I Like Holiday Inn Express.

By: Bill

Upon checking into my hotel, Holiday Inn Express, I noticed an African-American family, mother and 4 children from about 5 to 15, sitting in the lobby. The reason they got my attention was that two of the older children were actually reading books as opposed to playing phone video games. And all of the children were very well mannered. Again sadly, something that got my attention.

After I completed check-in and walked past the family I heard the mother talking on the phone and she had no money for a room or food. I had just heard the sermon at my church, Vineyard North, on Sunday regarding ILikeGiving and I realized I could help. I had enough money to help. I went to the desk clerk and paid for their room and gave the clerk $200 in an envelope to help them over the next couple of days. I included a message to them explaining that I fully believed God put me there at the right time and made me sensitive to their need. The desk clerk said the family was overwhelmed at the generosity and that the mother was a christian and began to cry and thank God that he had heard her prayers. I FELT OVERWHELMED that GOD blessed me with this opportunity to help! I cannot even get to sleep tonight as I am on such an emotional high! Thank you I Like Giving for helping me to become more open and cognizant of the needs in the world right around me!

I Like Heart.

By: Lacey

One day when I was in the 8th grade my father picked my sister and me up from school. I thought there was something wrong because we never get picked up. We always take the bus because we couldn’t afford the gas to go back and forth. My father assured there was nothing wrong but that something, or rather someone, was at home who was about to change our lives. He had been in Seattle that day on business. 

On leaving his meetings he passed by a young woman on the street. He felt impressed that he needed to go back but passed the thought by. He felt the impression again and turned around and asked the young woman if she had had lunch. She hadn’t. So he took her to McDonald’s. As they sat and talked her story unfolded. She was mentally handicapped, with not much more capability and comprehension than an elementary school child. She had grown up in a troubled home where, partly because of her handicap, was abused and unloved. There were times she would run away. Times she was kicked out. She was now 18 and homeless. She hadn’t finished her schooling, but what did it matter, her life was going nowhere. My father felt that a McDonald’s meal would feed her but wouldn’t fill the true hunger that ravaged this young lady. 

My father explained to us that this young lady was now at home, and would be sharing our room. But she came to share more than our room. She came to share our school, our church, our family pictures, our sorrows, our joys, our lives for many years. Years have passed and she’s gone on her way but the impact she’s had on our family hasn’t. When she joined our family, our hearts expanded to let her in. When she left, our hearts longed to fill that place. So others came: a man my father met at work came to stay while he could save money to send to his little girls. A woman who had a love for her cats but no money to rent a place allowing animals. A Russian gentleman fresh off the ferry but not sure where he was bound for. And, currently, a young single mother of two who lost her house the same week she lost her job. 

Sometimes I note how we try to fill the tender place in our hearts the first homeless girl had left, but it’s a sacred place that can’t be occupied by another. So our hearts have just grown bigger and bigger to embrace the next person. It’s amazing to see and feel how much a heart can hold. Just when you think it is going to burst, God stretches it a little more. My father taught us that day in the car after school that it doesn’t take money to give. It takes heart.

I Like Basement.

By: Carolyn

Fresh out of college and newly married, we were ready to take on the world, one adventure at a time. An opportunity came up that meant we would have to move across country. A few minor wrinkles in this plan – we had no job, no money and no place to live.

We were given a piece of paper with a phone number scratched on it. Not exactly sure what the number was about, we quickly punched it in having no idea what we would say; nor did we have any idea what was about to happen. 

Before we could get through our awkward intro explaining our needs, the complete stranger on the other end interrupted us with words that would lodge generosity deep in our gut. He said, “We’d like to invite you to come live with us. We have a basement that has plenty of room and you are welcome here.” 

We were speechless. 

We showed up and found a basement that was nicer than any house we had ever stayed in. And we were greeted by a family with arms wide open, ready to welcome us into their home and into their hearts. 

In this season, we hoped and searched for the God who provides. What we found was that God providing looks exactly like people providing. That we are his hands and feet and the ones who get to show the world what God looks like. And on this particular day, God looked like a basement.

I Like Strangers.

By: Eva

I had met a man on facebook that was a very godly man. Life had been unfair to him and he found himself losing a leg to diabetes and living in an assisted living center. He’d lost his own family years earlier and was alone. 

I read his facebook often and it was obvious he was hopeless and giving up. With days left at this facility, we invited him into our home. As a nurse, I knew I could help him with his physical challenges. To our shock, he agreed to come and soon we were booking his flight and planning for his arrival. 

He arrived the next day with a carry-on and a single bag. We got him situated in his own room and worked ardently to help him integrate into our own family. It is a beautiful feeling knowing that our children can see our faith at work. And we hope this will inspire a lifestyle of giving within them also. We also say “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. One small act of kindness has given this man the hope that he needs to pick up the pieces of a broken life and move forward.