A Heart for Hope

De De Dewey
FHC–South Park

When 84-year-old, De De Dewey went to Guatemala four years ago, she prayed a simple prayer that the Lord used to completely shake up her world — break my heart for what breaks yours.

“That’s a big prayer because he does just that,” she said through tears as the light flickered into the South Park atrium. “He broke my heart.”

De De, a long-time attendee of Forest Hill South Park, volunteers in nearly a dozen different ministry and service opportunities at both Forest Hill and beyond. While some are outreach opportunities with vetted Forest Hill partners, others are simply responses to needs she and others observe in our community and world.

As a reading mentor, De De meets weekly with a young student at Huntingtowne Farms Elementary and helps foster both literacy and relationship. She’s also a part of a group of women who meet weekly to sew clothes for children. What started as a service project with her LifeGroup five years ago turned into a weekly meetup that’s clothed more than 800 children in Haiti, Senegal, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. (Some clothes even made their way to Guatemala in De De’s luggage when she went on a Global Outreach trip in October 2017.)

The sewing group also works alongside Charlotte Rescue Mission to sew blankets for graduates of their rehabilitation program. Each blanket has Philippians 4:13 sewn on the label. (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.) This year, the program estimates they will need 240 blankets and De De states her sewing group is “on their way to filling the need.”

From serving as a deacon and a chaplain to working with Forest Hill’s Family Ministry team interviewing children before they’re baptized — De De’s heart for pure and humble servanthood is clear.

“Each area I’m involved in is a different calling, it’s a different type of giving,” she said with a radiant smile. “I think the rewards are always the same. The rewards are always just an overwhelming change in my heart.”

But her favorite way to serve?

“Probably the most emotional thing for me to do is to serve communion,” she said. “Because of the meaning of the depth of that… Jesus was both human and divine… and the key word is remember. And when you remember that and then see your friends come up to get that bread… oh my gosh.”

When asked what her philosophy on giving her life away was, De De simply said, “I want to be all used up.”

After her initial prayer for the Lord to break her heart was answered, De De moved on to another simple prayer that she urges others to mimic. “I want to see others through the eyes of Jesus — and I pray that every day. It changes your attitude.”

Suffice to say, He’s answered that one too.

Email jessica.pierson@foresthill.org about becoming a reading mentor.

Visit fhcgoglobal.servicereef.com for information on Global Outreach trips.

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