For a month or so we’ve been delivering food and other items to some of the under-served parts of our community. You recall the proverb that if you give someone a fish they’ll eat for a day, but if you teach them to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime… Well, we want to push on that idea and add, And if you help them own the pond they can become givers instead of receivers.
Don’t ask me what that will look like because we don’t know yet. But we are seeking the guidance of the Spirit. We’re in the early stages of our project and having a delightful time getting acquainted with some of the sweetest and most unselfish people we’ve ever met. We’ll leave bread and milk and beans and cereal and bananas in one place and the next day or so we’ll call on another family down the street and there is some of that food. They shared it with a neighbor.
We are working hard to make sure our gifts are given with dignity, and we discover they are received with deep appreciation. We pray in nearly every home and we assure them that Jesus loves them. A couple of them have come to church with us, but we’re not crowding them on that. When they discover our gifts are given in love and that they can trust us, they’ll come when they’re ready.
Last Friday we visited a family where the husband was at work and the mom was home – with five kids, three of her own, and two she was babysitting. Mom also works three nights a week at a drive-through food place, plus she is taking a full load of studies on-line toward an associate degree in business. One day she may own the pond.
As we were talking to her about her family she incidentally mentioned that one of her boys had just completed kindergarten. There is normally a “graduation” ceremony for the kids, but because of the coronavirus, the school had elected to skip it this year. From the crestfallen look on his face we knew her little scholar was terribly disappointed. We finished our visit and left. But the Lord got to talking to us…
What if we had a “graduation” just for him one evening? At our church. We began to brainstorm about what we might do. One of our crew contacted a resale shop in town. Amazing! They just happened to have a graduation gown for sale. $5. It was two feet too long but a seamstress in our church was glad to make alterations. And of course, it had the matching mortarboard complete with a gold tassel. It all began to come together. We got a CD of Pomp and Circumstance to play over the PA system, and we drafted an earliteen in the community to be our “visiting guest speaker.” (We’ll write a little speech for him.) We’re not sure what the other features will be, but we’re having a hoot putting it together. We’re working with his mother, but the boy – he doesn’t know yet. Think he’ll like it?
The big event is scheduled for next week. Maybe only his family will show up. Or maybe there’ll be a dozen; or a hundred. We’re not concerned about that. We’re just looking for ways to love on some of the folks in our community who could use a little love.
There are people all around our neighborhood who, unless there is a supernatural intervention in their lives, will probably not spend eternity with Jesus. We want to be part of His plan to tell them His story.
By Don Jacobsen (Hope-heals.org)