In a world where benevolence is often typified by the magnitude, doing small things for others might seem trivial. But Jesus compared sharing the gospel to sowing seeds. A seed may seem quite insignificant. Praying for someone or listening to someone else’s despair or gifting a bible to someone might seem to have no significance in this crazy busy world.
However, it is quite revolutionary when we actually pause to take note of what Jesus had to say. Most of our Christian life is about sowing seeds. Most of us are not wealthy enough to adopt a small town or donate $10,000 to our church.
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Mark 12.41-44
And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42
As Jesus pointed out in these verses, the amount or the value of a cup of water does not matter as much as the sincerity of the heart that is pouring into God’s kingdom.
God gave the youth of our church an opportunity to do some little things for the homeless people in Houston downtown. God spoke to my heart, to choose Bibin Daniel, Nisha Thomas, Steve Mathew & Danny Mathew to organize the homeless outreach. Interestingly, they were not like close buddies and didn’t have any prior experience organizing such events. But it is beautiful when God puts together people for great purposes, isn’t it?
After weeks of discussions and planning, the date for the outreach evening was set as March 3rd, Thursday 7 pm. The event was organized in collaboration with the 1000 Hills ministry. The team ably led by Bibin Daniel was very committed in ensuring that the event would create a chance for the people of the church to go out and have some quality fellowship with the homeless in downtown. In order to effectively cater to the needs of the people, announcements were made in the church for people to register as volunteers, donate clothes and food for the night of the event. It was very encouraging to see the subsequent response from everyone, especially the youth who were pumped about the opportunity to go out and help the less fortunate.
With the financial support received, we were able to buy around 150 bibles. Additionally, large amounts of clothes were collected and it took some amount of effort to pack all of them. Jolly Daniel and Jaison Pazhoor showed us their organizational skills, as they sorted and folded all the clothing (Wanna arrange your wardrobe? Give Jaison a call :)).
On the day of the event, everyone gathered at the church around 6 pm. After a small prayer, the entire team of volunteers and uncles started off from church and met at the open field in downtown for the event.
After we arrived, we helped the 1000 Hills ministry team to put together the chairs and sound systems. Before the meeting began, the homeless people queued up in front of the tables where we had stacked up the clothes. Our team of young volunteers started giving out the clothes to everyone from small child to the adult folks. It was a unique experience for them since it reminded us how blessed we are to have plethora of clothes wherein there are people in our own city who barely had two pairs of pants. A table was also set up to distribute the NIV outreach bibles.
The meeting started at around 7:30 pm with a prayer by Pastor Rufus Mathews. Around 30 – 40 homeless people had gathered by that time. Jestin Chacko and Hannah Mathew led the praise and worship with beautiful songs. Brother Binoy Kurien shared the message speaking about the love of God through the story of Hosea. After the altar call, the meeting ended with prayers and offerings. A couple of girls from the church namely, Michelle Mathew and Ashley Mathew got the opportunity to meet an orphan girl and was going through hopeless situation. Michelle Mathew prayed over that girl’s deliverance and encouraged her to be strong and trust in the Lord.
It was time to serve the food we brought for the people. It was surely a delightful sight to see the homeless queueing up in front of the tables to collect food and drinks. We are thankful to all who contributed especially Jolly Daniel who baked a lot of cakes. Uncles and young folks lined up and served the food generously to all the homeless people. It was great to see young kids serving drinks to the homeless people. I personally enjoyed seeing the camaraderie between the homeless children and the youth of the church. They were sharing jokes and having a fun time together. It was a beautiful night that ended in everyone holding hands and praying together.
Looking back, I ask myself, did we make any real change? Yes, our church folks got a great opportunity to go out and serve the poor and needy of the city. But what did we really do? Did we do anything great? No, we just did something small. We sowed few seeds. We showed glimpses of God’s perfect love. Years down the lane, someone might come to know God through the Bibles that we gifted, or perhaps one of us had an epiphany of how much God has blessed us. Yes, we might forget that night in a few months or couple of years, but surely Jesus has begun his work through those seeds.
“Nothing is small to God when it’s done in service to him.” – Caleb Breakey
- Chris Mathews