Sunday, July 27, 2008

Working Beside God

This week I'll be coordinating a Church of the Brethren workcamp for junior high youth. All the planning that goes into the details can be exhausting and yet it will all be worth it when the group comes together and experiences the joy of giving. We'll have days of working with Together We Stand, a group working to empower people to take ownership of their city and improve community. ($10/year and 10 hours of volunteer service.) And we'll play in the parks we've helped to spruce up and swim in the river. We'll go to a ball game and visit the state capitol and the Black History museum. A ghost tour is even in order. The learning opportunities will range from history presented 'museum-style' to sociology studied up close. Relationships will form and friendships will continue past the week if all goes well.

Workcamps are amazing. People are helped, yes, but the real change comes in the workers. It is a strange thing but workcampers become service volunteers for life and their perspective on the world is changed forever. God's Spirit is certainly at work alongside us and in us as we serve. Praise God for that!

While I'm driving to worksite, counting heads, and buying enough food for our meals, I'll be giving thought to Isaiah 55 and how God desires joy for creation and how desiring God brings us joy. There's much to think about but that's the heart of where I'm going for now. As usual will be at the center of my work. I'm hopeful (and almost certain) that the week will lend insight to the text as I too am changed. Today we sang Teresa's Prayer; God be in my heart... my hands... my living. It should be a good week of heart and hands working beside God. How very exciting to anticipate the experience of tired, sweaty, bodies along with the stirring of the Spirit. What learning is in store for me as I work with the kids? What stirring will come from God's spirit?

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