I am blessed to be a part of a group of bloggers who love God’s Word and want to share it with others. Our hope is that you would not only be blessed through Biblical encouragement, but challenged and fed in your personal walk with Christ ❤
This week if you don’t mind I’m going to share something a little different. If you saw my post last week then you may remember that I shared that I was in NC volunteering for a disaster relief ministry. In September 2018 hurricane Florence swiped through the area. Over a year later they are still recuperating. We were told that they are still looking at another 2 to 3 years left of work. They said that the biggest need is actually manpower. They have several sources to help fund the work, but they need people to physically help. In full honesty, I remember hearing about the hurricane on the news when it first happened, but in my ignorance I assumed that the disaster relief swept in right after and put the pieces back together and everyone would go on their merry way. I had no idea how long people had to deal with the after-effects.
As we drove down the road there were homes that were completely abandoned, homes that were in some stage of repair with the families living in campers beside them, homes that looked brand new, and homes that were lived in but looked worse off than some of the ones that were abandoned. It was certainly humbling to observe.
If I can also confess, while we were busy working the first few days, I didn’t feel as if we were making that big of a difference. My friend Kailey and I strictly painted and the guys did a few other odds and ends. I was able to talk briefly with the first woman and get a little bit of her story, but the second woman didn’t even seem interested that we were there. It was hard working in homes that were being lived in and maneuver around everything while trying to remain as invisible as possible. I didn’t feel all that accomplished in the end. I felt like we’d done some band-aid fixes to unkempt homes.
Then we met a sweet lady named Ellen. There were only a few things needed to be done left in her home and Kailey and I were able to take some time talking with her while the guys worked on a small project. She talked about how grateful she was for the different groups that had come down and she’d interacted with. She shared how blessed she was that people were willing to come and help her. She certainly lifted our spirits and gave us a little boost for our week.
But the moment that I think will stick with me the most was when we were working on the final house. Another group had build the stairs up to the house, but we were working on building a deck with stairs to the shed. Towards the end of the day we were finishing up and the man came out and made a comment that we looked like a church where we were. I remember shouting something out like “Come on over and we’ll chat like it.” His response is one that will stick with me. I don’t remember what he said word-for-word, but he said to see what we’d done with our hands and that was showing the church. Right next door to his home was a little rundown trailer that was operating as a bit of a food pantry for the neighborhood. He said that as people had come in and out they saw us working and they talked about what a blessing it was. Admittedly when I went down I was hoping to find some kind of spiritual way to share with people aside from the physical work, but when I walked away I was able to see that sometimes the physical is spiritual too.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Our work was not for our own glory, but the Lord’s. Our hope was to point other’s to Jesus. While I wasn’t sure how much we were accomplishing in the beginning of the week, I felt more at peace by the end. I had no idea how much need still existed in areas following devastation and how long those needs last, but I certainly know now. It was the first time I’d ever gone on a trip like this, but I would do it again.
So while this was a different post from normal, I think that last week was a learning experience for me and the Lord spoke to my heart through it. Yes, we need to be sharing Jesus with the world–that doesn’t change. But sometimes we are able to show people Jesus through what we do. As Christians we are being watched, and people see how we love others. It’s not for our own glory, but God’s. There are many ways we can point people to Him, and we should be seeking to find those ways.
Now, it’s your turn!
What Biblical verse is encouraging you today?
And, check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Gina @ Stories By Gina
Rebecca @Rev. Rebecca Writes
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Edits & Reviews by Leslie