Mission Charleston – Day 3

Leslie Holdegraver is our guest blogger today.

Greetings Genesis Family!

Another great day here in Charleston!  It’s amazing how much can be accomplished during the day when everyone pitches in and serves together.  The construction crew worked hard on the new kitchen today, and the concrete was poured two days ahead of schedule.  Many more clothes were sorted preparing for the clothing giveaway on Thursday, and several of the children cut out materials for the crafts for the kids club (which I am extremely grateful for since that’s my area 🙂  ).  I know I’m leaving many things out, as there is so much work to do.

Tonight we were praising the Lord for clearing away the clouds (after we watched the storms come in late this morning) and actually dry up the grass so that the kids club could be held outside!  Thank you for praying!  There are always obstacles…tonight was no different.  However, there were so many blessings.  It is encouraging to hear the children reciting their Bible verses and answering the questions being asked.   God is awesome!

Today I worked on two crafts with the kids:  the wordless bracelet and making a wrapped box with a poem attached that reminds them that God is always close to them regardless of the situations they are in.

Two main things struck me during craft time with the four different age groups:  one was when a teenage girl asked if God could really forgive someone who murdered someone else.  This is not an abnormal question, but the reality that hit was that this is a very real occurrence in the lives of these young people, one that we look at as something that happens to someone else…but one that is very personal to them.  The second thing was when we were working on wrapping the “gifts.”  This was a difficult task for most of the children and teens, many not having the giving of gifts as a normal part of their world.  It encouraged me to pray for these special young men and women…that they would receive the greatest gift of all — the gift of Jesus!

It is often difficult to believe the stories that we hear about the lives of the people in this community, because it is not something that we often see on a daily basis in our neck of the woods.  And as someone who has had an overseas mission focus for several years, it is easy for me to overlook the needs in my own backyard.  I am reminded once again of the verses in scripture that so easily cause me to sit up and take notice of the world around me:

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers you did it to me.'”  Matthew 25:35-40

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