Monday, October 12, 2009


So last weekend was a big one for me and my small group. When our small group started, we were doing a study called "40 Days of Community." As part of that study, we were supposed to do an "inreach" project (something to help our local church body) and an "outreach" project (something to help out community). Rick Warren suggested that we do something so big that _we_ couldn't do it alone, making it obvious that God actually did the hard stuff. We hemmed and hawed and just couldn't come up with anything. When we did, it was something that required someone outside of our group to do something for us without any of us able to be there. There was some miscommunication, so that didn't get done, leaving us without any projects planned and most of the way through the study.

But a while ago, I'd read another mommy blogger's post about her church doing a "clothing swap" where folks bring clothes, they sort them, then folks take clothes - it's open to church members the first night, then anyone the next day. And I've been following Shaun Groves' "shlog" for a while now, hearing about the work he does with Compassion, International...and an idea formed in my head for this ginormous weekend of meeting the needs of folks in our church, our community, and around the world.

So I presented the idea to my small group, expecting to hear what I'd heard from others before - "it's too much...maybe next year...maybe." Or the credulity of, "a Christian musician can't possibly come for free..." But their immediate response, with no questions or discouragement of any kind was, "That sounds GREAT - let's do it!"

So we started the process, getting approval from the church, then working out the details of Shaun coming. It didn't all come together for absolute certain until two weeks ago...but all of the sudden, all of the details were in place, exactly like I'd initially imagined them (and when I say that, what I really mean is "exactly like the idea that God had given me").

Folks helped sort the clothes (and each time I thought we were done, people brought more), and then folks came and took the clothes - over 90 people came, representing WAY more people than that. We had one couple come from a men's shelter in Capitol Heights, looking for clothes for 40 men! People brought canned goods too (because, well...why not?). And everything that was left over was sent to a pastor who works with refugees - he'd just had four new families come in - over 20 people in all! So hundreds of people were served by this one event, both within our church and outside of it!

Then Shaun came and sang in our morning services (even the one in Spanish)! Despite the nightmare I'd had that morning which woke me up at 4 and which was about a) me being late to meet them in the morning, and b) Shaun being a diva and yelling at me, he and Ben (his road manager/booking guy/sound guy extraordinaire) were great and just as personable, fun, and funny as I expected them to be. Then we had lunch and naps, then the concert. And people sponsored 47 kids!

So here I am, after the fact. There's nothing left to do - the clothes are taken care of, the canned goods are gone, Shaun and Ben are (hopefully) back in TN by now...all that's left is to rest today, soak my sore feet (love the boots...don't love the after-effects of walking in them all morning all over creation), and let the kids nap in their own beds at their normal times for the first time in many days!

Lowlights of the weekend:
- I didn't communicate effectively with my small group about when I needed folks where for the clothing swap, so it ended up being just me (with both kids) on Saturday morning when all of the people from outside the church came!
- Getting chastised by the couple from the men's shelter that we weren't having this again in a few weeks.
- Getting yelled at by the man in the couple from the men's shelter because AJ was standing at the doors - his son had lost a finger in similar doors.
- Not having a great turn-out at the concert.

Funny things of the weekend:
- Without help on Saturday morning, the canned goods were not effectively policed, so people started taking those in addition to clothes.
- We still had a few left over on Sunday though....but those had also disappeared by Sunday evening. Oh well...less work for me! And I can assume that the people who came needed the food!

- Getting to tell Shaun that he'd gotten my phone number from my brother shortly after I came back from overseas (to pick my brain about what it was like there and what the transition back to America had been like)...but like lots of men, he got my number but never called!
- Having the pastors "get" the idea behind the whole weekend.
- Having so many people show up to help with the clothing swap!
- Having people actually _come_ to the clothing swap!
- Having a place to take all the left over clothes!
- Having my friend Cindy bring lots of folks from her church to the concert! They nearly doubled our crowd!
- Having 47 kids sponsored!

It was a great weekend of helping our neighbors, both near and far!

Anyone want to give me a foot massage?

1 comment:

CaptainConundrum said...

Well, I would volunteer for that massage and all, but, ::sigh and snap fingers:: I'm on vacation. Darn!