Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Face of Love

Tomorrow is an exciting day for the youth group Derek pastors at FUMC. We have been hard at work planning, praying, preparing for a week of local missions work. Earlier in the year Derek and I were talking over the options for service this summer, and of course there are many. While we were both incredibly blessed to take part in short-term overseas trips in our youth, that wasn't really a viable choice this year for our kids for a variety of reasons. They did a wonderful job of hosting and planning a community 5K this past February, and sent all proceeds to the very worthy endeavors of MFI, to assist in relief for Haiti in the wake of their disaster. Going to an inner city or another state and helping other missions organizations was also something we considered.
In the end, Derek and I both couldn't get away from the fact that "charity must begin at home." We live in a troubled community, fraught with drug abuse, school drop-outs, homelessness, and the list goes on.

What kind of difference could our little group make here at home? What effect would it have on our kids if we tried?

The song "Face of Love" sung by contemporary group, Sanctus Real, kept running through our minds, and during prayer in our own living room, the concept for a local missions week, with the "Face of Love" theme began to take form. God's presence was so real and the tears began to flow as we sensed His guidance. It will be a Monday through Thursday outreach endeavor with a different ministry focus each day. Practical helps...all done in the name of Jesus, and through His love.

So, tomorrow is kick-off! I'm nervous and excited to see how things will come together. We certainly hope to minister effectively to the needs of people here in our community, hopefully cause them to think of and see God in an entirely different way. But just as much, I hope these young people get that "rush" that indescribable feeling of fulfillment that only comes through service done in God's name and for His sake. You can't manufacture that.

Would you help cover us with prayer as we embark on this local missions week?

Here is the breakdown for the ministry:

Monday- Manual Labor day; we are taking on a huge project of working at the home of an elderly lady caring for her disabled son. The local community services office was able to put us in touch with this opportunity for service. It will be an ALL DAY effort of cleaning and extensive outdoor/yard work.

Tuesday-This is a day where our project is relying solely on prayer and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. It's difficult to describe how intensely we have felt God's presence when thinking of how to go about the mission for this day. We will be going to Walmart and Sav-A-Lot...and literally praying and asking God to direct us to the people of His choosing. With making as little scene as possible, and with minimal intrusion, Derek and one young person at a time will step up to the register and quietly pay for their groceries. We will simply hand a sealed envelope to the customer, with a letter inside explaining how Jesus Christ "stepped in" and paid for our sins...took our debt upon Himself. It will explain the process of Salvation. Please be in prayer that lives will be touched that day in a way that they will never forget.

Wednesday- This is our "meals on wheels" day; we will be cooking all morning (turkey, mashed potatoes/gravy/corn pudding/green beans/rolls/dessert) and then having the young people divided into teams delivering meals to shut-ins and poor families in our town. We will also be going to the Generation Center and serving meals there. A "love note" will be attached to each food container going out.

Thursday- We have collected nearly every item on the wish list for our local Ronald McDonald House. We will be assembling and delivering care packages for every room in the House, as well as huge amount of supplies for the common area; also bottled water and snacks for the Family Room at Kentucky Children's Hospital. This is a very practical ministry that can touch the lives of many....including the volunteer coordinator who will meet us to give us a tour and collect the donations. She has already said that summer is their lowest time for donations, and is so thrilled that we are coming.

Exciting stuff!! Faith in action!

I look forward to sharing more as the week unfolds. Blessings!

Here is our promo VIDEO.


Anonymous said...

This is fantastic. I'm so proud of you both. I'll be praying that God blesses this local mission. ~Anita

Tara said...

Thanks so much, Anita. Day one was a RESOUNDING SUCCESS! We are bone-weary in body but our hearts are filled with praise! Thanks for your prayers as we continue in this week.

Juwah said...

Praying for you all this week friend. Love the idea, may God bless your efforts.