“I am blessed,” she said to me as we stood on the front porch of her house. She was perhaps 60 years old. The paint was peeling from the side, there were holes in the windows. The house had seen it’s better days. Yet, she told me she felt blessed. Why?
Why? Because a group of Trinity students were working on her house as a part of their SOS mission trip to Memphis. When we walked inside the house, she showed me the holes in her roof – which allowed water to come inside. “When it rained, it rained inside too,” she told me. Our students had repaired the roof and were working to put in new ceiling tiles where the water had caused them to sag and fall in.
“I am blessed,” she kept saying to me. “It used to be that I would go into work two hours early, because I didn’t want to stay in my house. But now, I love being here in my house. It doesn’t rain inside anymore!”
I asked her what she thought about our students. She said, “They are good kids, they are obedient.” I wondered what she meant. But as I thought about it – obedient is a good word. I John 5:2 reads “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” Our students were being obedient in sharing the love of Christ.
I was blessed by what this woman said to me as we stood on her front porch – blessed by having a chance to spend a couple of days with our students and to see their work. We had 15 teams altogether – working on 15 houses in Memphis. These students all had other things they could have been doing last week, but they gave a week of their summer vacation in obedience to Christ – to be his hands, feet and voice.
What they did made a difference in the life of this 60 year old lady. They gave her her house back as a place she could call home. But what they did also made a difference in their lives, too, as they discovered Christ among the least. “Even as you have done it to one of these…you have done it to me.” They, too, were blessed.
And I was blessed by witnessing the risen Christ alive and at work through our students and their adult leaders– all 119 of them. I saw Jesus last week in Memphis.