Some months back Thrive Church decided to partner with a non-profit organization here in Portsmouth called Mercy Drops. It is an organization that does some wonderful things for lower income and homeless folks in the City of Portsmouth.
Dawn and I decided that we would help with one of their initiatives that gives out Care Packages to people who are homeless in the downtown are. The first time we helped, we were assigned a specific area with other folks to hand out these plastic bags with items like socks, water, nabs, and personal items like toothbrushes and the like.
I would have to admit that first time really opened my eyes to the needs in our city. Over the course of an hour or so, we handed out 100 of these Care Packages. But that wasn’t what opened my eyes. It was the relationship that some of the folks in our group had with the homeless people.
They knew their names and stuff about them – medical issues, family names, whether or not they had been applying for part time jobs. They knew personal things about some of them. I remember thinking, WOW, they actually know these people!
I came to realize that it really wasn’t about the Care Package as much as it was about a relationship with these folks. I came away that day with a totally different opinion. The people of Mercy Drops were making friends and developing relationships with folks and that made the whole experience personal!
Dawn and I decided that we were going to help out with this as much as possible. We made a habit of coming down on Mondays to help give out the Care Packages and it wasn’t long before we were making friends and building relationships.
After a while the folks at Mercy Drops asked us if we would be willing to serve as Team Leaders on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Mondays. We prayed about it and said Yes! We began to really talk it up at church and ask folks to consider helping too.
Now, a lot of our folks are serving with Mercy Drops in several different ways – Like Dawn and I, some are volunteering on Mondays with the Care Packages. Others are helping on either Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturday’s handing out lunches, some are helping with the program Mercy Drops has in Lincoln Park with the children and still others are serving in other ways with Mercy Drops.
God has called us to serve the “least of these” and we are honored to be a part of what God is doing in the City of Portsmouth.
The truth is, if we sit on the sidelines, we will miss what God has planned for us to do! Come on, get in the game and roll up your sleeves to serve – I know God will amaze you when you do!