Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Serving Others

This past Saturday was Adopt A Block.  You may have seen my posts on that ministry before.  I have written about my two previous experiences here and here.  Ron, Moira and I got ourselves ready to go up to the Dream Center to meet up with some of the women from our Sisterhood women's ministry.  All kinds of people gather for Adopt A Block.  It's not just one group of volunteers serving in one particular area - it's several groups spread out across this particular region of the city.  Sisterhood is assigned to a particular block, which happens to be in a trailer park neighborhood consisting of about 3 rows of homes.

Here's how it goes down.  You meet up at the Dream Center at 9:30.  You sign in under your group.  They have announcements and prayer.  Then you get sent out to your block to serve.  Sometimes there are events like last month's block party:

This month was just a regular "visitation" type month.  We were to hand out some flyers on what the Dream Center has to offer the community - free clinic, pantry, clothes closet, etc.  We were also to share information about a Spanish service.  In addition, since Mother's Day is coming up, we were to hand out little gifts to any moms we might happen to encounter.  It's not so much about promoting our church as it is about being the hands and feet of Christ in this neighborhood - just loving on them and caring for them.  If they have a church already - great!  If not, then maybe ours might be a place they'd like to try.  If not, then we can pray for them - right there personally or just for them in our hearts.

This was the third month we would be heading out to our block.  Not "newbies", but definitely not "old timers" on the block.  Here's the thing, while we were at the Dream Center listening to the announcements, I looked around and saw that the crowd was lighter than usual.  Not only that, but there were no other women from Sisterhood present!  I was more than a little nervous.  I had no idea what we'd do!  Perhaps join up with another group?  I didn't know.  I talked to the woman who did the announcements - who happens to be their pastor's wife - and asked what we should do.  Long story short - we were heading out to our block...alone!!

{Ok, Sisterhood ladies - all of that was just stated as fact and in no way am I questioning where everyone was - please do not take this as such!}

As I sat through the announcements and saw that we were "it" for our block, I thought, "Oh, Lord, what are you doing to me?!?!"  I am so introverted.  I can't do this alone.  I can't not have other veteran adopt a blockers with me.  I can't!  I just can't do this!  I prayed for someone to show up so we wouldn't have to go it alone.  By the time I was speaking to the woman in charge, I knew we were it.  She asked how many times we'd been there.  Twice.  She asked if I'd feel comfortable going out there.  I thought and thought.  It seemed like forever, but hopefully wasn't!

Then it hit me.

This block.  These people.  They deserve that someone shows up there on that day.  I have no idea if anyone keeps track of when the volunteers show up on their block, but if there is anyone expecting someone to show up, I cannot even begin to imagine how incredibly disheartening it might be if no one showed up.  I did not want to take responsibility for that happening!  Before I knew it, I was saying yes.  Saying that YES we would go out there.  I said that if we didn't go there, then no one would, so yes I am willing.

You have absolutely no idea how I felt driving on over to the block.  None.  I knew that God was trying to tell me something.  I knew that all of this happened this way for a reason.  I didn't understand it, but here it was.  Just Ron, Moira and myself heading over there.  We'd be going door to door down these three rows of homes somehow ministering to the residents we would meet.

If you know me at all, you will know that I have a really.  HARD.  time. praying out loud in front of people. I will do it.  But it is hard.  It kind of scares me.  I feel so inadequate.  I feel stupid.  I do not feel like the words coming out of my mouth match up with what's on my heart.  At.  All.  Oh, I can pray amazing prayers in my head all day long, but to be in front of others and pray is very difficult for me and it is something I pray about {in my head...to myself!}.  Here I was in the position now of knocking on doors, speaking to people who may or may not be wanting me there, and then asking them if there was any way in which I could pray for them.  And then praying for them.  OUT LOUD.

I get it God.  You're telling me I need to get over myself, right??

So, I did it.  A little way into the first row, we encountered a woman who is basically the one on the block that knows everyone and she walked with us the rest of the way.  {She's the one in the picture above with the blue shorts on.  That picture was taken at last month's block party.}  She could tell us who was home, who wasn't, who wouldn't answer their door, and so on.

At the end of it all, I was truly so blessed to have gone out to the block on Saturday.  I think the whole experience meant as much for me as {I hope} it meant for these people.

So, if you have a minute, could you please pray for this community?  They are so in need of people to just love them.  There are the obvious financial needs, but there are also health needs out there and I'm sure many personal needs requiring prayer.  In particular, please pray for this one young girl - she's pregnant with her third and is due on the 29th of this month.  I can't imagine being in her situation and being in the position of bringing a beautiful new baby into that environment.  She is one of the people I prayed directly for that day.  Could you all please just send up a few prayers for her and her baby that all goes well?

 And if you don't mind, send up a prayer for me for this week.  For the first time in four years, I will be working outside the home!  It's only for a few days - nothing permanent.  I wound up taking this little part time job in a flower shop helping to assemble the bouquets for the College of Charleston graduation ceremony.  I'll be working about 6 hours each day on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday!  I know I can do it, but I'm a little nervous!!  It's been forever since I've worked outside the home!



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