Sunday, August 10, 2008

Convoy of Hope

Yesterday Danny and I worked at Convoy of Hope. Our good buddy Philip was hosting this event. We really had a good time getting to know people..some who were helping and some who were attending. But I have to admit there was apart of me wondering, "What difference does all this really make?" Yes, I know it's hard to meet a person's spiritual needs if you do not first meet there physical needs. But I couldn't help wondering, whose life will be any different for attending today? Then God said, "That's right. Whose life will be different because they attended today?" When God asked the question it had an air of expectancy and excitement. Who? How many? Which ones? Anybody we talked to?

That is when it hit me that I didn't do this because I wanted to see God do a trick. I did it because it was important. And when I had asked my doubtful question, I was making this all about me! What did "I" see today? How can "I" gage if it was worth "my" time if "I" didn't see a miracle.

I think this is why we see so few Christians involved in social justice and outreach. We have grown so fond of instant gratification that if we don't see immediate results, we think our efforts were wasted. As I am chewing on all this, God gave me a little gift. He reminded me that I did see how the day positively affected one family. Here's the story...

If you read my post Impact Fulton Industrial, then you will remember my story about Billy. Well, yesterday I saw Billy's mom in the crowd. I got so excited that I followed her hoping to see Billy. I wanted to rush up and say, "I met your son at another charity event and he is so sweet." But I wanted a chance to sit down and talk to her. So I hung back and saw her pick a place to have lunch with her family. I got myself a hotdog and walked over to join them. Billy was leaning over the table resting his head on his arms. It was so hot outside. Instead of going straight to Billy, I talked to his mom.

Her name is Kim. And we had a wonderful conversation. She was so gracious when I told her how sweet Billy was when I met him. She remembered the event and reminded Billy where we had met. Kim and I talked for a long time. She told me about her difficulties with getting Billy into school and how they only have 21 days in the homeless shelter where they are currently staying. She said they have to be out of the shelter from early in the morning til dinner time. So her two children have to walk all over town with her while she tries to get an i.d., look for housing, etc. Kim said, "A day like this is all about them. They can play in the children's area and get some school supplies and they don't have to follow me." The kids were obviously exhausted from the heat. So having a shady place to relax was just what they needed that day. Thinking about this made me realize that God did show me how yesterday was important. I just hadn't recognized it.

4 comments:

Danny said...

Great insight, hon. It was an awesome day. I hope next time we can load up the truck and take some friends.

Nikki said...

I'm so glad you got to see Billy again and spend some time with his mom. I know that not only made your day but hers as well, especially when you praised her child! I love having you in my world and am so thankful to God for putting you here! You are an awesome person Ms. Cindy!

Cindy said...

No, I'm not. But I am glad to have you too, Nikki!

kevstephb said...

the pastor of our church, Imago Dei Community always tells us "just show up" What he means by this is that most Christians do nothing, as you mentioned in your post. But when Christians just show up and engage themselves in others' lives, people notice and peoples lives are changed.

An evangelist named Luis Palau www.palau.org
was at our church a few weeks back. God has given him the ability to mobilize Christians from all different denominations to work together. The current emphasis is to provide a weekend of service to local schools all over the city to do groundskeeping or whatever else the school needs that can be done in one day. Our church was already doing something similar (www.loveportland.org) Luis wanted to include us in what he was doing. Thousands of people have signed up. Our pastor and Luis along with other Christian leaders of the community met with the mayor and his council members in conjunction with this upcoming event. Our pastor asked the mayor if there was any other group or organization that could be called upon to provide this kind of service to our community and the mayor said absolutely not. In that one day, all of us working together, save the city of Portland schools so much money that they don't have, do this simple work that doesn't get done otherwise.

I say all that to agree with you that these simple acts do positively affect other families, sometimes in ways we will never know.