For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of power. (2 Timothy 1:7)
So, one of my goals in the Three Change Challenge is to do something outside of my comfort zone… and not worry about it. Although most people who are doing the challenge have health and fitness goals, I decided to make mine more… lifestyle related.
About two months ago, my friend Nick told me about a service project our church was taking part in, Paint the Town. Paint the Town is an initiative by the City of Florence to paint homes for people in low-income areas in North and East Florence. I just started going to church at Abundant Life a few months ago, and this was my first service project with them.
Slight problem: I knew next-to-nothing about painting a house. Oh, and the only people I knew at church were the other IPOD members who I eat with on Wednesday nights.
There were so many excuses I could’ve used, but truthfully, I felt called to Paint the Town. Sure, I didn’t know how to paint- but what an awesome chance to learn a new skill. I didn’t really know many folks at church- but what better way to meet new people? It involves me getting up early on a Saturday morning- but I have insomnia anyway.
So, on April 24, I woke up early and was off to a home in North Florence with some other peeps. I really didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea where I’d be painting, and driving through the lady’s neighborhood, I felt slightly nervous. Fortunately- we had some other awesome teams working on our street, including our church’s youth group and a team from ADP here in Florence. Some other volunteers shared supplies and helped us paint and get a game plan together.
We painted the home of a lady named Mrs. Odell. Mrs. Odell is a very sweet older lady who can’t get around too well. Her daughter (I believe it’s her daughter) was there and does help her out some, though.
Unfortunately, the best laid plans sometimes collapse, and after a little over two hours of work, it started POURING rain, so we quickly regrouped and decided to come back the next Saturday (May 1) to finish up the job. Despite getting a good bit painted in two hours, we were pretty sad that we had to leave so soon- but little did we know, this was such a blessing in disguise.
The pouring rain actually let us pour blessings on Mrs. Odell, her family, and her neighborhood.
Some of us who painted the house are good friends, and throughout the week, we had Mrs. Odell and her partially painted house on our minds. So, on Saturday morning, we came with more than just paint brushes and rollers. Julie brought a cake she’d made. Jennifer brought a lunch of chicken and rice. I brought a reusable “green” bag full of cleaning supplies and things for Mrs. Odell’s house- toilet paper, paper towels, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner, dish detergent, tissues (Yay for Harris Teeter and their awesome sales~ I don’t think I paid over $1 for anything in the bag).
Needless to say- after we gave Mrs. Odell what we brought her, we got to work.
We also took breaks for some fun, too.
Along with Mrs. Odell, our church was able to bless a little boy who lived next door. When we were painting on the 24th, a little boy rode up on his bike and started talking to us. However, his bike only had one peddle, so basically he peddled with one foot and ran with the other foot (I will admit, it was quite amusing). Our church takes up a special offering each Sunday called an alms offering- and everyone’s asked to give only $1 to go toward various community projects…
So, there’s another picture that I’m sure you’ve been waiting for…
It was really awesome to be a part of Paint the Town- and we’re already thinking about future ideas for projects and community service. Hopefully it won’t be much longer- Goal #6 is to work with a big volunteer/community service project… and I’m getting closer to 30 every day :).