13 Jun Engaging the Culture
Kelly Swift has been attending Grace Church with her husband John for seven years. Mother of three, she has always had a special heart for those around her who are in need.
Today Kelly serves as the Culturally Engaged representative for the Golden Strip campus and is a board member of Grace’s micro-lending program, Nasha. Through all of her work with Culturally Engaged, Kelly has learned to use aspects of her biblical femininity to live her life on mission for the Gospel. Her experiences provide us with a unique perspective of how inviting, nurturing and partnering empower her to engage the surrounding culture.
When and how did you become involved and passionate about outreach ministries?
I have always had a heart for people in need. A story my mother often remembers is that when I was seven there was a little girl in my class who was obviously in great need. No coat, dirty clothes, an odor. One day I invited her to walk home with me and when we got there I went in my closet and packed a bag for her with several dresses, sweaters, etc. When my mother got home she about killed me – until she heard the story. The funniest part is that we would have been considered in need ourselves. My mother was recently divorced and trying to raise and support three children on a very small income. Still, I had more than I needed and certainly enough to share. I have never forgotten that little girl’s name.
When did you first hear the word “ezer” used? As you grew to understand it, how did you respond to it?
I first heard “ezer” at Grace. I thought it would be something new, something I had never known before, but it didn’t take long for me to recognize that God had been teaching me and molding me into an ezer for years. As we were taught I realized a deeper sense of biblical femininity, but there was also a familiarity that resonated deep in my soul. I was an ezer, had been an ezer and now I had the opportunity to grab hold and understand fully God’s direction for my life as an ezer.
How do you see biblical femininity expressed in your Culturally Engaged activities?
God has used all the characteristics of ezer in my service in Culturally Engaged. The invitation comes when we make time to meet with potential Nasha candidates. They have a dream and we sit and hear their dreams, share their excitement and offer ways to support that dream. We partner with them not only with a loan, but with support along the way, sharing ideas and even constructive criticism. We are always just a call away. The nurturing comes when bumps are hit along the way. We offer advice, encouragement to not give up, and offer new ideas to try. For me, the ezer teachings have been a guide in all areas of my life. Without this understanding and truth I would have limited what God intended to do through me with my own fears, insecurities and selfishness.~Abby Moore, Pelham