Acts 9:32-42; The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 131, 132
We serve when we help others.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
Mary and her mother had little to live on. They needed food. Their clothes were old and patched. One day someone told Mary’s mother that the Seventh-day Adventist Community Services center in her town could help her. So Mary and her mother went there for help. Soon they received some food and good, clean clothes.
Seventh-day Adventist Community Services can be found all around the world. Perhaps there is one near you. Sometimes Community Services are called the “Dorcas Society.” Why? Because Dorcas, one of Jesus’ friends, helped many people in the village where she lived. Here is her story:
We’re all worried about our dear friend Dorcas,” Elizabeth began. “She is so sick, and she doesn’t seem to be getting any better.”
“I know,” responded Sarah. “Dorcas is such a precious woman! I love to go to her house. I like to listen to her talk about Jesus. Her big, brown eyes sparkle and shine when she talks about Him. And I love to hear her laugh. It’s wonderful to watch her hands. They are always busy sewing. I do believe she is the best seamstress in the city! Even if the shirt or coat she is making is a simple one, it is always elegant. And then she gives it away to some poor widow in need.”
The two women turned back to their work. There was much to be done that day. But first they would pray for Dorcas.
Several days passed. Then early one morning the news spread through the town. “Dorcas has died.”
People hurried to her house to see if it were really true. They could hardly believe it! Some of the women were already washing her body, tears running down their faces. Then they gently carried her to a room upstairs.
Suddenly, amid all the crying and chaos, somebody remembered that Peter was visiting the believers in Lydda, about 10 miles away. “Let’s send for Peter!” they exclaimed. So two men set off for Lydda to find him.
Finally Peter came. It was quite a scene that he walked in on! Crying, and wailing, and mourning. A whole houseful of friends in distress. Someone led Peter to the upstairs room. Many widows crowded around him, sobbing. They held the coats and robes that Dorcas had made for them.
Peter sent everyone out of the room. Then he quietly knelt down beside the bed and prayed. As he stood up, he turned to Dorcas, lying so still. “Dorcas, get up!” he called.
Immediately Dorcas opened her eyes and sat up! Peter took her by the hand and helped her out of bed. He smiled at her. Then he called the people back into the room so they could see her too.
How the believers rejoiced and praised God! “Our God is so good!” they shouted. Dorcas herself was amazed at what had happened.
Of course the wonderful news spread quickly. Everywhere in Joppa people heard about the miracle. And because of that, many of them believed in the Lord.