- Faith & Family
There’s an older gentleman who walks around the Miami Gardens community every day. He moves between the Norland area and 441, collecting beverage cans. Rev. Sabrina Windsor Butler, pastor of New Way of Life International Ministries and the director of Windsor Academy, has noticed this man. And in an effort to make his life a little easier, she and the students of her academy have started saving their cans. So instead of the man having one bag of cans after each collection, now he usually has two. And although it’s a simple act for Butler, it seemingly means a lot to the man, who shakes his head, smiles and repeats, “Thank you,” to the pastor.
“I tell him that I am praying for him,” she said.
This is one of the many ways Butler, who leads a “ministry where love reigns,” expresses her love to those in need. The church’s mission is to spread the love of God and to also teach others that they can succeed in life with hope in God.
“If we learn how to appreciate God’s love and teach it to other people, that will help to alleviate the anger, violence and all of the [negative] things that we see daily in our community,” she said.
Butler believes pouring more love into people can reduce gossip, the tearing down of others and violence, which she calls the spirit of jealousy and envy.
“We can always say I love God,” Butler said. “But you can’t [truly] say you love God and mistreat me. You can’t say you love God and see somebody homeless and not offer them something.”
Butler quoted 1 John 4:20, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
Although New Way of Life was started less than two years ago, the church has had a lot of spiritual growth and has spread love in many efforts, according to Butler.
The church shows love by giving to those in need both locally and beyond — each Sunday, members donate to others in foreign countries by partnering and donating with different organizations. They give food, clothing and toys to people who are in need in Honduras. They also donate items to a church in Haiti; items include: educational tools, book-bags, pencils and books. In addition, they are a part of a program that collects shoes in exchange for clean water that is then given to needy children in various countries.
Locally, the church is a part of an evangelistic team where they help bring awareness of HIV/AIDS. The church holds health clinics and other related events where people can get information or tested for HIV/AIDS.
When preaching, Butler tries to give people a boost of inspiration from teaching through love. She quoted one of her favorite Bible verses, Jeremiah 29:11, saying “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
“I believe if people understand that God has a plan for our lives, we will be happier,” she said. “God has great things for us to do. He has gifted us. Our gifts will make room for us, so we have to put our best foot forward to do that.”
By Malika A. Wright