One of the Kids Club Mum’s saw the video and messaged to say:
“Wow it’s a blessing to be a part of the giving and blessing others in my community. It’s a warm feeling. Thank you Lord.”
Warmth wasn’t the only feeling that arose for these Mum’s though … because we had set it up for people from one side of the community to bless the other side, where there has been some tension in relationships over the years. This stems from things as minor as people not taking kindly to other people’s behaviour, to fear that they are getting left out while others are getting some assistance, to community strife that has built up because of gang violence (one of the ladies who came to help has lost two of her brothers to gang violence).
The target group for the packages was parents of Kids Club children and the elderly, but as anticipated, the team who were giving got some cussing in the community from people who wanted more, or wanted for people who were not on the list, or simply didn’t trust them for whatever reason. We had encouraged them before going out to see the importance of blessing others, reminded them of Jesus’ instruction to bless those who curse you, and prayed that the Holy Spirit would overshadow every interaction.
At one point you could see one of the ladies was about to loose her patience, but she took a breath, looked at the person who was being so unruly and demanding, smiled and said: “The Lord bless you!”
When we got back to the centre to load up the second load of packages, they needed to vent a lot of the feelings that they had been suppressing till then! The choice to bless doesn’t mean you will feel like it … it just means you choose your behaviour despite the feelings. I think they were genuinely surprised and encouraged by their own responses, knowing how different it was to how they might have responded otherwise.
For the second day, the volunteers from the other side of the community arrived early without needing to be reminded, and worked solidly from the moment they arrived. In the end, some of the ones who had helped on the first day came to help again, so we ended up with volunteers from both sides working together.
One of the most encouraging moments was when I mentioned that we were also trying to do some packages for another community, the Mums asked if they could help out again, and referred to themselves as “the staff”!
So thank you to everyone who helped make it possible, it is a blessing to be part of blessing others, and it’s a warm feeling … in the end.