A few weekends ago, my churches youth group participated in the 30 Hour Famine. For those of you who don't know what that is, basically it's a time where as a group you fast for 30 hours from food in order to bring awareness to world hunger. During the time, you also participate in service projects and the weekend affords you the opportunity to raise money for world vision, who then uses it to reach out to said hungry and hurting people all around the world (you can learn more about 30 Hour Famine and/or World Vision by going to www.30hourfamine.org and www.worldvision.org). For me it was such a rich time of remembering how blessed I am, while reminding me that because I am blessed, I should also continue to be a blessing to the wold around me.
During our 30 hour famine, our group organized a neighborhood food drive for a local non-profit organization called The Village for Children and Families. I had heard about The Village from work (my job does a book drive for them once a year) and after talking with the vice president I had a basic idea of what they did, and so honestly I was super excited for the opportunity to help them out! In fact, when we ended up collecting over 8 boxes of food for them, I couldn't wait for the chance to drop it off!
|Most of the food we collected all sorted and boxed up|
Well today was that day and with the help of my father, I loaded up my car and headed into Hartford excited to deliver our blessing! But what I wasn't expecting was to be as blessed and humbled as I was! I walked into this afternoon feeling so great about what we had done....and I walked away feeling so privileged to have a small supporting role in an organization that does amazing things for our own community!
You see, heading into this afternoon, I had no idea what to expect. I thought I had knowledge of what kind of organization we were supporting, but it wasn't until I got there today and got the grand tour and heard the stories that I realized there was something so much bigger going on here! The Village works with children and families who are "at risk"....kids who've been removed from their families or are orphaned.....families who are struggling to put food on the table....parents who are dealing with very real psychological problems that effect there every day life. These are issues I experienced when I lived in Oakland....I didn't expect to see it up close and personal in my own community....and it broke my heart! Thank God for people and organizations, like The Village, who are willing to put themselves out there....take the hit...and work to make life better for those around them!
I have to admit though....the entire time I was hearing about the organization, in my mind I was thinking...."Where is the Church?!?!" Now don't get me wrong, I know the church isn't a social service agency...BUT even the bible says in James Chapter 1, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is to look after widows and orphans in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world"! When it comes to living this out.....in some ways I feel like the church is being put to shame!
Now honestly, I can't really speak about anyone else....there are plenty of people in this world going out there and doing great things in the name of God....but I know for myself I talk a much bigger game then I actually walk out! Today was an eye opening experience that reminded me that it's much more important to walk the walk then to voice it! Today I saw the hands and feet of God through the heart of someone whose not even associated with the church....and I was HUMBLED! God forgive me for seeking my own comfort above the comfort of others and for not reaching out to be your hands and feet in a world that is clearly in need of you. Amen!