This story comes from Yijia who used to attend the North campus (PM)…
2 weeks before moving away, I got the packet with the $1, and didn’t have time to do anything with it. It was brought with all my other packed stuff to Salinas, CA. There, I attended a church called Salinas Valley Community Church, with my family. There’s not a Serve Dei program there, but one day in June I heard about the High School pastor ask for a donations for the High School and college students to do a Mission 2 Mexico (M2M) trip, to build a house in Mexico for a family that needs housing. So the $1 was given to the M2M group to support them, since it was a special mission trip and people were going there to serve God.
Today, the pastor returned from the M2M trip and shared about 2 people’s experiences. It was very touching.
Story #1: One teenager was very unsure of himself and didn’t think God could use him, even though he spoke fluent Spanish. With much encouragement from the youth pastor he finally decided to go on the trip. During that trip, this family bonded well with him. It turned out, on the last day, they told everyone that he looked exactly like one of the family’s 2 adopted sons that got shot and killed while trying to cross the border to the United States recently. He learned that God was able to use him to bring joy to a family that was in grief.
Story #2: One older gentleman was very unsure of himself despite going on the M2M trip multiple times before. He was playing with the kids at an orphanage called Dolores Faith, and one child would play with him, smile, run away, and come back multiple times, but never said anything. It turned out that this child had recently been adopted from a family his parents beat him so much that he went mute due to emotional trauma, and that’s why he didn’t talk. This was an event where the child received love from a grown man instead of pain.
This story comes from Bob Thomason who attends the North Campus in the AM…
Reyna from our life group was notified by her dad that a high school friend had experienced some significant health issues and could use a friend. Reyna and James reached out immediately and found she had endured 11 surgeries since January 1st, resulting in the loss of her leg, hip, and part of her stomach due to an infection. We had been praying for Vivian in our life group for some time.
Once released from the hospital we felt the Lord tugging at our hearts to try and help with some meals and Vivian graciously accepted. She expressed an interest in us hosting our bible study in her home. We were able to do just that and all pitched in for a fabulous dinner for Vivian and her daughter who cares for her daily.
Reyna dusted off her guitar and led us in worship. After a few worship songs, a bible study, and some sweet fellowship we realized God was at work and ministering to Vivian and her family in a great way. We learned Vivian had suffered some significant financial burdens as a result of the lost work due to her disability, we agreed it best to give Vivian and her family some cash to assist with groceries and household needs. We handed her $100 and delivered some meals the next day. She and her family are so grateful. We were also invited to continue our life group bible study in her home. It has been such a great blessing getting to know Vivian and her family and ministering to her during this very difficult transition in her life and we look forward to more fellowship with her in the future. God is so good!
This story comes from Candice and Micah who lead a Life Group and attend the Fig Campus…
Hi! My name is Candice. My husband Micah and I lead a life group through the Fig Garden campus. The people in our group are Emily and Art, Brandon and Kimber, Noelle and Matt, and Casie and Orlando.
For Serve Dei, our life group decided to do a neighborhood BBQ. Unfortunately, we don’t all live in the same neighborhood so we picked one from the group. Micah and I hosted the BBQ. About a week before, we handed out flyers up and down our block. Our neighbor Michelle and her daughter offered to come along, since they knew more of the people we were inviting. Some of our neighbors sounded really excited about the event. Our life group “multiplied” our money by pitching in $10 each to purchase hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, and all the fixings.
We were blessed to have beautiful weather on the day of the BBQ. We had about 35-40 neighbors show up! They each brought a side for the meal and chairs to set up in our driveway. We set up some lawn games for after dinner and I brought out some bubbles for the kids. The neighbors kept thanking us for getting everyone together. I enjoyed getting to know their names and their stories. Afterwards Micah and I made a map of our neighborhood and wrote down all the names we remembered. Now, when I walk down our street, I think of people and can pray for them by name.
My favorite part of this experience was meeting our neighbor Esther, who lives across the street. She is 84 years old and has lived on our street since 1960. When I returned her chip bowls a few days after the BBQ, she invited me inside. We sat and talked for over an hour. She told me how she and her husband met–they were married for 65 years before he passed away. I found out that she is a Christian. I am looking forward to building more relationships in our neighborhood! I’m thankful that we started that process through the neighborhood BBQ.
In a couple weeks, our life group is planning to do a movie night in Casie and Orlando’s neighborhood! More on that later…
This story comes from Ashley Wills who attends the Fig Campus…
For Sei Day some moms bought items for gift bags. Other members passed out the gift bags to moms door to door or at the super market in SE inviting them to the local park for a playdate. I ran a “saturday sports” program at the local park with preschoolers. We had games,craft, snack , and a bible story. The parents and kids loved it so much we will continue meeting at the park each wed. morning. Trolley Creek park, behind Walmart near kings canyon and peach 10am.
This story comes from Heather Cardenas who attends the North in the PM…
When I 1st received my Serve Dei packet I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I have wanted to get more involved and find ways to help others, but always make excuses of not having enough time. So when handed this packet, I was forced to make time. I read through the packet, thought about it, prayed on it and then it came to me…
I’m a runner. I recently entered a lottery for the San Francisco Women’s Nike Marathon, but didn’t get chosen. For several days I was bummed out. Then, after a series of events it all came to me. I decided to join Team in Training which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It’s a for sure in to the marathon, and it’s an opportunity for me to raise money to find cures for blood cancers. I used my $1 as a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and have committed myself to raise another $2999 for the cause. I have reached out to all my family, friends, and old co-workers to get involved as well. At this point, I have raised $135. I look forward to the challenge ahead of raising the rest.
Thank you for making me make time to help others. I know this journey will be so much more amazing than just running another ½ marathon. I believe this will be a life changing experience, and will be just the beginning of me finding ways to be an intentional blessing to others.
This story comes from Craig and Marissa Sanders who attend the North PM…
My daughter and I received our “Serve Dei” packets recently. We attend the Sunday evening service at The Well when we are unable to attend our home church service in the morning. We only have one Sunday service and we work with the youngsters every other Sunday so sometimes we aren’t able to worship and get fed with the rest of the body. Your Sunday evening service is an incredible blessing. We’re so grateful for the privilege to attend. Anyways….we pooled our two dollars, added three more, and gave it to Valley Jail and Prison Ministries. We gave props to The Well and explained to them that it was an outreach from The Well. It was fun. We were blessed to be a small blessing. God is good. We praise Jesus for The Well. Feel free to share this on the “Serve Dei” site if you feel it’s appropriate. We love you all. Take care.
These Serve Dei ideas come from Justin Vartanian who attends the Fig Campus…
Intentional Blessing / ”Stewardship” / Yard Sale or Block Sale?
Consider donating your time (organize a yard sale), talents (communicate with a neighborhood to contribute their stuff), or treasure (donate excess toys, clothing, furniture, and books that we don’t need) to facilitate a neighborhood block sale.
Culturally Engaged / “Adopt a Service Organization” that is already “planted” on mission.
Sell your unwanted stuff and give those dollars to an after school program, Saturday Sports Program (ENP) or much more.
After the sale, unwanted stuff could be picked up by a local organization (Neighborhood Thrift) to reinvest the unwanted resources back into the community.
Inclusive Community / “Be the church in every neighborhood”
Is it awkward to talk to your neighbors? Sometimes….
Is it weird to invite strangers into your home? It can be…
What about inviting a community of like-minded individuals to celebrate a common mission complete? Sounds great!
Have your life group prepare hot dogs and hamburgers for the neighbors who participated in the block sale (use the $80 from Serve Dei packets) and invite them over to your home for a BBQ!