Ministry Spotlight; It's The Little Things ~ Vanessa Walker
Posted Feb 11 2009 3:48pm
Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to me Matthew 25:40
Our Ministry Spotlight woman this week is Vanessa Walker, who not only serves as a personal assistant
to her pastor, Diane Gardner of Diane Gardner Ministries,Intl., but serves others in her church and community as well. When asked what the word "'ministry" means to her, she said " Ministry is putting the well-being of others before self; leading people to Christ and letting them know that God wants to set them free to have a better life fulfilling His purpose for them."
In serving as a personal assistant, Vanessa does the "little"' things that helps Rev. Gardner facilitate her busy pastoral schedule. She will do the housework, laundry, and dishes, and help the pastor pack for her trips. When visiting ministers come, they are greeted with a beautifully arranged refreshment basket of goodies that Vanessa puts together.
When I was hungry, you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in
For over 25 years, Vanessa and Louis, her husband of 30 years, opened their home every Thanksgiving for people who either didn't have family,or their families lived far from them, to come and have Thanksgiving with them. In addition to preparing loads of traditional Thanksgiving fare, they would move their regular living room furniture out for this day and set up folding tables and chairs banquet-style in their place. As transplants from New York to California, the Walkers knew what it was like to be without family during the holidays. So they made family of, and extended hospitality to,-- co-workers, neighbors, friends of friends,-- "whosoever will, let them come."
I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited Me
" Can you visit my aunt--she's in the hospital" Vanessa's smiling face with beautiful dimples is a welcome sight as she visits those in the hospital--to pray with them, and at times, just be there as a comforting presence. She also organizes setting up meals for those who are ill at home.
I was in prison and you came to Me
The woman in the blue prison outfit, ran her fingers,almost reverently, across the beautifully designed stationery she had just received as a gift for completing her Bible classes. " In here, there's not much of anything beautiful" she told one of the team members. " This is a real blessing to have something so pretty to write on. It makes me feel special and I haven't felt special in a long time"
In addition to faithfully going to the prison once a week with a team of women, to minister to incarcerated women there, Vanessa has the task of selecting the items they are allowed to take in as gifts and prizes. She asks the Lord to help her select that which will be a blessing to these women , who desperately need the smallest token of beauty in their lives. ."Little touches" she says "make a big difference"
A servant with a willing heart and a ready smile, Vanessa is also a mom of four, and has one precious granddaughter.