Recently I was on my Jesus, Single Like Me book tour in the UK. I had the honor of speaking at various churches and singles ministries. Upon one particular visit to the New Testament Church in Wolverhampton, England, I met a wonderful lady named Epie.
I had just finished speaking and was in the fellowship hall having some refreshments. Like most places I speak, I get a ton of folks that come up afterwards to talk to me. Mostly folks like to tell me how God speaks to them through the message I share or they have personal prayer need.
However, this time would be different.
Epie had been married for twenty years and now divorced for almost the same. She had raised a family and was content with where God had her. She proceeded to tell me that she had met a nice man and was engaged to be married—something she never thought could happen at her age.
She was very excited about the new step in her life. I smiled and gave her a big hug, thinking this was all she wanted to tell me, but she had more to say.
Epie told me how over the years since her divorce she had been lonely, especially now that her kids were all grown. She had missed taking care of someone.
One day she decided to change things.
She opened her home to young single women who needed an inexpensive place to stay—even if it was only temporary—and maybe a mother’s touch in their lives. She recalled how she had so many different kinds of young ladies over the years.
Some were very independent and didn’t need much from Epie, while others missed their moms and were experiencing loneliness too. Some were in trouble, some were scared, some were busy in school and some worked two jobs. All in all, Epie was able to not only share her home but her life in Christ with each of these young ladies.
So many lives were changed as a result.
Besides opening up her home, Epie also told me of how she loves to visit the shut-ins, specifically older single adults whom others have forgotten. She takes them a meal, runs errands for them and/or just listens, offering prayer and encouragement.
After she shared all of this, I said, “Epie, did you realized you have had a singles ministry all this time?” Epie said, “Wow, I guess I have Kris.” Singles ministry doesn’t have to be huge with a big budget or big building.
It starts with one person you can pour your life into. Are you that one?
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42
Has someone been an Epie in your life? Tell us about him/her in the comments below.
Kris Swiatocho is director of The Singles Network Ministries, a site devoted to providing resources, networking, and leadership development for singles leaders, pastors, and individuals. Kris recently published the book, Jesus, Single Like Me.
*Photo credit: Kheel Center, Cornell University