One of the {Good} Parts of Being a Christian

I have a coffee mug with a lovely lady smiling, dressed in her Sunday best saying, “Stop me before I volunteer again.”

I’ve never liked that mug.

Because I’m not really that great of a volunteer. And if I’m perfectly honest, I’d tell you I really don’t enjoy volunteering.

But I have the mug.

And possibly a t-shirt somewhere.

But I do love doing good work.

When we started Mercy House it was a response to a question. I left Kenya in 2010 with a burning question seared into my soul: “How will I respond to what I’ve seen?”

I essentially asked God the questions from this song, What are you going to do about all this suffering, the lost and broken girls?

He answered: I already did something. I created you. Now, what will you do?

Those words hammered in my chest. Mercy House was born four months later.


(Some of the new girls we brought in this week-in front of our new house we moved into this month. That makes 26 mommas and babies with 6 more babies due this fall…)

And as I wrote the journey of my yes, every detail, every fear and failure of that yes, God keeps asking me to follow Him. I discovered refugees in my city– a different location, different colored skin, but still broken mothers, lost, needing someone to say yes.

The last thing I thought I’d do or felt like I had time for was another yes.

God showed me otherwise.

Yes isn’t a one time deal. It’s not always going to look like starting a non-profit or doing something the world considers “big.”

Sometimes it looks taking a cake to a neighbor.


Sometimes it’s just filling an empty seat in our home with a new friend.

photo copy

I am not a volunteer.

I am not working my way to Heaven.

“We don’t work for our salvation. We work from it,” Jason Shepperd, my pastor.

Because salvation does a grand work in us. And good work flows from that place.

If we follow Christ, how can we not do the good things Jesus did?

He fed. He clothed. He cared. He helped. He loved with His very life.

He quenched their immediate thirst and then gave them living water, so they would never be thirsty again.

And I’m a mess wrapped up in a human and in my imperfection and inadequacy, I don’t look much like Jesus most days. 

But still–I am compelled. Because I am following Him. And He is leading me to do good.

Listen–there is good work for you to do.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph. 2:10

What good are you doing?

It isn’t good to be doing nothing. Christians follow Jesus. Good is in their wake. Because they understand something good has been done in them and they just can’t help it.

Do something today–in your neighborhood, at work, for another person. That’s one way we show those around us the beautiful face of Jesus.


    • 1.1

      Kristen says

      Yes, there are two homes –still one Mercy House, but two residences so we could help more girls.

  1. 2

    Charlotte Thuemmel says

    Well, I’m confused about whether or not to call myself a volunteer. I serve others without it being part of a paid position. Where I live that is considered volunteering (no pay).
    To me that is the same as serving out of compulsion because of Jesus love in us. Either way, I agree with Kristen that His love will drive us to do good works.
    (And yes, Sylvia, there are now two houses in Kenya.)

    • 2.1

      Kristen says

      Well, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with volunteering and I still do at my kid’s school and other places. I just am not doing it for good works. And when I do into unto God it isn’t volunteering, it’s an act of worship. Sorry to confuse…

  2. 3

    Natasha says

    I love this! I too have been challenged by that song! And I have been wrestling in my own heart about ‘what can I do’ everything seems so big, and I seem too busy. So I have been talking with God about where this will lead me and how to respond to that ‘Do something’ :)
    I love your work, and your blogs and have just received your book in the mail all the way in New Zealand, and can’t wait to sit down to read it. Thank you for sharing.

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