This post is part of my “stories” series. In this series, I share stories of how people live their lives in response to the gospel and as a demonstration of God’s love in order to teach us and to provide an example to provoke us to love and good works. (See “stories: A New Series” for more information about this series.)
As most of my regular readers know, my family spends time with some people in “The Neighborhood” – a government assisted housing project. Not only has this given us the opportunity to get to know and to serve some wonderful people, it has also given us the opportunity to help others serve.
For example, on most Saturdays when we go to the Neighborhood, one or two people go with us. Sometimes, these friends will end up spending alot of time in the Neighborhood. Sometimes, they’ll only go with us once or twice. Either way, we are able to help them learn to serve others and to help them learn how God wants them to serve.
Also, recently, several families that we know have started giving us vegetables to take to our friends in the Neighborhood. When we started going last Summer, we would buy fresh produce from a roadside produce stand. We divided the produce into small bags and gave a bag to each family that we talk to in the Neighborhood.
Starting last month, three different families have started giving us produce from their own gardens to take to our friends on Saturday. They’ve given us cucumbers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and peppers. Plus another family has offered to give us more vegetables, but our schedules haven’t worked out yet.
We’re grateful not only for the free vegetables to give to our friends, but we’re grateful that others are learning to think about how to serve others. Giving away part of the blessings that God has given to us is a great way to serve!
Finally, we have been completely surprised the last couple of weeks. When we went to our local produce stand, the lady that runs the stand offered us some baskets to deliver our produce in! This was great! The baskets are much better than the plastic grocery bags we’ve been using. Plus, she gave us some banana peppers to give away.
The next week, once again, she gave us some baskets, plus several cantaloupes and watermelons. In fact, we think she gave us more produce than we bought last Saturday.
We do not know the people who run the produce stand very well – not yet anyway – but we’re excited that they are also serving others through us. Plus, our friends in the Neighborhood have been very excited about the baskets. We also have the joy of telling them that our friends and the people who run the produce stand helped provide the fruit and vegetables.
So, when you are serving others, think about ways that you can include friends in your service. Allow your service to be a time for discipleship as well as service.
If you would like for me to include your story in this series, please send me an email at aknox [at] sebts [dot] edu.