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Dance Your Way Fit
By Liz James

Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.  (Proverbs 15:30)

If there was a place you could go on a Saturday to get a fun-filled action packed 90-minute Zumba workout, and its cost was less than a meal at a fast food restaurant would you go?  Would it surprise you to know that for a small tax deductible contribution of just $7.00, you could 1) help fund the Never Knew A Father’s Love (“NKAFL”) support group; 2) provide funding for mentorships to youth and underprivileged children; 3) provide financial support for those in crisis; and 4) help to fund a Community Outreach for the homeless.   While the cost may be what most would consider a great deal for any 90 minute health and fitness class, that $7.00 could provide the miracle someone needs to experience the agape love of Our Savior shared through hearts so willing to give.    

ZumbaThon was inspired by Anamichel with the idea of helping a friend as they were going through a financial crises, but in just a short period of time it has become so much more.  That one caring gesture somehow became like “the seed which fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”  (Luke 8:8)

Perhaps there is no better way to explain than to give a small peek inside how the funding not only provides the fun and laughter as 90 minutes melt the pounds and inches, but also how it helps those in need. 

On a rainy Friday night, I attended my first meeting with NKAFL.  I had not planned to attend, but I felt led to attend, so I did.  During the meeting everyone introduced themselves and spoke briefly on why they came.  In the sharing of experiences and bearing of souls, one could feel the love, support and camaraderie.  One could also see and feel where healing would or could begin for those who spoke of pain carried through the years of not knowing the love of their father.  

At the end of the meeting, as everyone was leaving the church, I found myself speaking with a woman who had briefly spoken during the meeting.  For sake of her privacy, I will call her Sarah.  We talked as we walked to the entryway – just inside the doors of the church.  I asked if she knew the significance of her name through Sarah in the bible.  She took pause and smiled and said she would have to read more on her.  Then for whatever reason, she confided in me, “I’m homeless.”  I looked in her eyes, then looked outside at the rain which now resembled tears coming down from the heavens then heard myself ask, “Where will you go when you leave here?”  “Probably sleep in my car,” she replied.  “I’ve mostly been doing a lot of couch hopping when I can.”  My mind could not fathom someone sleeping in a car on such a rainy and cold night, then again I heard myself speak – “Would you like to sleep on my couch tonight?”  Sarah smiled and I could see the weight of the world lift just a bit as she said “I would love to sleep on your couch tonight.”   The rain continued hard through the night as if it had a mission to cleanse the entire world, yet for that one night I knew God had given a safe warm dry place to another of His children for rest.  I knew it had to be God’s doing, because I – myself would not have been in the place at all were it not for feeling “led to attend” the KNAFL meeting that night. 

Saturday I had planned to attend the ZumbaThon just for the fun of it, so I asked Sarah if she would like to also attend.  Though I was feeling under the weather, I had made the promise to Nikki (who is the Support Group Leader) that I would go, but because I felt under the weather, I would not take part in the ZumbaThon.  I figured I would go to write a story on the fitness end of it.  At the time, I had no idea there was so much more! 

Sarah and I arrived just before the ZumbaThon was getting started and I went to Nikki (also MC of the ZumbaThon class) and I confided in her as Sarah had confided in me the night before.  “Nikki, Sarah is homeless. I offered her my couch last night but I don’t know what else I can do to help.”  Immediately Nikki asked “Have you told Perri?  That is what we do!  We help the homeless!”  I stood stunned for a moment as I felt God’s perfect plan come in focus!  In speaking with Perri, she assured me that after the ZumbaThon, she would help Sarah.   

Then for 90 minutes Salsa music filled the air.  Laughter, fun and fitness was the focus for everyone, including Sarah.  After the class ended and everyone left, Perri gave Sarah money to get a hotel for the next couple days and in the interim worked with Sarah to get her own place through the funding sources available to NKAFL. 

A couple weeks later, Sarah came by with a beautiful poinsettia plant as a “thank you” and she told me of her new place.   It made my heart smile to think that all of this came about by attending a support group meeting with its foundation laid in love then taking the time to listen to someone in need.  The rest was simply letting God do his work.  To me… it’s worth so much more than $7.00.  It’s priceless!

If you have made a resolution for the New Year to treat yourself to some fun and fitness in 2012, ZumbaThon resumes its classes beginning every other Saturday from 2:30-4:30 p.m. starting January 14th in Room 232 at the Rock Church.  With Perri Storey (Host), Nikki Godz-Princess (MC), and Anamichel Frausto Gilbert (Instructor).  *No registration necessary, you can pay at the door!

God will not only bless you with better health and fitness, but you will be contributing to a blessing that will change the lives of so many others. 

For more information about the Never Knew a Father's Love Ministry, click here »