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soap and suds

It’s that time of year! DiscipleNow weekend has come to our students. We have finished up a rewarding, exhausting weekend. This probably will not be long as I am watching the super bowl. Actually, I am really just eating and talking, but this is the real reason I gather for the game anyway. I am excited to share about our missions experience from Saturday afternoon. The high school groups gathered downtown in our city to hand out free hotdogs and wash cars to the people in the community. Our contact into the community is super efficient and conscientious. He is 22 years old, grew up in the community, and, as a college student, feels called to evangelism, and works with students in the area. When I first asked him about how to serve, he mentioned that people need car washes due to the major construction happening. Sounds great to me! We are here to serve however the people need! This guy served our students by making the hotdogs to serve, setting up a sound system, and collecting car wash supplies. We had plenty of soap, hoses, and towels after we combined our supplies we already had form church with his. Despite the weather dipping colder than expected and blocking off the park on both sides, God gave plenty of sunshine and a steady flow of people. One of our high school girls had been holding a sign advertising the carwash and food and shared how their group was able to help a girl walking down the street about their age. Some people had insisted on giving money for the carwash, even though the students explained we were not taking money. They met the girl who needed money for a bus ticket to get to the next city not far away. The girls had collected exactly four dollars, the exact amount needed for the girl to take the bus home. For them to see miracles like that is exciting! They were able to see, some for the first time, people who have no home to sleep in at night. We were able to meet their need for food and give their car a shine, and make some kids laugh. We danced with the kids and enjoyed the sunshine! Serving them has also been a good reminder that we could just as easily be in the same situation. We thank God each night for our house, our cars, and our pets. As we approach Valentine’s Day, the season for love, and all that stuff, are we loving people like Jesus in our everyday lives, not just on specified “mission projects” or “mission trips?” Do we love our neighbor when they yell because your three-legged German Shepherd looks at her yard and may have left a gift? (This is specific because it may have happened more than once and my sweet furry baby is a sweet dog:) This is tough! Do we love those who are crabby at the store? Do we give an attitude of humility? As in, do we demand our food be brought first or are we willing to step out of the way for others? Do we seek ways to serve at church or look for how we can be served? As students, you have a chance each day to love the people around in class and work. When we are broken for what breaks God’s heart, we find opportunities to love. As we get ready for Valentine’s Day, at my house, we will be making valentines, heart cookies, and decorating with lots of pink (even more than usual with three girls). We are going to look for ways to bless the people we have an influence on in our everyday life. Have a great week, you all! Love to you! Love, Charis

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