Friday, October 3, 2008

Serving our neighbors near and far

Last Saturday our church did a really cool thing. We signed up over 1100 people to spend the day doing community service in the parks, gardens, and the elementary school around our town. We installed benches, painted fences, planted gardens, assembled playground equipment, spread mulch - whatever was needed.

Our family signed up and reported to the church building for breakfast in the pouring rain. Not an auspicious start to a day of working outdoors. One of the elders offered a prayer for the food and asked that God stop the rain so that we could accomplish our work and by the time breakfast was over, the rain had stopped! We all went off to our assigned work areas and got muddy!

Mr. at Home was put in charge of a group to trim trees and shrubs and put up sticks - a perfect job for young volunteers! It was so neat to see the kids set to work so energetically and there were a ton of them. The whole day, I never heard even one child complain that they were tired and didn't want to work. L ran tirelessly back and forth dragging branches twice her size as Daddy worked the tree cutter and K hauled the biggest and heaviest branches. After awhile, L found a rake and went to work smoothing the new gravel we put down to fill in some muddy places while K commandeered a shovel and carried gravel from one side of the park to the other. L ended up visiting the nurses' station a few times - once with a HUGE bug bite and again for bug spray, but she didn't let that slow her down.

They did take an opportunity or two to be a little silly like when K decided to make "tree antlers" and L found a worm. The Princess had no problem picking up the squirmy, muddy thing and examining it quite closely. Mommy was just happy when the little girls decided to let him go.

It was a really cool opportunity to serve the community. The city told us it would have taken them three years to accomplish everything we did in just one day. I also loved watching my girls work with such enthusiasm and working hard. Mr. at Home and I were both incredibly sore the next day after our exertions, but the girls were just as active and happy as any other day.

In another week, we're going to take our little family work crew on the road. We're headed to Mississippi with a couple of other families to work with a church who's community is still recovering from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. I've heard we'll doing a lot of yard work, but hey, we've got experience!

1 comment:

Valerie said...

That's awesome!! What a great thing to do. . . and it teaches important lessons too.

Glad God cleared the rain up for ya.