10 Years in Print: Special Edition
By Darin Alvis
Sometimes, small acts of kindness
can open the door for outreach in a
big way. For example, in summer
2014, while a mission team visited our
church in Erie, Pennsylvania, the young people handed out water and trail mix at Perry Square Park. This particular area was new to us. We had heard that the homeless population often spent time at this park, and we prayed for an opportunity to be a blessing to them. When someone met Sean, it was clear that God had set up the meeting. Sean told the mission team he needed to get back to church and was looking for a church. We love to hear that, although in many cases, the words are not followed by action.
The next day, the same group of students visited another location, serving the community in a different way. As the team was cleaning up the property at the Boys and Girls Club, Sean approached again and told the team that the location was very close to his home. It had become apparent to those watching, that God was orchestrating these meetings.
To our delight, the next Sunday, Sean was at church with his girlfriend Kim and their five children. After a few weeks, Kim accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. She had never been in a church service before visiting with Sean that first Sunday. Since that time, the couple has been faithful to attend Sunday services and are willing to help when asked.
Because of this God-ordained meeting at the park, Sean and Kim have invited friends and family. Kim’s sister visited church for the first time. One of their sons, Caden, has received Jesus into his heart. Kim volunteered with the Kids Sing Christmas Choir. They have been such a blessing to Team Flagship and the church family. It all started with a single, small act of kindness.
When we make a goal to reach the multitudes, we should be thankful when God brings us one person like Sean. Reaching one, who reaches one, who in turn reaches another one.
In John 6, Jesus used one boy to make a great impact. His lunch of five loaves and two fish seemed so small, yet God used it in a big way. God can also use you, one person, to make a difference in your own area. We simply need to ask God to give us an attitude like Isaiah: “Here am I; Send me.”
Try the following simple ideas to reach the Seans in your area:
Hand out bottled water and snacks at local parks.
Clean up a non-profit organization.
Lend helping hands at a food pantry.
Place quarters in laundromat washers/dryers for the purpose of witnessing and praying.
Clean vehicle windshields at gas stations.
Clean public restrooms where allowed.
You will be amazed at the many small acts of kindness that can make a big difference for eternity.
About the Writer: Darin Alvis and wife Joy are associate missionaries and part of the team working with Daryl Grimes at Flagship FWB Church in Erie, Pennsylvania. Learn more about the church: http://flagshipchurch.com.