It has been a busy few weeks around Harvestime and honestly I am still recovering. After finishing a week of the Converge Kids Summer Tour there is nothing I want more to do than to curl up on my couch, watch Christmas movies with my daughter and eat junk food. (Yes I said Christmas movies in July…get over it). One of the best parts of that relaxation time is to reflect on the things that happened throughout the week. One of my favorite stories actually happened before the Converge Kids Summer Tour even began.
On the Sunday before the Converge Kids Summer Tour, we were gathered at church working on final preparations for the week ahead. We had skits to practice, dances to learn, crafts to prep and supplies to gather. The to do list was going to take us HOURS to get through and we needed every bit of help we could find. But as we were getting ready to begin, one of our volunteers came in and said that the family across the street was cutting down a very large tree and could use some help. She asked me if I would spare a few of our volunteers to help our neighbors. I immediately replied “YES!” to which a few questions arose from other volunteers. “Don’t we have too much to do?” , “Will will be able to get everything we need to done?” and the answer was clear. This entire outreach is aimed at reaching our community. If we are not willing to stop our preparations to help a neighbor when they need it, then we can just stop everything we are doing right now and go home.
So we sent about 15 teens and adults across the street to our neighbors. Our adult volunteers went and got a trailer to load the larger parts of the tree onto, while our teens and preteens hauled branches over the church shed. In about one hour the entire project was cleaned up. Our neighbors were thrilled and brought out lemonade and bars for the kids and adults. It was a great time just to meet and serve our neighbors. The kids and volunteers returned to church and we finished our preparations for the week ahead.
The next day, the Converge Kids Summer Tour kicked off at Harvestime. The day was going great and as we finished our second stage show where several kids raised their hands to ask Jesus into their heart when Pastor Kyle told me there was someone he wanted me to meet. He walked me over to a Grandmother, her son and grandson. After introductions, I asked them how they heard of our event. Was it the postcard, the door to door invite, the radio spots or Facebook announcements??? Surprisingly, none of the above. The next words that came out of her mouth almost knocked me over. She proceeded to tell me that they had helped the same neighbors across the street by giving them a chainsaw instead of the manual saw they were using. Then she said she looked out her window and saw about 20 teens and adults coming from Harvestime over to help our neighbors. She was so impressed that she said they had to come over and check out what we were doing. As if that wasn’t a great story already, during our second stage show her grandson raised his hand to accept Jesus into his heart.
We may have only thought we were cutting down some branches and helping a neighbor with a tree, but our example was showing others what it really means to follow Jesus. It doesn’t always have to be a big event, a conference or a huge production. It is just being Jesus in our everyday lives that show people His love and changes their lives. The next time you see a neighbor in need, go over and ask if they need a hand. You never know the lives it could change.