Change can be difficult for a lot of us. We try to make changes but we soon go back to what is comfortable and what feels normal even though we hate what we are or our actions. Change requires intentionally working and striving for something you so desperately want that you are willing to go to any length to get it. But change can also come in a slow and easy way that maybe you don’t even realize it is happening. I think about a homeowner that we have been working with in Staten Island for about 6 weeks. His name is Norm. On Thursday night we like to invite the homeowners to the convent we are staying in with the volunteer teams to have dinner with us. After dinner we move to a meeting room and we begin to have a time of sharing. We ask that we answer three different questions. Where have you been working and what have you been doing there? Because we are working on several different sites. Then how have you seen God working this week? And what is God doing in you? Of course no one wants to go first or go at all, so we have a little solution to that, we play spin the bottle. Oh yeah, the bottle lands on you and you share. As the night goes on the bottle gets put away cause everyone wants to share as they begin to hear the stores from their team mates, staff and homeowners. Well, 6 weeks ago I remember hearing Norm share and say how he was amazed that there were still people in this world like us. That people would give a week of their summer and pay for it to come work for a total stranger. He said he really doesn’t give the time of day to God or spiritual things, but he could see something different in us.
As the teams share about how hard it is to go back home knowing the work is not complete and their hearts are with the homeowners the tears begin to fall as they have formed such a strong bond with these homeowners. Then the homeowners share that they to have to say goodbye to the volunteers they have met and fallen in love with…people from all over the US and it is so hard to say goodbye every week. They are so grateful for so many “strangers” that give of themselves to help them, when they can’t even get help from there neighbors or family and friends.
Norm shared with the group the last week we were in Staten Island that he had never felt so close to God in his life. Now to come from not giving the time of day to God to never feeling so close to God in his life in 6 weeks means something is changing in this man whether he realizes it or not. This is what it’s all about and God has filled my heart with the fulfillment and success that only can come from Him.
By the way that next day at the close of our day and the last day of the week and for that team, we circled up for our prayer to close out the day as we do everyday. We were praying around the circle when all of a sudden Norm said he wanted to say something and he began to pray and thank God for the team and for sending them to him. This was the first time he had prayed out loud in the circle! Well, I could not believe it but it was so cool how God uses us in little ways to shine a light and bring light into someone’s dark world. All we need to do is give of ourselves just a little, really not that much to ask when you look at what Jesus did for you.
This is what one week of your live can do to help someone else. It’s a building block. You may be with that homeowner in the first week planting seeds or on the 6th week watering that seed. Either way you are a worker for the harvest. Please consider gathering a team from your church to join us for a week! It will change your life for sure but it may affect someone else for eternity.