We want to see the people in our local community encounter the love of Jesus, and doing practical things to help people is a great way to show God's love. Recently, Jo Bates and some of her friends did just that when they got together to help a lady clear her very overgrown garden.
The lady lived alone with her son, and had been feeling overwhelmed by her back garden and all the work that was needed to clear it. She was unable to carry out the work herself, and didn't have anyone she could ask to do it for her.
Wanting to demonstrate the love of God to her friend in a practical way, Jo organised a team of volunteers who could help her tackle the garden. Armed with gardening gloves, tools and a wheelbarrow, and with a skip hired, the team gathered one Saturday to get started.
Working together over the course of a few hours, they managed to dismantle and clear the debris from the garden, filling the skip, and transforming the space back into the family garden it was meant to be.
Jo said afterwards that her friend was overwhelmed by the kindness shown to her, and that it had made such a difference to this family's life. Well done, Jo and all those involved, for your hard work!
Could you do something practical to help demonstrate God's love to people in your local community in the next few weeks? Perhaps there's a neighbour who needs some help, or an area in your community that's been neglected and needs some work. In the busy schedule of everyday life it can be difficult to find time for those outside our immediate family and friendship circle, but it can make such a difference to people when we make the effort.
There are lots of easy practical ways you can show the love of Jesus to people in your local community; for example, why not take a neighbour a cake or a dinner to show you're thinking about them, or offer to help with transport to an appointment or the supermarket? Perhaps they need some help with cleaning or DIY in their home, or someone to keep them company on a hospital visit; maybe they just need someone to have a chat with over a cup of tea or a pint. What could you do in the coming weeks?
In your connect group, why not also decide on a larger project you can all work on together in the next few weeks? This could be a one-off task like the garden clearance above, or perhaps an ongoing project that you could work on together once a month or every couple of months.
We'd love to hear about how you get on! Feel free to email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.