Disaster brings a whirlwind of emotion, physical challenges, and perspective. Whether you’re a resident of the town that just went through a disaster, or a volunteer that traveled hundreds of miles to come and help; one thing is always obvious, God is moving and at work no matter what the circumstances.
We’ve had the privilege of serving Jennings, LA in response to Laura, the Category 4 Hurricane that ripped through Southwest Louisiana. Our purpose in serving is not only to provide a hot meal and lend a listening ear, but to instill hope to the community by bringing people from all walks of life together with one common purpose. This week people have served with us that own large businesses, work at grocery stores, are homeless on the street, and everything in between. What makes this special? The way Jesus uses all of us as the body to provide hope to a community devastated physically, but also spiritually.
Take for example a resident named Royce. Because of his appearance and where he lives, one might assume Royce to be experiencing extreme poverty. But when you give him a spatula and he gets to flip burgers for people in his community, that impoverished spirit quickly dissipates and he brings joy to all of those around him!
A middle school girl named Zyla, showed all of us what boldness looks like. If you had the chance to partner with her while serving, this is what you would’ve witnessed: With a calm and quiet voice she would gently proclaim that her name is Zyla and she is so thankful that you’re here today. Then she would almost robotically go down the checklist…ask for the guests name, fill in the order sheet with the food the family desires, and note what kind of vehicle they are in to make sure the food got back to them. But what happened next is profound. This little girl would reach her hand inside the car and grab the hand of the person she was talking to. She would then look the adult in the eye and say, “now I’m going to pray for you.” I watched an adult male start crying as she just poured words of encouragement over him.
THIS, my friends is why we do what we do. It’s not so that Feed the Need Missions can come and be heroes in a town that we’ve never heard of before. It’s to be a vessel that allows local people to minister to those in their own communities! When we follow Jesus, He often leads us to do things that have greater impacts on those around us than us ourselves. Be encouraged, and encourage others and let His love shine through you ALWAYS!!