Last year in January, a group of individuals who had been on previous mission work trips was invited to participate in a home mission project in Toledo.
The project would involve working on an existing church – de-cluttering, changing walls (both taking out old ones and building new ones), removing old carpeting and installing a floating floor, painting, and updating restrooms, as well as all that various and sundry stuff that pops up unexpectedly in any home do-over project.
As it was presented to us, we would work most Fridays and Saturdays for two or three months. That sounded doable, and I volunteered to be part of the team.
The cleaning out and de-cluttering found me deeply involved. Then I filled in as a gofer as needed. When asked if I wanted to paint, I said no. I think that’s the only thing I chose not to do. I don’t know why, but painting is just not my thing. And, unfortunately, that was the most time-consuming of all the projects.
Add to that “no” the fact that I am not as agile as I used to be (hmmm, wonder why), and many times I found myself present but with little to do while others worked steadily.
I began looking for a spot I could be of service. And I found it!
Another lady, who is a very good painter, as well as an all-around leader, was taking care of providing lunch every work day. That required planning and preparation even before we got to the work site. At the work site, she set out breakfast rolls and coffee, then lunch. After lunch she did the clean-up.
AHA! I could fill that spot and free her to do the things she is gifted in. Surely, that would make better use of both of us.
I offered, and the job was mine! I was there every work day, which stretched from two or three months to 22 working days! After I did the lunch clean-up and inventoried needs for the next time, if there was not something I could do I went home early. My job for the day was complete.
In September, many of that same remodel team came together to start a new dinner church. We meet the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month for food and fellowship, a message, and Holy Communion. The intent is to bring church to the unchurched of the community, though everyone is welcome. Some who regularly attend that same church on Sundays also come out for dinner church.
It has been exciting to watch the fellowship time develop. At first, we got only a few very hesitant responses to questions based on the evening’s message. That has expanded to some actual sharing of hearts.
Now, that same work crew has been invited to do another updating project, also in Toledo. I responded that I would be there and would take care of feeding the workers once again. That offer was well-received.
This project is much smaller than the previous one, and should only take about four or five Friday/Saturday time allotments to complete. Remember, the other one was to be much shorter, too. This project is for another church-related project, and I’m not sure what the goal is.
I only know I need to be a part of it if the intent is to better reach people with the love of Jesus!
He loves you, too, enough that He died on the cross to pay for your (and MY) sins!