“I can’t wait for next year!“, exclaimed one of the FHL Week volunteers.
I remember in the end of summer 2006 (10 years ago), several people told me that they had such a great experience during FHL Week, they couldn’t wait for the following year. These conversations stuck in my mind!
One day the Lord put it on my heart to provide food for those in need. Soon, I found myself organizing mobile food pantries at parking lots, schools, churches and other community organizations. After a few years, this outreach evolved to become the main focus of FHL – it was birthed out of the mission week.
History repeats itself. After the 2016 FHL Week, many volunteers are taking initiatives to serve continuously. For example, the same soup kitchen clients who cooked for the volunteers at 25th St. Baptist are now planning to do the same in September at Barnes UMC. On Thursday, August 25, several people are coming together at Northwood Christian Church located at 4550 N. College Ave. at 4pm to share stories that happened during last month’s mission week.
Yesterday, a volunteer and I stopped by a local breakfast restaurant after picking up more than $1,400 worth of produce. As we were about to eat, it seemed like God said to give fruits to the customers. In obedience, I handed fruits to a woman waiting for her food. I asked her if she has any prayer request. She shared with me that she needs wisdom for the next stage of her life. After giving produce to three more customers, we handed some to the employees and prayed for one of them. This employee has been anxious about their safety in the neighborhood. We prayed for their protections and that God would change the hearts of the people.
The story above is an example that God provides us opportunities to serve our neighborhoods. I think God is saying to us just to keep our eyes and hearts open and just “do it!”
Outreach is not just something to check on your “To Do List”. It’s not something you have to do but something that you do out of love and compassion to others. What does it mean to you to love others without restrictions or any preconceived plan to change them…just to bring the absolute love of God? – not loving with a purpose but loving unconditionally.
Missions are not something that you schedule for a week (although that’s needed) and then go back to “regular programming”; its something that becomes a part of your regular mode of living. So if “you can’t wait for next year“, you can start right now right where you are because missions is not an event, it’s a lifestyle.
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