Jay Haugh

Summer has come and before you know it, it’ll be over. I’ve been blown away by how amazing the weather has been recently. Over the last several weeks, I’ve asked (and have been asked), “Do you have any fun summer plans? What fun things are you and the family doing?” I’ve noticed it’s really easy to do fun things with friends and family over the summer. In fact, I encourage you to look “in” and pursue those closest to you. Go hiking, swimming, golfing, grilling, camping, etc. with your friends and family. But don’t miss an opportunity to look “out.”

I was so encouraged by one of our Kent small groups this month. One couple from this small group invited several friends and family members to their lake home over the 4th of July to watch the best firework show I’ve ever seen. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve seen incredible fireworks show (e.g. Disney), but I’ve seen nothing like this. They were incredible hosts and it was a blast to spend time with people we know and love. However, what really impressed me was how a couple weeks later, the same individuals who were at the fireworks party, gathered together again to paint the home of the neighbor next door who doesn’t go to our church (or any church for that matter). This neighborhood couple has experienced a lot of health problems over the past couple years and have been unable to keep up with their place.

One of our small groups saw their need and they rallied and gathered together to meet that need. They restored worn and dilapidated siding and painted the entire home. Hear how this impacted the wife of this couple:

“When Bob was diagnosed [with dementia] four years ago, our world was turned upside down and all projects came to a halt. We thought we would just have to accept things as they were—half done and looking terrible. Thanks to the generosity of all of you who donated funds and labor, our run-down shack has been transformed into a beautiful home. We now have a place to be proud of instead of ashamed. There aren’t enough words to express our immense gratitude. We are overwhelmed to receive such a fabulous, life-changing gift. You have restored our faith in humanity and lifted our spirits.”

I’m so proud of this small group. It’s a group that loves and cares for not just their own small group members, but they look “out” for those around them as well. They are being salt and light to a broken and dying world around them. I echo what Jesus will say in the days ahead, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”