“One Day of Service” Stubbornly Refuses to Stay Within Its Limited Timeframe 🙂
By Shelly Mayer
Even though ForColumbia’s effort to serve our city is limited in that it is primarily an annual “day” of service, one of the many beautiful fruits that I’ve seen come out of this effort is the number of deepened relationships.
Relationships between individuals, to be sure, but also relationships with church congregations and other groups of people. Today I want to share with you the relationship that has developed between church members at Alive in Christ and the residents of Paquin Tower, a city-operated apartment building downtown designated for low-income, disabled individuals.
In 2016, Alive in Christ volunteers agreed to spearhead the work we did at this site, cleaning the building and doing some landscaping around the perimeter. They enjoyed the planning and the day of serving so much that they wanted to go back to the same place.
As people from Alive in Christ continued to show up through ForColumbia, they began making connections with the people living in the complex. Soon they began expanding their efforts, returning to Paquin for bingo nights and other more relational activities. Samantha Christian, Resident Service Coordinator for this Columbia Housing Authority property, assists Alive in Christ in publicizing their various activities.
“When we pass out the flier, and [the residents] know [Alive in Christ] is coming, people get excited and we see more and more people showing up to do community with them,” said Christian. “They continue to show up for them and it makes the residents feel important and thought about.”
This relationship is now four years old.
This past Thanksgiving, the church provided a meal for the residents. But they didn’t just drive by and deliver food; they stayed and celebrated Thanksgiving with them, eating side-by-side and visiting with each other like many families were doing that day.
What a beautiful picture of how God takes our meager efforts to love and serve our city “one day a year” and does with that far more than we could possibly ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
Don’t miss out on this year’s Day of Service set for Saturday, April 25. Block the date off on your planner and sign up once registration opens next month!