Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What you did this weekend...

What a kickin weekend! If you’re dragging a little bit at work this week, tell the boss that you have a good reason. And then tell him what you did…

On Friday morning you were a part of Thrive at the Baton Rouge Dream Center. You drove vans and shuttles to bring the homeless, the helpless and the forgotten: men, women and children into the House for a message of hope and forgiveness. You grilled chicken, made potato salad and baked brownies. You served the people and fed the hungry. You loved them, you spoke kindly to them and you saw them. You looked directly into the eyes of those who spend their lives on the outside…of everything. You were there when Billy Gaines and his family ministered to them through songs of victory and freedom. You were there when they got back on the vans, groceries in hand, with a smile on their faces. Then you drove them home.

On Saturday you took the stacks of Get Connected cards and went house to house for visitation. You prayed for people, gave them something cold to drink and reminded them that they’re not forgotten. You invited them back to church for Sunday…and they came.

Sunday service was our biggest turnout to date at the Dream Center. You did church with 313 people!!! Pastor Mark Stermer all but called down fire, Billy and Rachael Gaines brought the house to tears and the alter was flooded by people crying out for change. And you met them there. You drove the vans that picked up the people that nobody else will. You shared your pew with a man still reeking of alcohol, but desperate for a new life. You made room for the woman with all those kids who weren’t very clean. You helped that child in Kid’s Church who didn’t catch on the first (or second or third) time, and you continued to help. You greeted and ushered and secured and gave. You did it all.

And then you were part of our July 4th Weekend Blowout (a.k.a. free garage sale). You helped set up, you donated stuff, you shopped, you handed out bags, you found lost kids, you found lost adults, you rummaged and returned and rummaged some more. By the end of it, you had given away 491 items: clothes, kitchenware, bathroom items, toys, shoes, belts and bags. You moved it all! Then you loaded everyone and everything into the vans and drove them all home again.

No wonder you’re tired.

The bottom line is this: you are some of the finest individuals I have ever had the privilege of serving with. You reach, serve, give and build…not for a moment, but as a lifestyle. I am humbled by your sacrifice. Whether you drove a bus, cooked a meal, prayed for us or tithed at Highland…you were a part of this. Thank you. You are spectacular. Now go take a nap!