October 31, 2020, a day to remember! Instead of celebrating that which is dark, this was a day to celebrate what is right in our world! This was the day that Impact Cares came to Mobile Manor Estates in Wichita Kansas to encourage, bless, bring smiles, invest in and overall have a great day pouring into this community of great people.
Wichita is, by nature, a diverse city. Founded 156 years ago in 1864, this town saw its beginnings with cattle drives, then came airline factories, then oil, moving on to the local Air Force base, the springing up of several universities and now includes a symphony, a ballet company, a zoo, art museum and even a historic ‘Cowtown’! Mobile Manor Estates is nestled in the midst of this vibrant city and by itself, adds its own flavor and diversity to the greater city.
Consider the fact that on this day, October 31, there were over 30 volunteers, including Impact Communities staff, some residents, a few local people and some who came from as far away as Oshkosh, WI, Tulsa, OK and New Mexico! But isn’t that what it takes to make a place great, to see transformation happen, to discover the hidden gems in people? That is exactly what happened on that day. Let me share a few stories.
“It was like Christmas and my birthday all wrapped into one!” So said one resident, now in her 80’s who has lived in this area for the past 66 years. A lady who loves to help, who loves to pour into others was able to have that blessing brought back to her as volunteers came and completed several improvements to her home. Here’s a lady who grew up during the blitzkrieg in England, thankfully saw several ‘dud’ bombs dropped close to her home which didn’t explode. Losing her mother early in life, she became close to her father and learned to do a lot of things most women her age haven’t even thought of doing. She’s laid tile, mortared bricks, and framed houses, put roofs on. Her thoughts about the day could be summed up by her words, “I thought people like you didn’t exist anymore and you have brought joy back into my life.” That’s what Impact Cares is all about, blessing people and bringing joy back into their lives!
From there let’s turn to the younger crowd and it was a bit of a rough crowd to start with. At the beginning of our time there, they were a bit on the unruly side and a bit of a challenge. Once Camp Impact started, while it took a few days, the kids began to soften and in the end, became a huge help to everyone. Interestingly, it seems that the kids were a microcosm of our culture, desiring things they didn’t even know they needed, supervision, some ground rules and just to be shown that somebody gives a hoot about them. The week ended with them helping, desiring to jump in and being willing to look after one another. One girl, home schooled, spends part of her days looking after some of the residents she seems to have ‘adopted’ as grandmas, aunts, friends and even little sisters.
One team member had the opportunity to be a part of a conversation where a volunteer shared the gospel with a resident who was struggling. He listened intently and it felt like we were standing on ‘holy ground’.
Let me close with the words of one of the Impact Cares team members. She noted, “It seems that people are hungering for something more in life and they love to learn about Christ. I think as the world gets crazier people are searching more for the truth.” May I suggest she’s not referring to any ole’ ‘truth’ but to the One who said, ‘I am the Truth’ (John 14:6).