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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Loving Our Neighbor

I love our church. It is a church full of imperfect people. But one thing these imperfect people know how to do is to love their neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Everyone you come into contact with.

When we started attending many years ago, the first thing I noticed was "Grandma's Attic". Grandma's Attic is a clothes closet for those within the church and outside the church. There would be a line of people sometimes waiting for the services to end so they could come in and get clothing. At first I thought it was odd, but many of the people in the community didn't speak English and probably weren't comfortable coming into a Christian church. Many were from China and most likely were Buddhist. Others were from Mexico and only spoke Spanish.

Because of that, our church started English Second Language Classes and started holding a Spanish Bible Study. Our friends also moved into the apartments near the church to minister to the people there.

Later on, about 6 years ago, we started a Food Pantry. "Grandma's Pantry" It was suggested at first that there is a food pantry in the community; but after talking it over, it was decided that We should be reaching out and helping those in our body AS a body, not turning helping our neighbor into a social service event for the person in need of help.

The food pantry opened with 1 rule. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.( so that the thing that happened to me in my post below would NEVER happen to anybody within our scope of contact) If you need food, it is there for the taking. If you have food to give, give it. If you use food, when you can, contribute back so others can use it. It has since grown from canned goods, to pampers, formula, baby food, specialized foods, tooth paste, soaps and deoderant. There are even walkers, canes and potty seats in there.
I am so thankful for the loving, giving hearts of those who secretly give. And I am SO THANKFUL that there is a place people can go for food and not be embarrassed.

Grandma's Pantry has exploded to Grandma's kitchen too. You can get refrigerated items;frozen meats and dairy products. Isn't that great!

In the times we are facing as a nation, I am happy to be at a church where people can find comfort and that as a church, we will pull together and take care of each other and those in our community who have need.

1 comment:

JJ said...

We also choose mission-minded, community-focused "hands-on" churches, Christ can work through to touch people in need. It sounds like your church is really meeting the needs of a diverse population.

Have you heard the story of a sick church member who called her preacher one Sunday morning asking him to take communion for her? She stated that since he was paid to visit the sick for her, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked,...why couldn't he take communion for her this once, too. Ouch.

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