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Why Deb Loves Serving July 12, 2016

Serving has been a part of Deb Lew's life for as long as she can remember.

"When it comes to getting involved in a local church-pouring yourself into ministry—my parents set a great example for my brother and I," Deb said. "They tried to expose us to as many different serving opportunities as possible so we could find our strengths and best matches for ministry."

So when Deb started attending Wheaton Bible Church as a young adult in 2014, she brought a heart for service with her. Visiting for the first time on a global MissionsFest Sunday, she remembers being impressed by the number of missionaries the church has sent out. And when she learned that Local Impact ministries were going to be spotlighted the next week, she was even more intrigued.

"A lot of churches do a really good job of sending out missionaries, but unintentionally neglect their local area," she said. After that second week, Deb was convinced that this was the church she had been looking for.

An Opportunity to Serve

A notice in the Sunday bulletin about the need for people to serve in the area of hospitality led Deb to the SERVE Desk, where she soon found a place preparing and serving food to the women who attend the Tuesday evening Place 4 You Bible study—a role that took her back to the kind of serving she had done alongside her parents as a child.

"Food is an important part of our culture," she says. "It brings people together. It satisfies an immediate need. When we have ladies coming in from work or a long day of watching their kids, or whatever they were doing that day, it's nice to be able to provide them with a meal they can just come in and eat, one they didn't have to prepare or clean up after."

Deb has even been known to go the extra mile. A few of the women have dietary limitations, so she discovered a recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free, nut free and soy-free chocolate chip cookies.

"These ladies are used to not having dessert. So, when they see my little back trays with the allergy-free sign, they are excited. And they taste totally normal," she says with a laugh.

It might seem like extra work to some people, but Deb disagrees. "When you are doing something in an area God has gifted you, it's energizing. It's very satisfying for you and the people you are serving. You are pouring in to them, but they are also pouring back into you, even if they don't always realize it."

The other women on her Tuesday evening hospitality team, some of whom have become close friends, provide another source of joy for Deb.

"You become part of each other's lives," she says. "You share your good times, and the bad days-times when you need to stop and pray, or listen, or get something off your chest. They are there and willing to listen and pray with you."

The serving team also has a lot of fun in the kitchen. Last year, when March 15 fell on a Tuesday, Deb insisted on serving Caesar salad and baked potatoes for dinner, calling the meal the Ides of Starch.

"If you serve with me in the kitchen, you know I make lame jokes—then I will stare at you expectantly until you laugh," Deb says. "That's the hazard of serving with me."

Deb hasn't come up with any fun puns yet for next year's dinners, but she's looking forward to the fall and can't wait to start planning for the Tuesday evenings when Place 4 You will start meeting again.

"It's been the highlight of my Tuesdays this year," Deb says. "Serving the women is very fulfilling, and I am so privileged to get to work with a great team. They are awesome."

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