Each year at The Anchor we participate in The Church Has Left the Building. This is a special Sunday one day a year where instead of holding worship in the building on Sunday morning, we go out and serve our community as our act of worship. This year, one of our groups volunteered with The Synergy Project.
The Synergy Project offers assistance to homeless youth in Bucks County. Woody (the guy in the corner of the pic with the beard) is their fearless leader for street outreach. On the Sunday we left the building, Anchor teamed up with Woody and his awesome son to wash laundry for the homeless and hand out breakfast.
The power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.
I’d be happy if God would do all that I ask or imagine. But the Apostle Paul says the power that created the cosmos wants to do profusely more than we could ever ask or imagine. On the way to church that Sunday, I drove with my neighbor Christy. I shared with her how I was thinking we should bring some light snacks to share before we go wash laundry. Christy quickly chimed in and said, “We should order bagels and coffee. I’ll take care of it.” So on the way to do laundry we picked up Einstein’s bagels.
Now, what I imagined for our group, was that we would go and wash laundry for the homeless. We had Woody on the ground for two weeks talking to the homeless about it beforehand. He even went out again reminding them Sunday morning too. But when we got there, only one person wanted to do laundry. The rest of the people who came wanted to eat bagels, drink coffee, have the Halloween candy (one of the families from church had given it to us right before we left), and just hang out with us.
I honestly was feeling a little foolish. Here I had this whole group of people who were ready to do laundry but no laundry to do. But then I heard the testimonies. I heard from Anchor people how meaningful it was to sit and talk and listen. I heard from a woman how significant it was for her that we were willing to listen. She said, “Most people think we are bad people. But that isn’t true. Thank you so much for coming and talking with us. It gets lonely out here and it’s nice to know we have people who care.”
And then I even heard from Woody whose job it is to do this every day through the county. He couldn’t get over that fact that there was a group of church goers, willing to go out on a Sunday morning, to not just spend time with the homeless but actually hear them and talk with them. He called me when I was on my way home that day and shared with me how meaningful it was for him to witness what happened as well. He called again this week, over a month later, to share with me that some of the homeless we meet that day were asking how we were doing.
That has to be a God-thing because we could not accomplish that on our own power. If it were our power, it would have just been one load of clean laundry and disappointed Christians. But with God’s power, it was much much more and it continues to be much more today. Each day I get to hear about how those who participated that Sunday are continuing to reach out to Woody and Einstein’s Bagels even told us that they would donate free coffee, bagels, and soup whenever we go again!
As with many things, we tend to plan for what we think and want the outcome to be. Yet in doing so we risk limiting what God really wants to do. Don’t let your doubts, fears, and imagination limit the great and powerful things God wants to do in your life and through your life.