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Saturday Sports is changing lives…

October.7.2009

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Have you ever volunteered at a ministry event and wondered, “Is this really making a difference?  Does what I’m doing even matter to this person?”  Honestly, sometimes I have felt like that.  I have been serving in the Target Neighborhood Ministry for almost 3 years now, and have spent many hours playing sports and crafts with the kids at Saturday Sports, handing out flyers in the neighborhood, and helping at other community events.  Sometimes I wonder what the people in the neighborhood are really thinking about our presence there.  Does it really matter, do they remember The Well and what we have been doing out there, but most importantly, do they feel God’s love through us?

Last Saturday at Saturday Sports I got an answer to that question.  A woman named Raquel “Rockie” brought her three kids out to Saturday Sports for the first time.  She was asking me questions about the program, and if it was ok to leave her younger son there.  I assured her he would be fine, and that we would take good care of him.

She told me that she had lived in the neighborhood, but had to move away when her brother passed away a few months ago.  We talked about that for a while and how hard that transition has been for her.  Then she said, “You know you guys came to wash my car a couple of years ago when I was living there.”  It was then that I realized I had met her before.  I said, “Wait, was it a little blue car and did you live in the house around the corner?”  She told me that was her, and I was so excited and yelled, “I washed your car!”

Two years ago I had been on a team with some other girls at the first Serve Day that went door to door washing people’s cars.  I remember feeling kind of discouraged that day because only two people of all the houses we went to let us wash their cars.  I was thinking, why couldn’t I be doing something more meaningful than walking around the neighborhood lugging this heavy hose, just to wash two cars?  If only I could take a step back sometimes to see what God can see.  He knows the seeds that are being planted and can see the harvest to come.  We just have to trust in His perfect plan and pray that He will use us where we can best serve Him.

Rockie went on to tell me that she had recently been to Neighborhood Thrift and bought some of the cards they sell.  Carol Young had this great idea to have the kids at Saturday Sports paint and draw pictures that she later prints into cards that are sold at Neighborhood Thrift.  Those are the cards that Rockie bought.  Now Rockie’s daughter Cecelia was at Saturday Sports painting pictures that would be turned into greeting cards and sold at the Thrift Store.

It was just so amazing to see the connections that God made through 3 different aspects of the Target Neighborhood Ministry; Neighborhood Thrift, Serve Day, and now Saturday Sports.  If you don’t think God is changing lives down there, come and see for yourself.  Recently we have had over 100 kids come out to Saturday Sports.  What stories are going to be told about each of them in the years to come?  I pray that they will be stories about life change, and a neighborhood that is on fire for Christ.  Allow yourself to be used by God; even in the little things that may seem trivial at the time… I dare you!

– Stephanie Anthony (Target Neighborhood Leader for Susan B. Anthony)

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