Debbie and Briseyda are friends who volunteer together at Casa de Amor, a community resource center of Arizona Baptist Children’s Services & Family Ministries (ABCS). Casa de Amor is a longtime food and clothing ministry in Mesa that joined the Community Resource Centers ministry of ABCS in 2015. There is a Bridge Church on campus as well as a New Life Pregnancy Center. Both Debbie and Briseyda, nicknamed Brisa for short, volunteered at Casa de Amor in the early 2000’s and are now serving again.
Brisa first learned about Casa de Amor while attending the church on campus. She remembers coming to the thrift store that was then onsite to shop for clothing, and how she received food boxes and a turkey on Thanksgiving. Receiving this extra support for her family inspired her to serve others who were in need. However, as she got busy with her young family, she stopped serving. Now that her boys are 8, 9 and 11 years-old, Brisa found herself home alone more often and saw that there are still many people in her community who need help. Brisa began volunteering again about a year and half ago at Casa de Amor, now under new leadership. Brisa sees a big difference as more people from the community are coming in.
Her life has changed a lot since she reengaged with Casa de Amor and the Bridge Church. Brisa says she has become a better person because her pastor, who also directs the resource center, shows the love of God and is teaching her how to pray and show the love of God to others. Even in her recent illness, she feels blessed and works with joy because of the prayers and blessings she receives. Brisa shared that she used to get angry often, but now she has more patience with her husband and children. And it’s a family affair at Casa de Amor! Her husband has come to help before, and her sons love the pastor. Brisa and two of her sons were recently baptized at the Bridge. The community they’ve found cares for Brisa and her family and has helped to support them in many ways.
Debbie has two grown children, and two young grandchildren who live nearby. Her son is currently incarcerated. Neither she nor Brisa have lived an easy life. She started volunteering again at Casa de Amor this summer after being encouraged to do so by Brisa. Debbie has recently been in a hard place, feeling depressed and isolated. Since she began serving, Debbie feels the joy of the Lord and is happy as she helps others. She says, “I want to make a difference in someone else’s life.” Inspired by the food boxes given out at Casa de Amor, Debbie made her own food boxes for friends in need. She doesn’t feel depressed at Casa de Amor; she feels grateful. She does not yet attend the Bridge Church, but we pray that Debbie will get planted there to further develop her faith and deepen her community.
Debbie says, “I like giving, even if it’s my very last dollar. The blessings come back to you.” While we don’t give to be blessed, we know that it is indeed a blessing to give. In 1 Timothy 6:18-19, Paul encourages us that we “…are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” We love when ABCS clients serve and give back to the ministry that has helped them. With your support, clients like Debbie and Brisa receive the hope and care they need.