In 2014 CCC started an initiative called Love Can. This inspired Steve and Kim Ramm to start a store called the Love Can Store, where people in need can get donated furniture for free.
How we respond when our comfort levels are challenged says a lot regarding our hearts. How God responds each time we surrender to Him says a lot about His, and each day, through frustrations, stress, and celebrations, the Ramms, founders of the Love Can store, have experienced the joy that can only come from surrender and full dependence on Christ.
Their ministry began with a simple idea initiated by a church-wide campaign encouraging Christ Community members to find ways to share God’s love. The Ramms responded by hosting a free garage sale that has grown into a thriving ministry that brings hope and dignity to countless families in need.
They’ve seen God’s hand again and again.
“It blows me away,” Steve said. “To think, we can get a call for something, won’t have it, and the next thing we know, it’s here.”
“This is God’s store,” Kim said, deeply touched and inspired by His intimate involvement. As they walk in His will, He floods their hearts with a joy greater than their circumstances or challenges.
Through heat, cold, stress, and fatigue, they’ve discovered the blessings of obedience.
“God stretches me constantly,” Kim said, especially when she feels selfishness spring up. “The store is part of a building we never finished.” This means, it doesn’t have heating or air conditioning. The winters are really cold and the summers really hot. Sometimes I’m like, ‘Really?’”
When unpacking and putting away donations in below freezing or above ninety degree conditions, she can become frustrated with being there. “But then someone will call to set up an appointment to get in, and I’m reminded of how important [the store] is, and I’m brought to my knees.”
She shared one story in particular of a man recently released from prison who’d received custody of his two kids who’d been in foster care. He called on a day when Kim already had a lot going on and was feeling the stress of needing to tie up her responsibilities and head out town.
“I was moaning and full of anxiety,” Kim said. “But then he came in the door with his girls, looked around, and introduced himself.” He needed furniture but didn’t have any money. “I said everything was free. He started crying, and his teenage daughter got excited. She started crying, too.”
Then the man shared his story, and it really humbled her. “I thought, how dare I be so blessed and so frustrated at being there in the heat for this person.” Instantly, her anger turned to joy.
That, perhaps, has been what has impacted Steve most—seeing her joy. “Kim does 99% of the work,” he said. “I’m along for the ride and pick up furniture once in a while. But I see the fuel she gets out of this, and I want to play a part. I see her being blessed with being a part [of all God is doing through her].”
Reflecting on God’s provisions and care, Kim welled with emotion. “I think He loves seeing someone who was so often broke participate in His work the way He wants the world to look and be,” she said, her voice cracking. “I have such an enormously weird amount of joy, literally. It’s almost like God gives me hugs and says, ‘I’m pleased with you,’ and I can feel it. It’s a heart and soul hug.”
She’s discovered, obedience always leads to increased intimacy with her Savior, and that has made the heat and cold well worth it.
Want to participate in the joy of sharing God’s love with those in need? To donate items, contact Kim and Steve Ramm at 402-547-3675 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Eva Brandt at email@example.com learn other ways you can become involved with the Love Can store.