We once again started an early day with breakfast provided by Kay. We headed outside to unload produce for the Fresh Market that would open later that day. We quickly split our group into efficient teams to rapidly move the produce off the truck and into the Fresh Market. We worked alongside members of the church who were volunteers for at the Fresh Market. Each of the volunteers have their own story of “hard living” but worked with humor, smiles, and filled with the Holy Spirit. We had fun unloading thousands of pounds of produce. After we unloaded the truck we formed a line to pass melons into the store to stock shelves. We wrapped up the fresh market and moved into the church for a “mini” worship service prior to the opening of the Free Store.
Worship was about thirty minutes with music, joys and concerns and scripture. It was amazing once again! Our team then moved into the Free Store to serve. Part of the team checked people out and bagged items. Other members of the team restocked racks while at least three out of seven team members walked the floor talking to people and removing hangers. Each person could get items from Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s sections. They had 20 minutes to shop and were very focused. It resulted removing hundreds and hundreds of hangers off the racks! People were friendly but focused on the task. It was a true blessing for the people shopping and they lined up to shop the entire time we served.
We then moved to the Stowe Mission for lunch. This mission is run by the Baptist church and serves a first come until it runs out lunch Monday-Friday. We had plenty of food and ate with the community. After lunch we were taken on a tour of the facility and saw a large dental/optometry ministry they offer. The recently started a ministry for newly pregnant mothers that includes baby supplies and ultrasound. It will bless the community where many don’t get prenatal care. You could feel the commitment and passion of the people that ran the ministries.
After our lunch and tour we moved to the site of the New Fresh Market. C4AP bought a drive through liquor store that closed across from the church. Since the purchase, they haven’t had the people or time to touch the building and grounds. Our team of seven attacked the project with focus and energy we didn’t know we had. (I suspect the Holy Spirit was filling us). Those that could lift moved many large cases to the dumpster while other cleaned junk out of building. Another group removed trees and bushes that had grown into the fence around the property. Within about two hours we completely changed the look and feel of the building. It became a shell that could be rehabbed. C4AP staff and Pastors were very excited because now they can move the project forward and hopefully open the new Fresh Market by Labor Day. Our team was tired but excited by the future of the building and how C4AP will use that property! We felt we were the hands of Jesus building the Kingdom!
We took a short break and moved back to Reeb Center for a community meal. After dinner, we played games, did art and interacted with the kids. It was a spiritually filling, exhausting, rewarding and diverse day! Amen!
We then went back to the church to send off three members of our team. As always the goodbyes are hard after four days of service, but I believe everyone felt blessed. The remaining four team members had one last devotion in the meditation room, before departing very early in the morning. It was a filling and rewarding service trip that expanded everyone’s understanding and desire to walk with others from diverse backgrounds.