Rebekah Paulson
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

ATLANTA (Mennonite Mission Network) — When individuals set aside their own desire to help others, they open their lives to be impacted by others.

Mama Lynn inherited her grandmother’s house 10 years ago. After her grandmother passed away she realized the roof needed repair and Mama Lynn’s mother, Granny Doo, paid to have it replaced.

The person took off the roof and never returned to do more work. Therefore, her entire house was destroyed by water damage, and the man was nowhere to be found. What was not damaged by water was stolen during the time her house was unlivable. Mama Lynn was left with no material possessions — just her family and faith in God. She had to move in with Granny Doo across the street and has prayed for God to provide her a way to return home. Mama Lynn’s 10-year old prayer is finally beginning to be answered.

Becca Niederfringer is currently in DOOR’s (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection) year-long program, Dwell. Dwell teams live in an intentional Christian community listening, serving, worshiping and reflecting together. DOOR is a partner program of Mennonite Mission Network.

Through serving the community at the Café 458, a free resturant serving the homeless, Niederfringer met a weekly volunteer cook affectionately referred to as Mama Lynn.

“Mama Lynn is one of the most humble, joy-filled, faithful and loving people I’ve ever met,” Niederfringer said. “Just to give you an idea of how loved and loving she is, attendance is always higher on Tuesday, the day she volunteers, because the clients know she will be there with wonderful food and an outpouring of joy, acceptance and love for all.”

Several people and work groups have helped Mama begin to rebuild her home. In March the Dwell team was a part of helping sheetrock the ceiling of her home. The housemates enjoyed the privilege of working together to return the blessings that they feel from Mama Lynn. In appreciation Mama Lynn cooked a wonderful dinner for them to end their day of work.

The house is now framed with sections of new wood on the outside and electric and plumbing. There is still more work that has to be done before Mama Lynn can move in, including siding, windows, doors, heat, and fixtures.

“She continually praises God for every little bit that gets done on her home, the provision of materials, and her whole family has welcomed us all in and loves us,” Niederfringer said.

Even though she has very little material possessions it is still important to her that she volunteers in her community. Mama Lynn taught the Dwell team that service outreach exists even when all you have is yourself to give. The team is helping Mama physically rebuild her home while Mama Lynn is showing them love despite her challenges as a testimony to God.

“I have been so grateful for her friendship and support especially through some challenging times at work over the year," Niederfringer said. "Through her I know Christ’s love and acceptance in a real way.”

 encounters Mama Lynn



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