Monday, January 6, 2014

acts of service: "hands and feet"

so the hubs and i were talking before Christmas and i've been eager to start something (easy and low-key) where we serve together as a family. i've tried different things before and the most successful we've ever been at actually following through was last advent where we served in a small way each week. well, one can only do that for about a month before things just get too busy or i just drop the ball.

i picked groups of people that the Bible lists that we are to care for as well as people my heart just goes out to. the hubs was on board. i wish i had some cute name for this idea but alas, i have not. maybe i'll call it "hands and feet."
so this is our tentative plan...
each month we will pray for people in one group and learn about them. --in whatever way that takes form in our house. and then once a quarter we will serve them in some way. i asked the hubs which groups of people he wanted to serve and he came up with four, so that works out perfectly --one per quarter. i'm going to write the future dates to serve on our calendar for the year because if i wait, it'll never happen. i drop the ball a lot.

here are our groups:
January: orphans
February: widows/women in need
March: neighbors (our physical neighbors in our community, on our street)

--this quarter we will serve orphans by making overnight bags for kids that have to be removed from biological family and placed in a foster home quickly --they're called emergency placements. the bags will include a toy, blanket, one outfit or pajamas, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and socks. we will probably make one bag for each of our children and they'll be able to pick out the things for a bag for a child their age. our agency always recommends this to churches as a thing to do to serve that is easy. 

--last year my friend put together bags for women at the women's shelter for valentine's day. she included lovely smelling hand sanitizer, cute travel-sized tissues, a card talking about the love of God, and other trinkets for the children of the women in the shelter. 

April: families with sick children
May: homeless
June: "aliens"/refugees (we have a large refugee population near our home)

--this quarter we will probably make bags to keep in our car to hand out to people who are homeless, including water bottles, packaged food like granola bars, socks, and hand sanitizer. our previous church called these "H2O bags" --"help 2 others"

July: believers/church body/"one another"
August: the poor (this is super general, not sure what aspect of this we will focus on this month)
September: veterans/servicemen and women

--this quarter we will probably make a care package for the troops.

October: imprisoned
November: immediate family (this also falls under "one another")
December: missionaries

--this quarter our idea is to ask a missionary friend for a wish list and then put together a small package to send over. or serve alongside our friends who are missionaries near us. 
i also like the idea of each child taking a chore for a sibling for a week or making a sibling a small gift, focusing on the "one another" of this quarter. 

several of these ideas have to do with buying things, but there are plenty of ideas that don't cost anything. we could serve by inviting a military serviceman or woman to our home for thanksgiving, wrap presents for foster children during the holidays (most agencies have businesses that donate presents and then caseworkers spend hours wrapping all the gifts for the foster children), write encouraging letters to missionaries, serve in a homeless shelter or under the bridge ministry, take cookies to people who are refugees and are new to the country (in our community, the church comes along new residents to help them get settled. it's beautiful.)

so there you have it. it's our plan for the new year. a way for our family to focus on giving. to focus on others.
i pray this process blesses those who receive what we give as well as grows our family in our awareness of how we can be the hands and feet of Christ to those around us.

--i'm linking up here today. 

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