Saturday, November 28, 2015

Our favorite family service project

Last Thanksgiving I was looking for a way to get my children involved in giving.
As in Thanks Living.

I did a little local research and found the perfect opportunity at the Union Gospel Mission in Dallas, TX.
My children loved working with all the regular employees of the mission as well as meeting new friends through the other volunteers.
We loaded food onto the serving trays, served the trays to the men, and some of us prepared bagged lunches for the men as they left the shelter the following morning.
My children enjoyed it so much that we went back at Christmas.

What better way to instill a sense of gratefulness for what we have than to expose them to the realities of those living with next to nothing.
To teach them what it looks like to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are in very difficult circumstances who need shelter and food.

These men may look a little scary, but it's because they've been on the street for awhile.
My children see that many of them look just like people they know; they just don't have a home.

These men are always very grateful and always quiet.
Some seem very afraid, like they've had to be watching over their shoulder for danger.
Others are very friendly in spite of their obvious physical injuries or disability.

At this mission, my children see employees, men who once went through the rehabilitation programs there, with a passion for Jesus.
A love for the Lord and an obvious result of the redemption and restoration found in Christ.

That's what I want my children to experience.
What grace looks like.
What loving the unlovely looks like.
Learning they have so very much to be thankful for
as they return home to warm, safe beds and a kitchen full of healthy food
available to them at any time of the day they choose.
Learning that we all have difficulties in our lives, but we have so much to give.
It should be a way of living not just a season of the year.


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