Friday, July 18, 2008

San Fran Bay Area Reflection: Bingo, Manicures & Papusa

I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.

These words are from a parable in Matthew 25 that our team has been dwelling on this week. It has to do with the "sheep and the goats," making allusion to a final judgment. Helping his listeners understand what is meant by following him, Jesus says that "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." There's something about Jesus' attitude towards those who are forgotten, marginalized, mistreated, overlooked, disregarded, and often unloved. Those have been the people we have focused on this week. Today was no different. Here's how our three teams participated in the Kingdom of Heaven today. We...

made Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches and passed them out along with Capri Suns to the homeless in United Nations Park;

painted benches at a Salvation Army center to help beautify the area and make it more welcoming to those in need;

sorted craft beads for a Vacation Bible School at a Salvation Army center;

played the word-guessing game Taboo with dementia patients at an assisted-living facility;

played guitar with Sonny and read cat books to Phoebe at the assisted-living facility;

gave manicures, played bingo & pokeno, helped walk and talk with patients, sang karaoke, cleaned the farm animals used for therapy, and played balloon volleyball with residents of a long-term care hospital for mentally and physically disabled adults;

walked around parts of the city and learned to associate with the homeless, providing them some dignity by having simple conversations showing that we care;

and, packed food boxes at the San Francisco food bank to be handed out to those in need.

That's just a snippet of the ways God used us. Again, be prepared to ask for details to all these stories. Our students are growing and being challenged in wonderful ways.

Thursday seemed a long way's off when we first arrived on Sunday, but the week has gone by quickly. Can't believe we're already heading to the end of things. But the day was full of good moments. Like when I sang an old hymn today that I haven't heard in a while:

When we all get to heaven,
what a day of rejoicing that will be...
When we all see Jesus,
we'll sing and shout the victory.

Those are powerful words.

Words of hope.

Especially for the forgotten, marginalized, mistreated, overlooked, disregarded, and unloved.

May that be reality.


CSM Trip Leader

Read Brenton's entire blog about his group's CSM trip to the San Fran Bay Area...

Big thanks to Brenton and the rest of his team from Brea North Hills Church for serving the people of the Bay Area and sharing their experiences!

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