Twice a year we are blessed with the opportunity to join hands with Christian brothers and sisters in our community to serve through My Jerusalem. This year we are celebrating 10 years of serving through rebuilding and renovating homes and hosting a block party in our community. The work God has done and continues to do through his people never ceases to amaze. Over the years, one thing I have observed is that God is not only providing an opportunity for us to serve, but He also uses those we have come to serve. A recent example is a group of teenagers from the community that we have been poring into joined with a group of teenagers from out of town to serve in the 2017 Radius Camps.
During that time, I had an opportunity to meet a very sweet couple, Mr. Bud and Mrs. Anne. Our repair objective was to replace and repair certain areas of the home that started to sink in that became walking and structural hazards. We also provided safe access in and out the home by a building a ramp access for them.
That was the work we had envisioned for the day, but God provided a much greater opportunity.
As soon as we began the work Bud and Mrs. Anne stepped in and asked, “Where can I help?” They both were eager to jump in and come along side us as we began the repair. Over the course of multiple days, Bud and I shared conversations about God, about raising children, and about avoiding some of the pitfalls of parenthood. Also during that time, I watched with joy as Bud led a small group of young men in the demolition and repair of his own living room floor.
He was teaching them carpentry he had learned, but because of health reasons was not able to do the work without help. On top of that, he was encouraging these young men about the importance of staying in school and obeying their parents. He led a small prayer over the food while Mrs. Anne took pleasure in serving her “boys” the lunch that was provided. It was incredible to see that we had not only come to serve, but we were being served. It was a beautiful exchange of love for one another.
I listened as the young men serving transitioned from calling “Mr.” Bud to “Uncle” Bud. Before we left on our final day of Radius Camp service, Mrs. Anne welcomed us back “anytime” to enjoy her best home cooked meal, and Mr. Bud offered to help my son with mechanic work on his first car.
This family that we helped are is now looking for ways that they can help others! I think this is a key part of what we do through home repair projects that we should not miss. As we serve we see moments of God’s grace as he provides an unexpected blessing of friendship that extends beyond a day of service as we say, “Yes!” to filling a need of our neighbors.
My Jerusalem happens twice a year, and the next one is coming Saturday Sept 23, you can still sign up to serve through our extended sign-up form. It is a great way to experience God’s blessings through service and love for people in our community.