you can just to keep her smiling.
Sadly, the Lighthouse Mission has closed its doors and Dennis and Laura no longer live nearby. But, I can just pick up the phone if I need some of Laura’s love and warmth and since I do love Dennis’ preaching I frequently watch him preach online from the pulpit in the First Baptist Church of Port Huron.
In short, I am blessed to have not one lighthouse to guide me, I have three. One is my Heavenly Father and I’ve got Dennis and Laura Holland here on earth who continue to guide others as they have always guided me towards the Lighthouse of Jesus.