As we approach the eleventh year of Jubilee Service Day, I was curious to see how ten years of service had blessed those volunteers whom God nudged and responded to serve. The joy of participating in something bigger than us, and that makes a significant impact within our community, is a calling of both the heart and hands. This participation in what God is doing is an expression of gratitude, as believers, to the grace God freely gives us.
I have been a logistics coordinator at Spiritridge Elementary School for the past few years. What a blessing it is to pray in each classroom with the teacher and volunteers before they begin the many tasks it takes to set up a classroom for a new school year. It is great to watch parents and their children working side by side to set up a classroom in a school they are not even attending. God has been present in those precious four hours as “two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). What a blessing to watch when “two or more are gathered together” around a table making light work out of the many projects that are needed to be done. After our four hours of service we look around and smile because we know that the teachers and children that will occupy the halls and classrooms are prayed for and the rooms are prepared.
Jubilee Service Day has blessed me with the opportunity to give back to the teachers in our school district for ten years. Teachers are the unsung heroes of the day and working side by side with them and the volunteers has been an honor and a joy. It’s always fun to watch the expressions on the teacher’s faces as the volunteers cross off one task after another on their wish list and they see their classroom come to life. I will always remember one teacher saying, “This year I’ll be able to spend Labor Day weekend with my family. I am so grateful for your support, encouraging words and joy in serving.” It’s a day when the body of Christ comes together to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our neighborhoods on the Eastside.
Over the past ten years I have been extremely grateful to see the joy-filled faces of the teachers and staff that we have supported during the service day. Along with my wife, I have had the privilege of leading the “Spirit of Spiritridge” team at Spiritridge Elementary. Every year when we enter the school, there’s a warm and welcoming feeling as we reunite with the teachers and staff who have become good friends. It doesn’t even feel like work! Many of the volunteers are unfamiliar with their teammates as the day begins, but by day’s end, they gain new friends with a common purpose. These volunteers have given their time to prepare classrooms for the year of learning that lies ahead, and that’s something to celebrate. What a clear reminder it is that when God sets to work, and His people respond, great things happen.
-Frank St Peter
There is light shining in Bellevue that is bright and filled with His love. These volunteers are the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus, Who is on the move. It’s a gift given and received by all, as we take the church to the streets!