Serve the City

Our kids enjoy serving in the community.  They have been a part of some great service projects in the past and they have enjoyed reaching out to others and spreading the love of Jesus to those around us.  We feel that giving our children opportunities to put other people first is an important life lesson for them, especially in today's society which seems to be so focused on self and whatever makes YOU happy. This weekend they had another great experience and they were quite busy with two separate service projects.

We started on Friday packing backpack full of school supplies for students in the Lewisville Independent School District.  The school district has a Back to School Fair coming up where students who are in financial need can pick up school supplies, get a haircut, vision test, and more, all for free.  We showed up at Lewisville High School and saw the cafeteria overflowing with school supplies!  

Each table had one type of school supply on it and we all worked together in an assembly line format to grab a back pack and fill it will all of the supplies.  We started on the table with the spiral notebooks.  The table before us would hand us a back pack and then the kids would put two spiral notebooks in the pack and pass it on to the next table.

We were signed up for a two hour shift so it made it more interesting when someone announced that we were all switching up stations to add some variety.  Next we packed dry erase markers.  

There were a lot of volunteers.  I would guess that there were about 16 tables set up.  It got to be rather fast-paced at times and sometimes we had to stop just to let other tables get caught up.

I'm amazed at how many backpacks we packed in such a short amount of time.

Next we worked on loading up carts to carry them out of the cafeteria.  Rachel was a great helper.

Nicholas was eager to help push the loaded carts.  It was a workout because the full carts had to be pushed up a ramp to get to the staging area.  

Saturday morning we started off at the Valley Creek Church Lewisville campus in their Next Step Center.  It was our first time to visit our church's new campus.  It's beautiful!

The kids were excited to find breakfast tacos waiting for them.  It was about 7:30 in the morning so it was a nice way to help wake up and get going.

Our pastor has taught us about asking God for guidance, listening to His voice, and responding with obedience.  Follow the Cloud with faith where ever God may lead you.  This weekend we followed the cloud by helping others in our community.

I love the new Next Step Center.  It is a community outreach center that is part of our church and it runs on these five principles:

1. Engage with those in need in our community
2. Advocate for the underserved in the community
3. Build strategic relationships
4. Develop community kingdom leaders
5. Equip and release people to meet the needs they see

We are so happy that we can be a part of this local mission.  We drove over to Lewisville Elementary School and gathered to learn about the projects for the day.

There is a student garden area that had been overgrown with grass and weeds.  We started with cleaning out all of the beds.

It was hot outside even in the shade but it is always a good feeling to get our hands in the dirt.

Nicholas helped shovel out some of the dead material.

It was nice when we could start seeing a difference in the beds.

We moved on to some other projects.  There were four picnic tables that needed fresh coats of paint.

Rachel and I helped with the green table.  She painted the top first. 

Once she started painting the underside of the table, she dripped paint on herself and in her hair but she was still all smiles.

Meanwhile, Nicholas worked on cleaning up and straightening the paver walkway that led to the garden area.

He pulled up the old pavers.  He worked hard.  These pavers were heavy and he was working in the direct sun in the heat of July.

He cleaned off the dry dirt and crud from the pavers so they would now lie flat and even.

What a difference a fresh new look can make!

Some people from church stopped by with popsicles to help us cool off.  What a wonderful weekend it has been working together as a family while serving others in our community.

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