We participated in a Be the Change service project this year. We agreed to lead about 20 people through making sandwiches and handing them out to some of our clients. Our intention was to attract college students from UT, teach them who our clients are, stash some sandwiches in our freezer for a later date, and help our clients. Before the event was available for registration, it was booked fully. A group signed up. But we didn’t know who they were.
We opened the door and in came a group of adult traditional Indian men and women. Some were more elderly. Many were practicing Hindus. They begin putting together sandwiches. Some could touch the meat and others couldn’t. They worked through teamwork to complete the assignment. They have regularly made peanut butter sandwiches as a group and given them to the Salvation Army in the past.
Then I began to teach them about what we do and who we serve. They have lots of questions. I provided them with a great background, but some questions simply cannot be answered with words. I gathered them to go out and meet clients.
They met quiet clients. They met mature clients. They met rebellious clients. They met pregnant clients. They met clients who had slept out in the rain the night before. They gave each love and attention, and offered them food, clothing, and other donated goodies.
In the walk back and the discussion afterward, here are there observations:
I liked how respectful they were.
I liked how smart they are. One greeted me with a few words of Hindi.
I was surprised that all didn’t want everything, but they did want to talk.
It was hard seeing pregnant girls and knowing they live on the street.
I was touched to see a young man crying in your arms.
I heard you talking with a Muslim and not judging him. He was very open to you.
I was surprised to see how much of a family they are. When you told us that earlier, I didn’t believe you, thinking maybe you were exaggerating or “maybe in la-la land.” But it’s true. They really care for one another.
It was hard to see the ones that are rebellious and so unhappy.
We closed our service project in prayer. Christians, Muslims, and Hindus praying together, acknowledging that only God can change and heal these precious children of God. It was a great day.
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