Thursday nights is normally our Bible Study night, but yesterday instead we were blessed to go serve instead. It was wonderful being able to get out and do something for people in need. The Refuge is a place started by a man from our church and it is a food pantry first and foremost but it is becoming more than that. They have an additional area for clothing and household goods and volunteers help people get the groceries from their list and then they can go over to the clothing area to pick out what they would need. This place is really nice, it is set up like a department store almost with different sections to "shop" from. Of course when serving you feel much more blessed to be the one serving than it does to receive in my opinion. The people seeking services from The Refuge are just about anyone...someone down on their luck, single moms and even a few dads coming in to get clothing for their kids.
Nate mostly stayed in the upstairs area to sort through clothing and hang them to get them ready to take to the clothing racks. I was fortunate enough to get to talk to some of the people and help them with picking out their clothes and chat for a while. One lady coming in had her cousin and her two children with her; the cousin and children had just been kicked out of their mothers home with nothing in hand. One of the children was a 2 month old and they found some burp rags and you would have thought they had won the lottery. It was a pleasure to help them and help pick out items we take for granted and don't even think to be thankful for. It really made Nate & I want to go back more often than what our Bible Study is going to do. They really have a need for grunt work, hanging clothing, packing seasonal items, labeling things, stocking clothing and food, etc. I came home feeling full. Not happy, sad or proud, but greatfull and full. I forget how we are supposed to serve others in our community. I get so caught up in my life and trying to sort through it that I forget the others who are in need. We have been blessed with much and do share it willingly, since it is given to us in the first place to be stewards of. We are good stewards of the money God provides I believe, but I feel we are being called to be better stewards of our time. Giving two hours a week or so instead of two hours in front of a tv is so much better used by helping others in need. I hesitate to make plans during the week since I feel so tired and worn out by the end of the day. This was the case yesterday, I was exhausted when I got home from work but after coming back from the Refuge felt energized. My body was still tired but my heart was full and I could have worked another two hours or more. My goal is to do this more often and not let my life get in the way of helping.
"Do nothing out of selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." -Philippians 2:3-4