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Burning Hearts

By Stacia Glavas


They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" Luke 24:32

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus appeared while walking alongside two followers, who did not recognize him in his resurrected state. Through the breaking of bread, their eyes were opened to Jesus' identity, and they remarked to one another how their hearts had been "burning" within them while Jesus had walked with them that day though they didn't recognize him at the time.

Does your heart "burn" within you in the presence of Jesus? How do you know it is Jesus that causes you to feel this way?

In 2006, a young mother named Julia, had an asthma attack while holding a small child in her arms and walking in front of my home in Rockledge, Florida. My husband and I drove her to her apartment, just blocks away, to assist her with a breathing treatment. The "home" was full of mildew and filth, with street cats entering through a hole in the wall. When we left that day, we realized that something spiritually had just happened. We had actually changed, although we couldn't grasp the full significance of what had happened.

A week later, I took diapers and formula by the young woman's apartment. That day, I was inclined to fix her problems - get her driver's license back, get her a new apartment, and get her a job. God, however, reigned me in. He very clearly directed me not attempt to rescue her. God called me to be her friend. This began a mutually beneficial mentoring relationship that continues to this day.

In time I did begin to help Julia address some of the issues that were holding her down. Along with my church and other friends, we were able to provide the resources necessary for Julia to get her driver's license. She then got her cosmetology licenses reinstated and even received a car by a new friend. I often shuttled Julia and her daughter to doctor appointments. Neglected health was in danger of creating even more hurdles for this fragile family.

It was important for Julia to take steps to secure her self-sufficiency before her new "community" took the next step to help her. I discovered that I really can't fix other people; I can only guide the way for them and provide support to develop a healthy life for themselves.

Julia's life became more and more positive. She eventually secured a job and began to provide the stability she had always wanted for her daughter.

Julia is now married to a wonderful young man. They live in Texas near her grandparents, and he is now a foreman on his job. Julia is the Girl Scout cookie mom, and is involved in the PTA. She has continued to struggle with health issues, including cancer, but Julia was recently been baptized, along with her husband and daughter. They are finding deep strength in their community of faith. She NEVER fails to turn back with gratitude. Likewise, I am forever indebted to Julia for opening my eyes to see the possibilities behind pervasive poverty.

As I was completing my degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in 2009, I again heard God very clearly direct me. This time I heard, "do for others what I taught you to do for Julia." God then harnessed my seminary and business degrees, and my 20 years of entrepreneurial business experience to birth Brevard Rescue Mission. Our mission is to break the cycle of homelessness in my community of Brevard County, Florida.

In God's providential timing, a 12-unit apartment building was made available to us. We renovated it and, by God's grace, we will pay off the debt entirely this June. Brevard Rescue Mission provides a 1-2 year program for homeless women with children who want to achieve self-sufficiency and independence from government assistance. We provide access to health care, transportation, Bible study, education, nutrition and job training in a safe, Christ-centered residential setting.

I am so privileged to get a front-row seat to what God is doing in my community. Through this ministry lives are drastically turned around, hope is restored, and families are made whole.

I will forever be grateful that Jesus made himself known to me by "burning within me" through my friend Julia. May your eyes and ears be open to following Jesus in mission, in our homes, communities and world.


About the Author

Stacia Glavas is the proud mother of 3 young adult women, a devoted wife of 28 years, and the CEO of Brevard Rescue Mission, Inc.  She holds a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary, an MBA from George Washington University, and a B.S. from Oklahoma State University.   


A Word from James

Stacia is "the real deal" and has a wonderful balance of respect, grace and empowerment through Christ. We all can learn from her. Did your heart burn a bit just reading her words? Is there a way FollowOne can help you, your children and your church take new steps in response to God's call to serve lost and hurting people?     


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