4 X 50 X 1,000 X 20 X 7 for Jesus
The four churches based in Montecito: Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Covenant got together with World Vision to conduct a joint project that did not serve ourselves. So today about 50 people from each church gathered together, watched a video about what these simple care kits do, and sipped on coffee and talked together as neighbors.
Then we formed up in lines and assembled in an assembly-line manner small plastic "briefcases" with the items. Each person was asked to assemble about 5 or 6 from 9:00 till noon. A large team of volunteers "fed" products to the tables so each person could pack their kit.
Then, the last and most important component was the hand-written prayer by the packer for the care-giver who would take these kits to about 7 persons with HIV/AIDS. The kits last about 3 months per/person. All morning long I saw whole families sit down and carefully write their prayer for the care giver. In a few months a Christian care-giver trained by World Vision will be walking with their kits and prayers into desparate villages in Rwanda. And the cost? about $17.50 for supplies and $2.50 for shipping!
Then, when all 1,000 kits were packed back into shipping boxes and set on pallets, we all gathered around and laid our hands from our four churches in the one name of Jesus and prayed them off. How much fun was that??
One of the area pastors approached me with wide eyes and said, "If we tried to organize an ecumenical thankgiving service, we might have 12 people show up. Look at this! Hear the buzz!" And she was right. We don't want to get together to talk about how great it is that we are in a room together. We want to do something for God's kingdom as one body with our very different parts. I believe the watching and skeptical world wants to know if we care about anyone other than ourselves? Today was a delightful way to say, it's not about us, it's about God's children in need.