Tuesday’s Reflection

We learned. We served. We saw God.

And we won a fooseball tourney!

Fortunately, my plan, Kyle’s plan, and God’s plan synched fairly well today. Yet, at the end, I’m still completely exhausted! This time it’s because I was England’s Team Captain and we WON the Human Fooseball World Cup! While I had solid midfield skills, with Matthew, it was truly our goalie and our strikers, including GCC’s very own Sidney, that rocketed us through to the finals and onto victory!

🥅⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️🏆⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️🥅

Anyone who has ever volunteered in any capacity will probably tell you that they are blessed beyond measure when they give of themselves. This mission trip is no different. Even though you’d think I’d expect it from experience, I continue to be amazed that they people we are here to help, help us. The people we are here to serve, serve us. The people we are hear to teach, teach us. And no doubt, God is in the midst of it all.

God was in Peggy, the wonderful 77 year old that wrote a grant 12 years ago to fund flower gardens at St. Agnes Senior Apartments. She maintains the vast flower beds and landscape around the property but needed some help due to a recent concussion. She spent time walking the entire yard with us, teaching us about various flowers and weeds, sharing stories, and giving instructions. Then, she worked along side us weeding and pruning. And, her sidekick was a little dog Joey – the most precious white fluff!

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in John, a resident at St. Agnes, that was happy to meet some Hoosiers, and knew more than a thing or two about Indiana geography. He shared stories and encouragement, particularly with our own Conner.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in Annie, the pastor and Director of Amen that graciously led us through a discussion on poverty, and walked us through a simple illustration of how a minimum wage job page may not cover basic necessities. We read from the Bible how God teaches us to share with those in need.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in the super strong neighborhood guy that walked over to help Kyle cut down a large tree branch in the church parking lot. He was a man of few words. He was not asked or expected to help. But, he did.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in the Reverend that thanked the man for helping with a cool bottle of water on this scorching afternoon.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in Kyle and Jeff as they took patience and time and offered extra care to our youth that weren’t feeling 100% and were beaten down by heat.

We learned. We served. We saw God

God was in Clayton, the business owner of Human Fooseball, who jointly hosts a weekly community evening with Oak Hill Church for the neighborhood. He and his wife designed and built the coolest rec center with extra large everything – UNO, Yahtzee, Soccer Pool, Checkers, Connect Four, Chess, Peg Board Game, and Fooseball. It was an intensely competitive Fooseball tournament that was 100% positive, encouraging, and respectful. He commanded respect from all the neighborhood kids (and ours) by listening to them, seeing them, calling EVERYONE by name, and providing a safe, fun, collaborative environment.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in each of our youth as they played with kids, fed babies, played games with seniors, pulled weeds, watered flowers, picked up trash in the alley, went beyond their comfort zones, supported each other, stuck together, played games with their entire group, shared their joys and how they saw God moving in STL.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

GCC would be proud – not only of the service work our youth are doing, but also in their growth and what they are learning and gaining as

we learn, we serve, and we see God.

Peggy told me about a Ziggy cartoon that inspired her to plant the garden at St. Agnes. It was about flowers making up for all the ugly in the world. I don’t need to tell anyone how much ugly is in the world, just pull up your newsfeed, read the paper, turn in your radio, or watch the TV. But, I do want to tell you – our youth are the flowers, adding beauty to the world, sharing God’s love in the midst of all the ugly.

🌷🌻🌺🌸🌼🌺🌸🌼🌺🌸🌼🌻🌷

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