Every year, Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana shuts its doors, cancels its services and sends its congregation out to do service projects all over the city.  This year, World Next Door sent a team of volunteer journalists from Grace’s congregation to tell some of the stories from the weekend.

This is one of those stories.

To read all of the Weekend of Service articles, click here.

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Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

Written by Amy Sorrells

Photos by Charlie Sorrells

“We measure our topsoil in inches. They measure theirs in feet.”

I listened to Dr. Ken Ney, Board Director of Mission to Ukraine, as he spoke about the land where their organization serves orphans and saves the lives of hundreds of unborn children every year.

At first it didn’t seem like the bags and shoeboxes held much potential. In a country where the average woman has six abortions, we were sending stuff to a place that doesn’t value life, let alone shoe boxes full of scarves and cards made by children.

Volunteers hard at work.

MTU Volunteers hard at work.

What could we possibly hope to accomplish?

Families here serving families there.

Families here serving families there.

Weekend of Service started with a commissioning from Zechariah 4:10, “Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings?”

I respected the verse, yet doubted how much our work would mean to the recipients. Like grass hides foot after foot of precious topsoil, my doubting heart veiled the power of the smallest things in the hands of a great, great God.

I took for granted the simple teachings of Jesus when He talked about planting Kingdom seeds: sometimes the places you expect the least return end up flourishing the most.

I took for granted Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:8 of The Message, when He said some seeds, “fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”

As the hours passed last weekend, I saw seeds take root.

New and pregnant mothers prepared layettes for babies born because of the work of Mission to Ukraine counselors who provided crisis pregnancy intervention.

Special needs children, part of Grace's "Special Friends" ministry, helped to make cards for disabled kids in Ukraine.

Special needs children, part of Grace's "Special Friends" ministry, helped to make cards for disabled kids in Ukraine.

Mothers guided hands of special needs children, smiling and proud to stamp a piece of their hearts onto construction paper destined for the lap of a motherless, special needs orphan in Ukraine.

Fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers worked side-by-side sowing seeds of joy in cardboard boxes destined for a land rich in soil but destitute in families, faith and hope.

Slide shows played of Ukraine children opening shoe boxes brimming with variegated toys and cards and candy last year.

I watched all this and then I knew.

Layette bags for new infants saved from abortion in Ukraine.

Layette bags for new infants saved from abortion in Ukraine.

I knew our work meant more than wrapping a scarf around an orphan’s neck.

Our work meant clothing a heart with worth and delight; embracing a body, oceans away, who’s never felt an embrace; giving color and texture to a life that’s known only white walls and wooden benches.

Mission to Ukraine plants seeds in soil considered by most to be unsowable. Yet the eyes of disabled orphans and volunteers attest to a coming harvest sure to overflow any earthly storehouse.

That’s what 35 shoe boxes and 125 shoe bags will do for 80 disabled boys.

That’s what 37 layette sets will do for 37 babies as they blink back the light of a day they would otherwise never have seen.

That’s God—beyond our wildest dreams—in the midst of Mission to Ukraine.

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About the Author: Every year, Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana shuts its doors, cancels its services and sends its congregation out to do service projects all over the city. This team of volunteer journalists from Grace’s congregation told some of the stories from the weekend.

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Comments

  1. Barbara Blackburn said... 

    Reply

    November 5th, 2009 at 10:24 pm  

    I am the mother of a disabled child and I wept reading this. How special. Thanks for sharing this.

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