Our mission today: love unconditionally, love consistently. We started at a local school that Verve partners with that primarily serves children and families with many needs beyond basic education. The administrators, teachers, and staff have the tough job of fulfilling all of these needs, which can be exhausting. So we wanted to love on them, encourage them, and help them continue to be a light for the children and families they serve. We decorated the teachers lounge with fun candy, caramel apples, cookies, and build your own fall trail mix. We also wrote personal notes to all 87 staff members at the school.
The reaction they had was priceless. There were three stories that stood out.
1) The teacher that said, “people like this, and things like this, make me almost want to go back to church.”
2) The teacher that told one of our team members that she felt like God sent her, asked her to pray with her, and told our team member “I’ve been looking like for a church like Verve”.
What confirmation for our team, that we were right where we needed to be and that we were loving unconditionally and loving consistently, so the teachers can be encouraged to continue having an impact and being a light to the children they teach.
I’m sure every person today can look back and say they were impacted in one way by a teacher when they were in school. I know I carry a part of the impact my teachers gave to me today.
The second part of the day was spent cleaning the Verve church top to bottom and setting up for service. It was a lot of work and everyone did their part. Serving the team at Verve gives them a break and helps them to be refreshed so they can continue serving the Verve family.
After an extraordinary clean church we headed to dinner provided by a Verve member family; In their home. Such a caring and giving family, to have opened their home to serve us. Their story of listening to God guide them in their walk is a true testimony.
After dinner a few of us headed back out to the strip to pass out more invite cards and Aaron was offered anything drugs he wanted. Aaron handed him a invite card they talked for 3 min or so, and Aaron prayed for his mom who was just diagnosed with cancer and I could see a transformation happen in the guys eyes. One of gratitude like no one has ever done that for him before. It’s that caring act of nature that will leave a impact. This is by far the perfect place to step out of your comfort zone, although there is a tension we must accept between grace and truth. It’s hard to accept the tension that is there but we must learn to deal with it and show infinite grace while sharing truth. For me it’s fear that keeps me from sharing the word. Not knowing how someone will respond. Scared they will question me or I wouldn’t know what to say. But Jenny telling me that it’s ok to not know what to say, to just be yourself encourages me to continue to step out on faith. I am continually reminded that you don’t need to be extraordinary to do the ordinary every day things by showing love and grace to everyone around you.
Our strategy has been to love unconditionally and consistently, but others sharing Gods message on the strip are quite different. One example we saw was people preaching about God in the street with big signs and loud speakers telling them to repent for their sins now or forever be banned to hell. I believe that is the wrong way to share God’s word because of the lack of love being shared, causing people to build up a wall to God’s love.
We have found our approach of planting seeds by handing invite cards out to the locals and showing Guerilla love to schools and local businesses lends to people being warm, open and grateful; many saying thank you with a smile. And its that love and seed planting that will grow so much quicker than any loud speaker ever could.
Being in Las Vegas on the strip you see some things. It is hard not to judge, question or wonder why people choose to do the things they do. But you can’t judge, you never know what they are going through and why they are doing what they are doing. Each and every person has a story and feels lost at times. Sometimes so lost that they never could ever believe God could love them. I feel that is the mission of Verve, to help those who are lost feel welcomed and to share with them that no matter what sin God will still love them and has always loved them.