You have probably hear of flash mobs–people coming out of nowhere in public places to sing some beautiful song–delightfully surprising people and uplifting their spirits. Well, today, I think there was a service mob in our neighborhood.
It all started when my daughter looked out the window and said, “Mom, there are a bunch of people who are in the street and they all have blue shirts on.” “Sounded like something some church would do,” thought I.
I immediately went out the door to invetigate, and sure enough there were about 75 young people with some adults supervising who filled up our narrow street. I liked what their t shirts said, “Wired for service”. I asked one of the kids what they were doing, and he said they were helping people with their yards. A man came up to me and asked, “Do you need some help–we have a lot of kids who need something to do.”
He had no idea what he was offering me–and what they were in for. Since I moved into this house back in November, I had collected tons of leaves, cardboard, newspaper with the desire to make a beautiful garden. Unfortunately, there was a lot of trash left here from the last occumpant, and so my “treasures” made it look even worse.
“Sure, come on down,” I said gratefully and even a bit reluctantly–because I really was not prepared for this. As the horde (okay they weren’t a horde but the word sounds impressive) followed me down the street, I stopped by the neighbor across the street and asked him if he needed help. I also wanted to decrease the numbers of kids since I did not know how I could possibly keep them all busy. He said, “Sure do,” and he got his lawn mowed and some weed wacking done.
Even I, with my ability to supervise and organize, felt a bit overwhelmed when about 35 of the kids from about ages 12-16 started pouring into the very crowded with stuff yard. I really had no warning, and did not know where to start. But soon I realized I needed to just keep as many people moving, and even delegate some to various jobs. So in short order they were carry bags of leaves and newspapers; piles of cardboard; plant containers; and lumber to the back of the yard which fortunately I had cleared out about a month ago.
Some then started tackling the ditch along side our yard by cutting down weeds and branches. A branch which had fallen from a tree and was very bothersome was cut up in minutes. Boxes of paints to go to toxic waste were taken to the front. There was really no trash to pick up–it was all useful items that just needed sorting. And many hands make the work lighter sure was the truth for this project.
They stayed about 35 minutes and my yard was not looking super neat quite yet–but it was at a place where I could start making garden beds and straightening up the miscellaneous stuff in a much shorter amount of time than I ever could have. I just wish I would have sent a crew to the side are where there was more cardboard to be broken down…that is my only regret!
I hope that these kids knew how much this meant to our family. We have been super busy working to help get The Flight to Light Experience volunteer community off the ground so that we could help our in our communities as well by empowering young people in various ways including helping them to know how much God loves them and helping them to make wise decisions about their lives. In fact, today was the day I was going to really focus on getting our blog to a point where we could share it with such churches as Cross Church and Shiloh Baptist who were the churches sponsoring these young people. I was almost reluctant to pull myself away but as the saying goes, strike when the iron is hot.
So to receive this huge boost in getting to a point where we can get the summer garden is a huge blessing. To see two churches working together is wonderful also. And on top of this wonderful service, they are going to help a church in our neighborhood to rebuild both the building and congregation because they got into financial trouble pouring their resources into helping the homeless. Now that is what I call unity in the body of Christ–something The Flight to Light Experience is definitely all about.
I am just hoping that all these young people might be able to get in their bus and come to The Flight To Light Experience and have fun and inspiration and fellowship on June 16 at the Faithful Servants Ministries Roller Skating Rink. And I also can’t wait to send them a picture of a transformed yard. I will be highly motivated to work on this along with my family to make a beautiful garden. I hope they they will all feel a sense of satisfaction in knowing that they made a huge difference in the lives of my family and I.
After the kids all left, I had a brief chat with a few of the adult leaders. They were very gracious and kind. I was really glad to meet these dedicated Christians who were making Jesus famous in our neighborhood in such a positive way. Then I went across the street where our neighbors were sitting.
“Wasn’t that great?” I said. “Isn’t it wonderful what churches can do when they work together.”
“Yes, it is good to see the kids doing something useful,” said the woman. We had a nice little chat and it brought us a little closer together. I’m sure that they would have offered to help them any way, but the bonds of neighborliness were strengthened since I got to be the one who asked them if they needed help.
Well, here I am back to working on The Flight to Light Experience blog–grateful for a surprising break, and reminded that God truly does love us so much–and he is doing a work in his people. There is hope–yes, that people could know we are Christians by our love, and not be turned off by so much of what we as Christians do that is negative.