As our text points out it is important not to hoard our possessions or resources. But it is also important to share those resources with God and with other people. This week we found out all about sharing our gifts with God and other people.
We met a woman named Rita, whose house had been devastated by a flood in Ironton. She had Crohn’s Disease along with other physical maladies that do not allow her to do much physical work. As you saw in the video her basement had been flooded with 8 feet of water and most of her one story house had seen close to a foot of water. When we arrived, about 5 days after the flood, she had not even looked at the basement because she was afraid what it might look like. When she opened up the basement she broke down in tears seeing all that she had lost. She was a broken person. The youth began rummaging through the mud and muck searching for some items she hoped made it through the flood (like the American Flag her father was buried with). We were not able to restore the items that were ruined in the flooded basement, but with each item brought out of the basement we were able to assist her on the road to recovery. By the end of our two days at Rita’s house we were able to clear out her entire basement (a task that she said would have taken her family over a month to complete) and taken out all the furniture from her house along with the carpet. These 16 youth and chaperones shared their resources and gifts that God has given them to provide a glimpse of hope to a woman who as in desperate need of a light.
Brandon’s house was also just as devastated as Rita’s. Brandon is a teenager who the kids really enjoyed being around. In fact if you look on the bulletin this morning you will notice that Brandon was a part of our picture. This was fitting because the youth welcomed him as a part of the group. They allowed Brandon to laugh and be a teenager for the first time in while. The youth were able to sit with him and allow Brandon to be himself. Brandon thanked them over and over again for just allowing him to be a teenager.
I was also amazed at how much the people we met along the way were willing to share their resources. When word got out that this youth group had come down from Reynoldsburg to help out, we were treated like royalty. There was free food that was dropped off at the house all day long (including the best fried chicken I have ever eaten), the local store said we could have anything we wanted, at the church service we attended in town on Sunday everyone walked up to these youth and shook their hands thanking them for all they did. Friends and strangers came over to Rita’s house to help in any way possible. She received money from a friend and a special offering was taken for her at the church just down the road. She said she didn’t even know anyone there. She was amazed at how many people came together (many, including us, she didn’t even know before this flood) and were willing to share of their time, talents, and finances.
I could go on and on but you will have to come to our ice cream social to hear more. But we are so thankful for you sharing your resources through your support of fundraisers, your prayers, and your time molding these young men and women to share God’s love. I pray that we continue to find ways to reach out to share our resources will all the people we meet.