From Shane Kyles, Director of the Way 2 Serve
On March 2nd, around 500 people came together to serve for the bi-annual My Jerusalem Service day. During the day there were home repairs, block parties and a cookie outreach. Most of all The Gospel of Jesus Christ was shared and we already know of one who accepted Jesus as His Savior!
There are many new relationships that started from this one day as we came together to rebuild broken homes and restore broken people in our community. From one of our Compassion Leaders, “It just felt right among the group and the homeowner we helped… it felt like family!” Also, relationships were started, such as one young one woman who gained a new friend that joined her at church to study God’s word and worship together. At the block parties (yes, there were two of them!) many people from all walks of life came together to fellowship and have fun together.
It was an encouraging day in our community. Then the unexpected happened.
On March 3rd, the day after My Jerusalem, tornadoes came and brought much destruction to our community. Many who served on Saturday—along with so many others—immediately engaged in the relief efforts to help neighbors who lost everything, even family members. In fact, the community was so quick to respond that they were on the ground before many large disaster relief organizations could deploy and begin disaster relief. In the midst of a hard situation, this was incredibly encouraging. It has been amazing to see the outpour of love in our community.
I was able to serve by leading a team for Samaritan’s Purse along with a family from New Jersey who traveled to Alabama instead going to Florida for their planned vacation. The father of that family said he just happened to click on Billy Graham’s email message, noticing an invitation to come serve those affected by the tornadoes in Alabama. He said serving and helping would be better for him and his family than a vacation, and I believe he is right.
There is no way to explain what we have witnessed except in the last two weeks except to say that God works through His people in a supernatural way. His children have joined together to rebuild broken homes and restore broken people. Nehemiah 2:17 rings true now more than ever. Normally after a My Jerusalem service day, we begin following up in the community. During this time, we can see that the walls of our city (and those of our neighbors) lie in ruin. The walls must be rebuild. The people must be restored.
This will be a long process and The Way 2 Serve is committed to for the long haul. We have witnessed that although tragedy strikes quickly, actionable love is able to overcome the tragedy. The storms come quickly, but God’s love endures forever.
Our prayer and vision for our community is that we will all be engaged in, “Serving Together to Unify and Grow The Body of Christ”. I believe The Body Christ will continue to serve together and will be unified and grown until Jesus comes back. Be on the lookout for more updates as we put together our action plan to serve in the community long-term following the recent tornadoes. Contact us to find out how you can get involved.