Blessing Others Blesses You
When we give of our time, energy, and resources to bless someone else, something incredible happens. Recently, I have witnessed this in my own family. Our church has an incredible ministry on Wednesdays and Saturdays in downtown Indianapolis. Dedicated volunteers take food, clothing, and the gospel message to those who are homeless or in need in Indianapolis. This ministry has been going on for some time, serving meals and praying with those who are hungry and need hope. In the past few months, however, our church youth have become involved in this ministry, including my two daughters (age 15 and 12) and my husband, who helps out with the youth group at church.
I have seen an incredible change in them as they choose to spend various Wednesday evenings, heading down to Indianapolis, regardless of the weather or what a busy day they may have had. They come home, excited to share stories of those they met that evening, or ways they were able to help make a difference. They have been able to help lead worship in the streets, hand out food or hygiene items, give out clothing so generously donated, or offer a prayer and a smile to those whose lives are full of difficulty. Our daughters have been able to recognize that life is not the same for everyone, and although we all have hard times, there are many who struggle even for the most basic of life’s needs to be met. I’m glad they have been able to help supply some of these physical needs, but I’m incredibly thankful that they are learning how important it is to share the hope of eternal life in Christ. They have seen the gospel presented and people respond to that message in repentance. They have seen lives changed, even when circumstances have not.
These Wednesday evenings have been invaluable for my family. When they set out to serve and bless others, they (and many other volunteers) have done just that, but I believe the pleasant surprise has been the way it has also blessed them. When we can take the focus off of ourselves, when we can stop complaining, stop wanting more, stop thinking of “me, me, me”, amazing things happen! We become more grateful, more content, more compassionate, more fulfilled…BLESSED.
Here are a few quotes from my husband and daughters about their experiences serving in Indianapolis:
“I enjoy seeing my girls get excited to go down a serve a community they aren’t even a part of, and people in need.” -Jason
“Going to Indy has really opened my eyes to the needs of the homeless and needy people I meet there. I really enjoy serving and talking to the people. The more times I serve in Indy, the more I want to go back. I feel like God is calling me to serve others.” -Lucy, age 12
“Indy Outreach has been life-changing. It’s been eye-opening seeing people who live so differently from us. It has caused me to be more grateful for what I’ve been given. These Wednesday nights have given me more compassion for the homeless. The gospel gives hope, and I’ve witnessed many people receive salvation because of the good news that has been shared.” -Avie, age 15
It’s a perfect time of year to get off the bench and help others, to give back. There are countless ways to do this. In this difficult season we have been through in 2020, it’s the perfect time to take our eyes off of our own circumstances and shift our attention to someone else, someone we can help, or bless, or give to, or serve. We will never regret a moment of helping someone else. And, you might just find that you are blessed as much as those you set out to help. God bless you as we enter into this season of giving and celebrating the best gift of all—Jesus!
#IPF Gives Back