|From It's Like Herding Cats|
We've been here at New Hope almost 12 years now, and have (I hope) learned a lot about how to live in community. Most of the years have been good ones in terms of seeing the people and the church grow. But the perfect storm hit last year and it really kind of knocked us all for a loop. Military, contractor, and other moves caused us to lose as many people in one year as we had in all the other years combined. Believe me there has been a tremendous amount of soul searching over this unwelcome development.
And yet, I'm beginning to think God is up to something pretty special.
We've been working with other churches to deliver meals on Saturday and then expanded that to do it again ourselves on Wednesday. We've met a lot of people we never would have, and made some inroads. Last Saturday, we showed a free movie with all the movie fixings free too - hot dogs, popcorn, etc. One elderly couple in Valparaiso we deliver to both times walked six tenths of a mile to come. I was outside and saw them - he with his cane, and her with the bright colored flyer in her hand - coming up the street. We welcomed them in with cold bottles of water and made sure they were cared for. Sitting near them was Danielle Chandler and her dad John.
Well we finished the movie and I asked the woman how she liked it. In her limited English she said "We loved it!" We gave them a ride home. As they left the van she said "see you Wednesday."
Monday night I got a call from Bunny just as I dropped Allan off at his house after supper. "Can you meet Danielle Chandler over on Okaloosa? She's trying to deliver some food to the couple who came to the movie and can't find their house."
I did, and walked up to the door with Danielle as she dropped off some Memorial Day burgers. Folks, I've knocked on doors in this neighborhood and people don't greet you like we're greeted now. :)
Seeing Danielle's heart seem to swell as she gave them the food made me smile.
I'll bet God smiled too.