“When you think of the name of Jesus, what do you think of?” I posed this question to 15 middle and high school teenagers at The Lighthouse on Veterans Day afternoon. Some responded with “kindness” and others said “teacher”. How would you have answered?
Rewind to 3.5 hours earlier and Sean and I were the only ones at The Lighthouse preparing for teenagers and adults to arrive from YFC, Freedom Church, Faith Community Church, and Grace Baptist Church with their winter gear and shovels in hand. It was PROJECT SERVE, our newly named annual event where our goal was to engage youth on their day off school to understand the meaning of Veterans Day and serve those who served us first. We also wanted to magnify Jesus on this day with our discussion, actions, and collaboration with surrounding churches in the community. God had blessed our weather so that although it was cold, there was plenty of snow to shovel!
We sent three teams of teenagers and adults to 10th Ave N and down N 4th St where they energetically shoveled sidewalks and knocked on community members’ and Veterans’ doors to offer to serve them! Many felt blessed by the experience and often asked the group to shovel a little more than what was offered. One teen in particular, Payton, was so excited to shovel down N 4th St that when he arrived at his buddy’s home, he wouldn’t stop knocking on his door until he came out! Payton then invited him to join his team for the remainder of the day. It was truly amazing to hear Payton tell the story to us with his friend sitting across from him at the end of the day! Payton shared that if he hadn’t been shoveling, he would have been inside playing video games all day. If he had been inside playing video games, Payton and his friend would have never heard our conversation we had at the pizza party we ended with. Here is how I wrapped up our question I posed about Jesus:
“I think of Jesus too when I hear all those things. I also think of Him when I think of another word that Veterans did and what you did today—serving. Many of you may have come to serve today because of the pizza afterward or because of your parents. Jesus actually came to serve people on earth, including you and me, because He wanted too. Because He loves us. So the next time you think of today and all the hard work it took and stories you walked away with, you can remember Jesus too because that’s exactly how He shows His love to you!”
We will do this building time again next year so please email me at Chelsea@grandforksyfc.com if this is either something you want to be a part of or if you would like us to serve you! If you would like to check out more pictures from the day, you can head to our “Events” page!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,