What an amazing week of Vacation Bible School we had at FUMC. I had the privilege of witnessing our congregation live out their faith that week as volunteers put countless hours into decorating, teaching, leading and serving the children of FUMC. I love how God shows up in the smallest of details and I was able to experience his abundant love that week. I witnessed hundreds of children and adults worshipping each morning and learning about bible characters and their faith, but it was actually in a quiet moment by myself when I felt God’s presence so deeply and abundantly.
We had asked the children to bring an offering each day, and rather than money we asked for “deep sea” themed food items to be donated to Helping Hands. One afternoon I went to Wesley Hall to bag up all of the first three days of offerings because the stage was beginning to fill up. It was in this quite moment where I saw what the children had been bringing all week. A huge pile had formed of Goldfish, Animal Crackers and Captain Crunch cereal. I was struck in this moment by God’s extravagant love for us as I looked at these particular items. If you’ve ever served at Helping Hands or on a mission trip you would know that a box of Captain Crunch with Crunch-berries is not something you would normally see on the shelves. I pictured the children’s smiling faces as they looked in their bag and along with the oil, flour and beans (the basic necessities) that they saw a huge bag of animal crackers or a large box of Captain Crunch – what an awesome surprise!! Nutritious? Probably not. Extravagant? Absolutely! I was overwhelmed in that moment at how God has always done that for me – loved me in such an extravagant way. He loves to give us gifts in our lives that we never see coming. Just as he meets our daily needs as we walk with him, he reaches down and gives us a glimpse of Himself just to do it! He loves us so much! I think it’s awesome that our kids got to give to the families in such an extravagant way – I’m glad it wasn’t flour or oil.
When I first went to Honduras with our church in 2014, the first day we arrived in the village of Diamante the children were asking for the same thing over and over – “galletas.” Unfortunately none of us spoke Spanish so we googled it when we got back to the hotel and discovered they were asking for cookies. Once again a family that has no electricity or water is going to purchase cookies for their children. That night we purchased several cases of galletas to pass out to their smiling faces the next day. I am not able to go to Honduras this year but my daughter is, so I’m sending money with her to purchase galletas. I pray through that small gesture that some child will be able to experience the extravagant love of our Father.
Dear Lord, help us not only to give, but to give extravagantly like you do. You gave your only son to die for us so that we could come to you. Help us to love as you do. Amen.
Let us do life together, growing closer to Jesus, and closer to each other, through stories and experiences from the people of our church. Join us as we begin a new series for the Advent season, beginning Tuesday, November 28.