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St Marks Family Mission Day 3

"Yet at our core, we are all made to love, to connect, to extend ourselves in service of others." 

I read this on the website for Bickford Senior Living which is where we started our day.  God has made us each with our own spiritual gifts and natural talents to work for His good at loving each other and serving each other.  Our five families are made up of many different personalities and each of us is unique, but God has brought each of us (from 18 months all the way to "older than we care to say") together to spread love and kindness in a special way, whether it's little Camden bringing smiles to the residents at Bickford with his giggles or the men moving furniture together.  During our morning at Bickford Senior Living, some of us played games with the residents; some of us delivered and served ice cream (and oodles of toppings!) to their doors; some of us lent an ear to listen and had great conversations.  Before we left, the children gathered together to entertain the residents with some of our VBS songs!  All of us spread God's love!

We gathered back at St. Mark's for lunch and then headed out for our Blessing Quest.  Our intent was to bless others and we, of course, were blessed with great joy in return!  We prayed with people, and prayed for businesses.  We gave water to road construction crews and thirsty mechanics working in no air conditioning.  (Yes, it's also very hot here!)  We blessed police officers and firefighters with food.  We brought treats to nurses working in the maternity ward.  All over town, from bathrooms to car windows, we left notes sharing God's love. 

We wrote God's word on sidewalks, and left crosses formed with pennies.  We paid for many meals and got many teary thank yous from young mothers with children to daughters taking care of elderly parents.  God led one of our Blessing Quest groups to pay for a woman's purchase at Walgreens; when they shared with her about our mission trip and about St. Mark's Lutheran Church, she said that, being new to the area, she was looking for a church home and that she lives just a couple blocks from St. Mark's.  God is at work!

After dinner together at Portillo's (yum!), the older children and some of the adults headed out for another packing session at Feed My Starving Children.

Until tomorrow...

Posted by Tracy Held with

St. Marks Family Mission Day 2

We started the day packing food at Feed My Starving Children.  Founded in 1987, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian non-profit that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children.  During our session, 157 boxes of MannaPack (rice, soy, veggies, and vitamins) were packed.  That will feed 93 children for a whole year!  Praise God for this ministry!  At the end of our packing session, we were invited into the warehouse to pray.  Our own Noah Porter said the prayer over the boxes!  These particular boxes of MannaPack will be sent to Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.  

>We spent the afternoon giving back to St. Mark's Lutheran Church.  Thank you to St. Mark's for being generous, patient hosts for our five families.  Hosting 10 adults and 12 children is no easy task!  Furniture was moved and two rooms were painted; data German!!...was accomplished; preschool rooms and cubbies were cleaned free of germs; fun was had by all knowing that God was using us to bless others.

We also packed and delivered 48 sack lunches to Lazarus House, a local homeless shelter.  The people at Lazarus House were grateful for the food, but were especially touched by the time and love our children put into adding their artwork to the bags.  They usually just get "plain, old white bags."  Sometimes it's the little things that show the most love!

Devotions with Donna ended out our day.  She reminded us to: Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  Colossians 3:12-14  As we serve others and serve with each other, it's good to pause and remember to treat others with compassion, empathizing with them, and to remain humble, remembering that God is the One working through us to bless others.  To God be the glory...not us!

Posted by Tracy Held with

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