Yesterday morning I went with a handful of other women to serve at the Chili for Children program. We had a fun time getting to know each other over setting up and chopping veggies, walking over to the second location and finding a hobbit door... None of these women had been to C4C before, and they were all quite impressed with the people who ran the show, the children that they were able to serve, and excited about the possibilities of doing this again.
Last night I went out on the Love Lives Here bus with 13 great people from church. The bus hits the streets of North Central and the Core, offering warmth, food and drink and Jesus' love to anyone who needed it - there were a good number of 'divine appointments' and our crew got exposed to a whole range of what the crew sees on a regular basis. None of these friends had been on the bus before, and by the end of the evening their eyes had been opened to a whole new side of life in our city; a side where spiritual forces do very real battle, where prayers and our availability and Jesus' name are powerful weapons. Many of these friends are interested in going back; all were grateful for the experience.
These were two of the projects offered through our Westhill Serves weekend, and having just been to three of them (our whole small group went out to paint at the camp today), I am fully content that the reasons we put on this event is sound, and was met in a very successful way. We do it because serving is one of the three main purposes of our church (Love God, Love Others, Serve the World), to give opportunities for people to serve, and to expose them to new ways to serve.
I was also struck by something else. Feeding hungry inner city children is great, and I'm glad there is a group who does that; it's not my thing. Loving on the street workers and gang members is important, and I'm so glad to know this bus is out on our streets while I'm safe in bed. It, however, is not my thing either. My thing - my thing - is getting other Christians to go and serve there with me - my thing is taking people to places they have not been, exposing them to what more there is in life and faith. I want to see Christians 'get it' - to know how they can live an abundant life, fully loving and serving, fully experiencing all that God has for them. I'm thankful for the chance I had to go on those projects yesterday; I'm trusting that the friends I took along were changed by God because of their experiences.
Sometimes I forget, in the details, that this is the part that fills me.
I'm thankful for this reminder of who I am meant to be.