Brian Cole: The Smallest People Can Make The Biggest Impact

Sunday, December 31, 2017 | by Brian Cole l Submitted |


Apart from Pastoring the Oaks Community Church in Drummond, Wi., I am also Director of Addictions Transformation at Crossroads Outreach in Ashland, Wi. We recently moved into our new building on Main Street, and last Saturday the Chamber held our ribbon cutting. But that isn’t all that took place Saturday, God was at work also and I’m sure was the most memorable ribbon cutting ever for the Chamber! God provided us with this building as He provides us with everything here at Crossroads. I wanted to share a story of God’s provision this Christmas season which is a great picture of how Crossroads is used by God to meet the needs of our community, as well as a picture of how the littlest people can make the biggest impact!

About three weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook of a young lady (11 years old), named Portia, who was selling rubber-band bracelets she had made as part of a school project to raise money to donate to Crossroads Outreach. I had never met this girl before and had no idea why she chose Crossroads. I found her mother on Facebook and messaged her thanking her for what her daughter was doing and said I would love to meet with her and her daughter to thank them the next week since I was out of town. Her daughter had posted a couple pictures sitting in a local gas station where she was selling the bracelets with the days and times she would be there, so I shared that post on a few sites.

Just a few days before our ribbon cutting ceremony, our CEO of Crossroads, Rich, called me and said he had been working with a guy named John who was homeless, and that John’s mother had just died. John was from Tennessee and wanted to attend his mother’s funeral, but wanted to come back because he was trying to make a life here. So Rich asked if maybe our Church might have some extra funds to help him get a bus ticket. I notified him that I would inquire our treasurer to see if we had anything.

Just as I hung up I felt led to go back to the young lady’s post. I saw the sign she was sitting next to that she had made, and when I enlarged it I saw she had written that the donations were for “the homeless and others in need.”  I called Rich back and told him we found the money. He then asked to contact Portia’s mother and ask if they could come to the ribbon cutting so she could present the bus ticket to John herself. I did and they accepted.

Wow, what an emotional day that was, and especially being able to share Portia and John’s story during the ribbon cutting. Tears all the way around. Portia had raised a total of $410 and the bus ticket was $397! Portia was able to present John with the bus ticket and a Christmas card. John was in tears and there were hugs all around. 

As Rich said, “We don’t consider this a coincidence! God has His resources and He brought it all together through a little girl That’s the amazing part. When we try to make plans, we only see what is simple and possible, but when we see through God’s eyes, anything is possible.”

What was also amazing is that this little girl got to see the money she raised put to use immediately.  She didn’t just drop off a check to an organization she raised funds for.  And not only saw an immediate result, but she got to take part in the whole thing. Praise God for young people who not only believe in the Lord, but allow the Lord to use them knowing that the gifts God gives us and making a difference in God’s Kingdom, is not just something for adults! Thank you for listening to God’s calling Portia, and pray more young people like yourself step up to the place in 2018!

This story made the front page of the Saturday, December 23, 2017, Ashland Daily Press if you are interested in reading it. 


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