By B.J. Wells
What does it look like to help your children understand what it means to “follow Jesus, in community, for others?”
One Pathway Home Team, led by Jeremy and Beth Hill, was committed to serving people in Wichita in a way that their children could also be involved. As we begin this new message series on the life of Jesus through the Book of Mark and learn how Jesus brings the possible to impossible situations, this team has brought hope to the hopeless as they’ve taken their kids to the streets.
At Easter time one year ago, the group met together and assembled “jelly bean bags” to show the story of Jesus through the different jelly bean colors. For example, red represents Jesus’ blood that was shed for our sins and white is for the cleansing power of forgiveness that God gave. Making it their goal to strongly involve their children in reaching out to help others, they had them lead this project. Once the bags were assembled, parents and kids traveled downtown to distribute them to the homeless and share the Easter Promise. Another project led by the children included writing scripture on fabric patches and sewing them to blankets. On future downtown visits, the families handed out these blankets as well as flashlights, tarps, and various hygiene products. All of the people they were blessed to meet were very appreciative and grateful. It was amazing to see how adults in need responded and interacted with children.
Most recently, the Home Team visited Liberty Way, a local sober living community, to visit with residents and continue to share the love of Jesus. Their kids again assembled and delivered “jelly bean bags,” sharing the Easter story with the residents there. They hope to continue to serve Liberty Way by providing landscaping to their main entrance and praying for their residents. As they continue to develop a relationship with the people in this community, they’re not just offering a “hand out” but a “hand up.” One of the great blessings of being in a Home Team, is that when you experiment with a way to serve others, you’re not trying to do it by yourself. You have a group, a team, that is working with you. That can make all the difference.
The families of the Hill Home Team live life together and continually grow closer. In addition to their mission work in the community, they love to have fun! Recently, they had a great weekend of camping and hiking at Elk City State Park in Southeast Kansas. The group also took in a Thunder Hockey game and makes a point of celebrating birthdays together! The Hill Home Team looks forward to many more opportunities of experiencing life on the path; following Jesus, in community, for others!