Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Glimpse of City Impact
Oct 14, 2015

City Impact is a week set aside to serve our community through various projects ranging from weeding to building a swing set for children in transitional housing for the homeless. I had the privilege of touring the various projects and seeing small groups in action serving local ministries.  In reflecting back on the day, I cannot help but rejoice in how God moved our church to serve.  However, the greatest impact was felt in my own heart. I was moved deeply by what I saw throughout the day. 

I witnessed a small group helping a family with both parents suffering through cancer and unable to care for their home.  More than pressure washing their driveway or repairing their broken window, I saw leaders in our church taking time to minister to the hearts of the people, applying the balm of the gospel to a hurting brother. 

Arriving at CenterPointe Food Pantry, I noticed three women from a small group weeding and a few young men doing a deep cleaning in the food storage garage.  The words of the 70-year old man who runs the food pantry deeply moved me as he told us of a young engineer from our church who created a program which allowed their computer system to more efficiently track clients.  A young man using his Fridays off from Harris to faithfully volunteer at the food pantry probably never realized he would inspire a 70-year old man to go back to school and begin taking programming and math classes.  Our actions can impact other's lives in ways we might never imagine.

I saw the final part of the multi-day project at Community of Hope, a transitional housing project for those who would otherwise be homeless.  I can only imagine the scene in future days...children laughing and playing as they enjoy the massive swing set while parents sit watching from a beautifully painted bench under a new wooden pergola.  All because a few small groups gave of their time to show the loved of Jesus by cleaning up the area and building structures to make this housing project more enjoyable.  

Pregnancy Resources from the outside has the appearance of a warehouse.  Once inside the building, I was struck by how beautiful and warm-feeling the office and meeting rooms were.  I can only begin to image the love that young pregnant women feel as they enter seeking help in their time of crisis.  The small group serving there was busy painting and trimming landscape.  While in the parking lot, we were approached by a woman asking for money to buy herself lunch from the local gas station.  Thirty minutes later, a church member returned from taking her to the local grocery store; he knew her name, her story and had the chance to tell her about Jesus - the true healer of brokenness.  I'm grateful to have had this opportunity to see the love of Christ so genuinely modeled by a church leader. City Impact isn't just about pulling weeds, painting or repairing buildings. It is about being a part of the great call to bring real healing to the lives of the broken and oppressed in our community. 

Seeing the many local ministries that our church partners with made it more real to me. Our church is part of a greater mission than just participating in City Impact for one week. We are part of a larger body of Christ, that I witnessed while seeing brothers and sisters in Christ from various churches working side-by-side for the singular purpose of obeying Christ's call to serve.  May each of us embrace this call even now that City Impact week is finished.  May we open our eyes to see those in need.  And may we be a part of building the bridge that closes the gap between the church and our city all for the glory of God.

If you missed this event, you have not missed the real opportunity.  Every day these ministries serve the needy in our community.  They could use our help throughout the year.  Please consider seeing where you might serve one of the various ministries we support at  

"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:12–13 

written by Andrea Diener