E45 Backpack Project Recap
E45 is All Saints’ ministry to children in 3rd-5th grade. We desire for it to be a place where our children learn that they are loved by God and will invite their friends and neighbors to share in this truth by loving them. We meet twice a month – once to fellowship, once to serve.
Our service project in October was to learn about the homeless community in Austin and how we, as young children and families, could love them well. We began with the question, “How would you describe a homeless person?” Some of the answers: “Dirty.” “Holding cardboard signs asking for money and food.” “Talking to themselves.” “Hiding under this black veil thingy.” “Lonely.” “Helpless.” A young man went on to describe what he meant by helpless:
It must be hard to sit on the corner, begging for food, watching people drive cars by all day long…eating food, talking on the phone, laughing with their families, sipping on a hot cup of coffee…sitting in a car that moves from one place to another with one turn of a key. Imagine how helpless it must feel to be begging on the streets for your daily bread. No matter what a person has done, or NOT done, the dignity lost and utter hopelessness of getting to the point of having to beg must be heartbreaking.
How can we love this helpless, homeless community, I asked? What can we do? As All Saints families called to love, what can we do to love the hundreds of men, women, and children in this very state? There are many organizations in Austin who are well equipped, trained, and prepared to serve and love these homeless friends of ours! We talked a bit about each of these and how our families at All Saints can plug into these organizations, offering our time and hands for service. If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve included links to their webpages at the end.
I then asked if the kids had brushed teeth that morning…some answered, some didn’t. I asked if they had showered or eaten or washed their hands, or had any water to drink or changed their clothes that day. They all said of course. We then looked at ALL the supplies that the families of All Saints had brought and provided. There were piles of socks, waters, peanut butter crackers, toothbrushes, and on and on. The kids set up an assembly line and stuffed 66 ziploc baggies FULL of items. We then prayed over the bags – prayed that they would be a blessing to the hands that received them, and that this sweet time would bless the children who assembled them. We are all equipped to love in different ways that can shed light into darkness. We have Jesus. Share the love!