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    Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find
    photoGSA Executive Director, Ms. Vickie Koth’s career includes many years of non-profit experience in international humanitarian relief and local non-profit management. Vickie joined GSA in January of 2007 and currently oversees all aspects of operation for 4 thrift stores, 4 emergency and transitional shelters and GSA’s Center of Hope headquarters located in Ashburn, Virginia. During this period, Vickie has established strong relationships with the private sector (civic and business) as well as with local government, state and federal agencies and organizations. She can be reached at 703-724-1555 or 703-887-5775 or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Photo by Terri Lightle.
    "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me" [Matthew 10:40].


    Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find
    By Vickie Koth
    Executive Director
    Good Shepherd Alliance
    Ashburn, Virginia

    As a young person I thought the world owed me something. I thought if I worked hard, I deserved a reward. My study of the Scriptures later revealed to me that I only honor the Lord if I am giving my best in all that I do, not looking for the praises or rewards of men, but to be pleasing to God above all.

    Having a heart that is committed to doing what is right means that we will do more than just follow the rules, or meet the minimum requirements. It means that we are willing to sacrifice our time, talents, or wealth to help someone less fortunate than ourselves; always ready to be used of God for His purpose as He ministers to others through us.

    Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find.” If He welcomes us to come to Him in prayer and supplication for our needs, and promises to provide, what is our excuse for not having the sense of community that listens to the needs of our neighbors? He said to “love thy neighbor as thyself…” and that “no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.” Esteeming others better than ourselves requires patience and a heart willing to gently knock at the heart of one in need and being ready to listen and help even - and especially - if it means sacrifice on our part.

    Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. A reasonable service. Yes, reasonable. Not above and beyond or worthy of accolades, but reasonable. When Christ died for me, how can I begin to measure what comparably little I have done for someone less fortunate than me? It is my reasonable service.

    Often issues like poverty and homelessness can seem monumental and too great for one person to make a difference. But God is in the business of changing lives and he uses you and me. It is not about providing food, clothing or shelter for one night, but impacting lives for now and eternity while you have opportunity. We are not necessarily called to be poor, nor to be wealthy, but to understand that being rich lies in the depths of our soul and only grows as we share it with others; giving what we have to give.

    The Good Shepherd Alliance (GSA) has been working with the homeless in Loudoun County since 1983. GSA impacts the lives of lost and unfortunate families and individuals every day by showing them love and a willingness to walk with them as they tackle their most difficult burdens. While providing them with shelter and a safe haven, GSA staff and volunteers share about God’s love and faithfulness. By supporting GSA’s emergency family shelter and transitional shelters for single women or single pregnant women, you can have a direct impact on the lives of the indigent in your community. While we are not all called to the same ministry, perhaps God has called you to this reasonable service.

    Note: Vickie Koth is Executive Director of the Good Shepherd Alliance Inc, a Christian non-profit 501(c) 3 providing hope and love to the homeless of Northern Virginia. This year, the Good Shepherd Alliance asks every man, women and school child living in Northern Virginia to please be conscious of the poor that live among us. Be men and women of courage. Be strong in faith. Above all things do everything in love and please, once a month, once a week or even once a day, be a Good Samaritan!

    If you are interested in learning more about the range and depth of the GSA mission, please call the Ashburn office at 703-724-1555 or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit our web site at http://www.goodshepherdalliance.org.

    If anyone is interested in publishing a faith article on this web column, please contact Mark Gunderman at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
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