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Give Abundantly at Lemonade Stands

In the Ministry Magazine, Bonita Shields reminded readers that generosity is the new evangelism. The idea of kindness and abundant giving has been the entry point for so many who make a decision to follow the Savior, but it is easy for me to forget this truth when I’m busy. As I reflect on the times I have driven by young, aspiring workers selling lemonade in their make-shift stands, I’m ashamed that I mostly drive by.

“Too little time. I’m not really thirsty. I don’t need the calories.” Sometimes I wave, and sometimes I ignore them.

In fact, I remember only a handful of moments where I stopped and bought lemonade. But during the Thanksgiving season I made a decision that each time I see a stand I must stop and give generously — anytime I can.

This awakening came just before Alyssa was walking in the baptistery. She reminded me of a time when I stopped. She reminded me of when I stopped and paid a $10 donation for a regular-sized cup of lemonade. The donation was not the pivotal moment of her spiritual journey. I have disappointed a lot of young people selling refreshments over the years, but the truth of that kindness is hard to forget, and the connections are only a couple of conversations away. I’m so glad I stopped and repented for the hundred of times I didn’t. Generosity is deep and unmistakable in Alyssa’s life.

Over a decade later, Alyssa is now a young adult believer in our community who values her Christian upbringing. At meetings earlier this year, Alyssa confirmed her decision to follow Jesus in baptism and commit her life to serve others. Now, she is the key baker and hospitality leader for Eden’s Pantry, serving students at Walla Walla University, as well as bringing a cup of cool water in the community by assisting at the College Place Cares Food Drive last November. Recently, Eden’s Pantry has extended a satellite to the WWU Nursing Campus in Portland, Oregon where Alyssa sends healthy breakfast baked goods for the hard-working nursing students in the Portland area.

Alyssa is a treasure for our local church and a great addition to our outreach team.