Any time that someone steps out and tries to make a difference in the world they are always met with opposition. This has been true for great presidents, great war heroes, and especially anyone trying to further the kingdom of God. Our style of outreach seems to be a little more stranger friendly than other approaches and more times than not we have great responses when we set out to show others God’s love in practical ways, but on occasion we do have those people who are just bitter towards Christ for one reason or another and they give us a very bitter response to our outreaches. About a month ago we took a group out around Weatherford to wash the windows of businesses. We had a great time (you can read about it on this blog titled: Children’s Role in Outreach), but we did have 3 stores that pretty much told us to shove it for lack of better words.
This past Saturday we took another group out to wash the windows of the stores that we had washed about a month ago. Everything was going great and we were having a blast when we came up to one of the 3 stores that gave us such a bad response last time. After debating if we should even bother to try and show this store Christ’s love again we decided to go in and try to serve them. We took our team in the store and had a group member say, “Hey guys we are going around store to store today trying to show God’s love in a practical way by washing the windows of the stores and taking the finger prints off of your doors, absolutely no donations taken.” I was standing in the back biting my tongue and was ready to walk out and just go on to the next store (someone who gave us a great reception lat time) when I heard, “You guys want to wash our windows for free? just to show us God’s love?” We responded with a simple “Yes” they responded “Wow no donations, well yeah that would be great” I was astonished at this response and we quickly went and started washing their windows. As we were washing the windows one of the store’s employees came out and asked us what kind of drinks we want. We responded “oh we won’t take any donations are anything like that.” The employee said, “Well you guys don’t have the option to take this because we are going to get you some drinks if you like it or not because what you guys are doing is awesome.” We laughed and told them what we want (I got the biggest frozen coffee ever and it was amazing) and after we received our free drinks from them and got done washing their windows there was just such an amazing feeling inside that store that God’s kindness had broken through the resistance and a victory had been won all in the name of God’s love… Oh and by the way, the other 2 stores that gave us such bad responses last time really understood this time and allowed us to serve them. They gave us some of the best responses of the day and we could tell they were truly touched by our act of kindness.
We leaned a huge lesson this weekend. Not only did we learn that we should still try and serve people who turned us away in the past, but we learned that God is bigger, stronger, and greater than any force of resistance. Not only did God break through the bitterness of these 3 store’s hearts, but he touched them in a way that they understood God’s kindness and wanted to share it with others as well. This came in the form of kind words or in the case of that one store: free drinks. Sometimes we forget that God is the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow and we assume what was true of yesterday will be true of today. I was keeping God in his yesterday box and I did not even want to try and serve these stores who historically had given us a bad response. Luckily, God told me get behind him and he did a wonderful work through our kindness to touch these people who had turned us down in the past. Be persistent! Keep serving those who turn you away and keep telling those about Christ who seem to not be interested because you never know if God is planning on using Yesterday’s outreach to help reach people that you are serving Today and tomorrow.
We have pictures up and a few short videos of this outreach if you want to see what washing window’s to show God’s love in a practical way looks like. Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Greenwood-Baptist-Church-Outreach-Ministry/178895482165085
This Saturday, June 18th, we will be mowing the lawns of houses around the Greenwood area. Bring whatever supplies you can and even if you can’t that is fine because we will still find a place for you to serve. We are meeting at Greenwood Baptist Church at 10 am and will be done by noon. Hope to see you there.
– Austin Cooper