“We are a last-chance facility. If you are going to die, you come here. And we’ll help you live instead.”

That’s how a volunteer at Austin Pets Alive (APA) described the group’s calling when I visited, looking for God. What I saw proved their statement true.

This is a little puppy named Jenny. She contracted a disease called Parvo, which is fatal if untreated. Unfortunately, most shelters can’t afford the $2,000 cost of treating Parvo with IV hydration and 24-48 hours of hands-on care. APA certainly didn’t have that kind of money or time. But then they got creative. APA sent out a call- Parvo doesn’t have to keep killing puppies! All we need are volunteers. You’ll have to give come at night, give up sleep, clean up nasty messes and learn new skills. But we can save the lives of innocent puppies.

Jenny is alive because a team of volunteers tended her IV, hand-fed her, and nursed her back to health. APA’s lone veterinarian is now surrounded by hundreds of volunteers. Together, they have saved 3,000 puppies. I was touched by the power of this community and the difference they have made.

That’s our calling, too! Christ’s church is also a “last-chance” facility of sorts. If you are dying from the inside, God’s people can help! Jesus has beaten death, he’s opened up forgiveness. Life can begin again. Nobody is beyond help or hope.

Most churches, like APA, don’t have a huge staff. Certainly not enough people to meet the needs of the world. They need volunteers who will give their time, their love, their money to help God call the lost. They need people who will give an hour on Sunday to teach children, who will call and visit the shut-ins and sick. They need people who will tend a community garden, lead a bible study, work with those in need.

Every hour you give to God, every time you volunteer, that’s one more way you are helping God give a hurting child, a broken teen, a lost adult, a second chance at life. Because of you, God’s church can help people who are dying inside have a second shot at life.

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