“Owe Nothing . . . Except to Love”
This past Saturday was Operation We Care, where hundreds of volunteers (local and from out-of-town) provided services for residents. Here’s a quick rundown of some of what was accomplished:
- About 30 families had home projects done, including painting, wheelchair ramps, and electrical repair.
- One group collected65 bags of leaves from the yard of one elderly lady (her husband passed away years ago, and she had been unable to do the work herself).
- Over 130 people attended the job fair, and a representative from The SC Department of Employment and Workforce thinks many of them will receive job offers.
- Several hundred more people attended the health fair, and received free vision, dental, and other medical screenings.
- Children were entertained by reading and sports fairs.
- Over 500 lunches were served to volunteers and families.
Even more important than the tasks that were checked off the list were the relationships that were built and strengthened. Many folks came to Allendale for the first time, and some of these worked alongside Allendale residents. For us personally, it was great to reconnect with some Greenville friends (including our favorite Swoapie).
My Family’s Experience
I helped organizers Frank & Lottie Lewis (who continually work to make hope a reality) by taking phone calls and being a “runner” between some projects. Joanna worked the front table at the location of the health/reading/sports fairs, which was a perfect role for someone who has gifts of administration, organization, and leadership.
Governor Nikki Haley and some of her executive leaders were there. Joanna and Hannah each got hugs from her, and the boys shook her hand. Our 5-year-old did an especially good job extending his hand and clearly stating, “Hi. I’m Sender.” Smooth operator, he is. (Here’s an article and video about the Governor’s involvement with the day.)
Our kids did a mix of serving (handing out stamps and supplies), playing, and riding around with me. We had prepped them that we needed them to be enduring in what would be a long, tiring day. They did great!
Preaching the Word
I was already scheduled to preach at a small church in Allendale, walking distance from our house. So, this past Sunday, I taught from the book of Philemon, titling my sermon, “You Owe Me.”
My theme was that we should feel indebted to love each other. This love-debt is not based on what we do for each other, but on the grace and love that God has shown us. The former is limited and temporary; the latter is infinite and eternal.
That is why we want to Spread the Gospel in Allendale. We are not here because of any personal favor, but because of the spiritual favor we have already received from Jesus.
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighborhood has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 (NASB)