Lori is a servant at heart. It's what she does and she defines it as a gift from God. By serving others on a Sunday morning, her spirits are uplifted and purpose pours into her heart. When offering someone a cup of coffee, wishing another a 'good morning' and 'God bless you', and listening to someone's story, each new face Lori Dyke meets has become an opportunity. An opportunity to know her church family better and to grow in her faith and purpose.
One particular Sunday morning several months ago, Lori was in her usual spot back in the cafe serving and a new face walked in and up to the counter. Nothing extraordinary stood out to Lori, but to Elaine, a prayer was just answered. Just ten minutes prior, Elaine Anderson was in the parking lot at West praying that God would give someone to her so she wouldn't feel so alone walking into a new church.
"I walked in as a new person," Elaine shared. "It was my first Sunday at Citylight and I prayed someone would welcome me and that I wouldn't be alone."
When Elaine saw Lori's smile she walked up to the cafe. Lori greeted Elaine and introduced herself immediately. Quickly the conversation grew and before they knew it they found themselves off to the side.
"I told Lori first thing that I was new and I don't know what to do," shared Elaine.
It being the 9 am gathering, Lori told Elaine that if she sat toward the back of the sanctuary she would find her and sit with her. Lori's husband was going to the 11 am gathering that day so Lori would also be by herself.
After serving coffee Lori found Elaine and sat with her for the sermon. They ended up sitting in between the gatherings and talking the entire time. Each of them shared about their lives and Lori invited Elaine to her City Group that week. Today, Elaine is a member of Lori's City Group and their relationship has grown to feel like sisters. Sisters in Christ.
"Our families have gotten to know each other quite a bit," Lori said with a smile.
"Her son 'n law has done work on my house and her family has helped me," Elaine shared with a grin.
"The Lord just really brought it all together," Lori exclaimed. "So many things about the two of us, we relate to each other really well. My husband and I at the time were fairly new to the church when I started serving. So it was a way for me to get to know the church family and in that I met a new sister in the Lord. Now Elaine is serving right beside me."
If you find yourself unsure on how to serve and how God can use you, Lori suggests to identify what you enjoy and are good at and serve through that. Whether that's inviting people over, giving your time or resources, having a cup of coffee with someone, connecting with kids, encouraging others, there's a spot in God's church for you. And if you are currently serving, encourage someone to serve by inviting them to serve with you.
"Think about the things you naturally do and that is usually a good area to serve in," Lori shared.
God can reveal a great deal about Himself, His Kingdom and about ourselves in and through serving. When asked what God has revealed to them, Elaine quickly said this:
"I'm a mess and I can't do this without God. The most important thing I have learned is God has me here on this earth for a reason. I am to use my gifts to serve others."
Lori immediately replied "I agree. I get to show hospitality here on Sundays at the cafe and in my home throughout the week."
You are not alone and your church family needs you. Join Elaine and Lori and a whole bunch of great people on Sunday mornings by joining a serving team at citylightomaha.org/serve. You could be someone's answer to prayer.