A team of five from Freshwater had gathered at the St. Boni campus to go paint the dingy, tattered walls in a ministry center for the homeless. The walls were well overdue for a fresh coat of paint and filler to cover up the scuffs and holes from years of use. Every room and hallway looked dirty and un-kept and our goal was to change that.
We were waiting for one more person to arrive before heading downtown to our destination to serve. The person we were waiting for arrived with her boyfriend. She was ready to serve and he planned on just dropping her off then going about his business. Before she could close the door on the car someone on our team extended him an invitation to come along. He didn’t seem too excited about it, so another person chimed in reiterating the invitation. Reluctantly, he pulled into a parking space and got out of his car. Then his girlfriend leaned into him a little more in a way that only she could do. Eventually he caved and agreed to join us.
He didn’t say much on the way down. Maybe he was skeptical of people who were so willing to serve other with no strings attached or personal agenda. Maybe it was the fact he had no idea where we were going or when we would be home. Either way, he was in it for the night.
When we arrived at the facility I could tell he was trying to figure out what this was all about. He was thinking “Who does this? Who gives up their time to paint walls and halls for people they don’t even know?” I know I would have been asking those questions prior to becoming a believer. My new friend joined the crew that was painting the lobby and the hallway leading to the kitchen. While painting side by side we talked about serving others like Jesus tells us to do. This man was seeing that we took Jesus’ invitation to work with Him literally. We didn’t just talk about loving others, we were doing it and he was a part of it. Hearing it, seeing it being done, and participating himself made an impact on him. For the first time he saw how God could use him to share Jesus’ love with others in a tangible way.
In a matter of hours the five of us painted the walls and halls of what used to be a dark and dingy facility. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to change the environment. When we were done the place looked great. In the morning the guests would be greeted by bright walls and clean halls. We left knowing that we helped others and it was encouraging. Most of all, we knew that what we did, honored Jesus and would help people understand how much He loves them. And for the first time ever, my friend saw believers working together to make a kingdom difference. This had a profound impact on his faith journey and today he is a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He gave his life to Christ because of a paintbrush and a purpose.
We want to be the kind of church that doesn’t just talk about Jesus’ love, we want to show His love to the world. One of the most tangible ways to do this is to serve others. We believe that when we work together we can make a significant difference. Think about it like this: One drop of water is nice, but a million drops can turn a dessert into a garden. We want to water the world by serving others in Jesus’ name. That’s why we are kicking off “A Summer 2 Serve” this weekend at Freshwater. It’s a conscious effort to encourage everyone to do something. Together, we know we can make a much bigger impact than if we work alone. Stay tuned for more details and think about how you can step up to serve others showing them Jesus love in a tangible way. Many hands can make a difference.