I was asked the other day to help out with a vacation bible school that another church was holding. A friend asked if I would mind helping out because the game leader was going to miss due to another commitment at their church. I honestly wanted to say no. It was outside of my comfort zone and I didn’t not want to leave. I felt like God was telling me to step out and do this. I have been talking about my desire to go into ministry for awhile now and this seemed like a put up or shut up moment from God. I agreed and I am glad I did.
The church is located in one of the poorest areas of town. It is a multicultural church and you could see that in the children that showed up. I think the majority of them were Laotian, but there was a mixture of all of them. We even had 6 Somalian children show up. They weren’t looking to learn about God or have fun with the kids. They stopped to ask if the church was having supper that night. Many of the children there were looking for food. They were so happy when they got their little bowl of cheese balls, midget cheese puffs. They shoved what they were given into their mouths and even took some out of the other kids bowls. Several kids would stop by after we had already started just for something to eat. The sight really was heart breaking. They would leave after getting what they could. I wondered if that was their dinner for the evening.
My church runs an outreach program in that area. It is the largest of the outreach programs in the city. I firmly hold that the church should be feeding those who can not feed themselves. The gospel message is nice to spread if you can, but it should not be a requirement for the act of compassion. The act itself seems more like Jesus to these people then making them listen to a sermon.
Even though I give money to them, I have never been out there. I have never been face to face with those that I am helping to feed. Seems like such a distant way to do outreach on my part. Providing the food is out of love, but it doesn’t really show the love to the people. I wonder if they fill love when the hold a box of food or do they feel the love when someone hands it to them. Wouldn’t that interaction with a person be more loving then holding food. You can steal food. You can scavenge and find food. When food is given with love, I think it can show that person that they are loved. It can give hope that they can be loved. Hope is a reason to live.
I am going to try and break out of my comfort zone more often. Step out and meet the people I am helping. Show them love and compassion. Maybe help them find hope.