By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 10, 2016

Sometimes the sum total of an experience equals more than the sum of its parts. Consider our numbers from this weekend’s church-wide mission project, Hand in Hand.

After church, you were invited to a church-wide mission experience. 90 of you gathered for lunch, learning, and service. We met a veteran employee of the Division of Family and Children Services. Her witness to the needs of vulnerable children and families broke our hearts into 180 pieces.

Together we completed 5 simple projects that address the complex needs of foster children and families. When DFCS removes a child from a home, it takes time to place them. We created 70 activity bags and snack bags for children who wait to enter foster care. We prepared tags for the suitcases we are donating and wrote encouraging notes. We made blankets for the youngest children. Foster families must be ready with very little notice to receive a child. We packed care packages for parents. It was a productive day.

Yet, these small acts of care for some of the most vulnerable in our community had a profound effect upon us as well. As the day went on, it was clear. This is the kind of work we should be doing together. These number, too, were revealing.

15 - 92
Our youngest participate was 15 months old and our oldest was 92. It was powerful to see all of the generations of our church gathered and working together. One church member noted, “I don’t know how long it has been since I have actually talked with someone outside my Sunday school class or the people I sit with on Sunday.” It was great to see our church out of its routine and regular patterns.

The number of youth serving lunch to the entire church. Coincidentally, there were also at least 17 adults who had to ask a teenager to explain how to use a hashtag. #HHBCFosterLove.

The number of men who told war stories while tying pink blankets for toddlers in foster care

Best number might be the one prayer offered as an invocation by our Missions Co-Chair Renee Bennett.

I want the whole Christ for my Savior,
the whole Bible for my book,
the whole Church for my fellowship,
and the whole world for my mission field.

That adds up to the Kingdom of God, people.