Saturday, April 7, 2012

Daily Wisdom Challenge 2012 - Week 14 & Adopt A Block!

On January 1, I began my second-ever year long bible study.Our pastor calls it the "Daily Wisdom Challengeor the "Twitter Bible Study".

The purpose is to engage in a reading plan for a year, and each day, post insight from your reading in 140 characters or less.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Here is what I learned this past week:
{links included for the scripture referenced only}

Luke 10:2 We should always pray that God will continue to provide workers willing to help advance His kingdom on earth.

Luke 10:30-37 We should love and show mercy to our neighbor. That means anyone...not just the people we deem worthy of it.

Luke 10:38-42 Are we too busy worrying about appearances and preparations or are we able to sit still and soak in His wisdom?

Psalm 77:11 When God seems distant, recount all the marvelous deeds He has done and you will see how you can count on Him.

Proverbs 12:19 The truth will stand forever but lies will eventually be revealed.

Luke 12:31 Seek God's kingdom above all else. Earthly possessions mean nothing. It is the treasure stored in heaven that is important.

Luke 12:40 We must be prepared at all times for the Lord's return for we do not know when he will come, or if it will be day or night.

I can't help but think how appropriate these verses are to the experience I had today.  Today, Ron, Moira and myself participated in Adopt-A-Block again.  This was our second time.  You may remember me writing about that last month. If not, you can read about that experience here.

Adopt-A-Block today consisted of a block party for the little neighborhood we visited last month.  In fact, they actually brought together a few groups' blocks for the party.  I serve with the "Sisterhood" group, but there were a few other groups who are assigned to other streets within this neighborhood.  It was a party for all of those streets combined.  There would be food, an Easter egg hunt for the littles, a jump castle, and fellowship with the neighbors.

Moira settled in pretty easily in the jump castle.  She met a little girl, the daughter of another "Sisterhood" friend volunteering today.  Even though this girl was younger than her, Moira was very sad to say good-bye to her at the end of the day.  There were many bumps, bruises, scrapes and tears over at the jump castle.  Moira came crying to me a few times because of some of the "mean" kids.  I wasn't there - I can't say what happened for sure - but I know that as an adult, I have to look at the environment we were in and try to convey to her somehow that they probably weren't being mean on purpose and it wasn't that they aren't nice kids.  She finally got that they were probably just "disobedient".  We're just trying to love on these people and be friends with them.  They may not have anyone in their life to show them how to "play nice" with other kids.  I don't know.  All that aside, I think Moira did really well.  She played with the other kids for most of the time we were there and it allowed Ron and I to do what we needed to do without worrying about her {for the most part}.

Moira {with hands against the side} with some new friends.

Moira {with the ball} with some new friends.
While Moira hung out in the jump castle, Ron and I helped out with the food set up, cooking, and distribution.  The block party was set up in a strip of grass that runs between a couple rows of the trailer homes.  You can see the big billboard in the back of the picture.  There is a freeway that runs right by this neighborhood.  If you look at the right side of the picture below, right in line with the bottom of the four little yellow squares on the border of the picture, you will see the freeway, just over the roof of that trailer home.  A set of railroad tracks borders the neighborhood on that side just a little further to the right.

There were plenty of volunteers on hand.  Ron and I were involved in this area pictured below.  Ron and a couple other men manned the grills, cooking up delicious smelling hot dogs and burgers.  There were trays of dogs and burgers on these tables.  There were platters of tomatoes, onions, lettuce, sauerkraut, and all kinds of condiments next to them.  I asked what people would like, put the appropriate buns on the plates and handed them down assembly line style so the next volunteer could add the meat, veggies, condiments, and so on.  There were chips, popcorn, and plenty of drinks to be had as well.  

Ron manning the grill.
 The neighbors trickled in.  Eventually the line grew longer and seemed like it wasn't about to end anytime soon.  They kept on coming - men, women, children; young and old.  Some were almost timid as they held out their plates.  All were grateful.  I heard one person ask why we were doing this.  I guess the concept of what was being done was just completely foreign to them.  They were so grateful.

As I broke open new packages of buns and separated them, getting ready to put them on plates, I began to notice something.  While we were serving many people, the faces began to be familiar.  I'd seen them pass through the line already.  And then I'd see them again.  And again.  Yes, these people were coming through the line not once or twice, but three or four times.  Possibly more.  I don't say this to imply that these people were being greedy.  No, not at all.  I say this because it struck me that these people must truly be hungry.  It made me wonder - When was their last real meal?  Was this meal going to be their only meal today?  Was this meal going to be their Easter dinner?  Perhaps the answer for many was yes for one or more of those questions.

I won't soon forget the looks on the faces of these people as they passed through the line today.  It is quite humbling to serve people, especially when you know that you get to leave and go back to a nice house - and stop at the grocery store on the way for the ham you need for your family's Easter dinner tomorrow.

I just pray for these people that they saw something of God today.  I pray that God was able to use someone there to minister to someone who really needed it.  I pray that they were provided for today in a way that will sustain them, at least for a little while.

{you can view more pictures of the block party here}

Happy Easter!

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