Suburban, Vermillion, SD, July 10, 2021
This was a wet one! On project day, the deluge came and yet, in spite of the rain, we accomplished much. Knowing the weather was not going to cooperate, we were able to get several homes painted before project day which was a huge bonus.
This was also a great project as we had our entire team together! Jan came from Michigan, Marian from Pennsylvania, Dale and Amy from Iowa, David and Cindy from Kansas, Dee from Tennessee and Tory from Colorado! So not only was this a great project, it also doubled as a time for some great team building as we worked together in person.
David, a new team member was tasked with cleaning up a yard that was well, let’s just say was less than desirable! It was full of trash, garbage soaked and smelly! Yet, in the midst, he was able to have a fruitful conversation with a neighbor encouraging him to go visit a friend he’d been at odds with for some time. The two friends made amends and became a great help during our time there. It is amazing what God can use even smelly garbage to help heal relationships! Who would have thought it possible?
This community is full of great people who help each other. One resident serves as the impromptu ‘father’ figure for a couple of young toddlers whose fathers are not in the homes right now. Another resident who lost her husband awhile back due to burns from a fire in which she also suffered burns, who is in her later 70’s, is still working to pay off her medical bills because, ‘It’s the right thing to do.” When you hear stories like these you know that even in the midst of our tumultuous times, there is hope for our country!
The Impact Cares team had many opportunities to pour into the lives of those who live here. One resident who ‘used to go to church,’ who said he is now an atheist, was willing to attend church on Sunday morning and has been asking some great questions ever since. Another young resident, trying to grow up fast who is in her late teens was able to be poured into by several team members, giving some needed encouragement and guidance. It seems every place the Impact Cares team goes is ‘for such a time as this.’
What is a great way to get a conversation started with a stranger? Just start asking questions! Ask them what they do for work, how they like the community, do they have many friends here and the conversation takes off! In doing so, one team member was able to engage several residents who it appeared, desperately needed someone to talk to. These were some residents with some deep struggles, very few if any friends and with some great challenges in life. Again we see that perhaps one of the greatest ‘impacts’ that Impact Cares has on a community is not so much the actual physical work that is accomplished, although that is wonderful and greatly appreciated but rather the personal impact we are able to have on those with whom we come into contact. Just spending a few intentional moments with someone can have an effect far beyond what we may be able to see or know. We were all made for community and in both great and small ways, the ‘community’ was impacted, both the Suburban MHP community and the Impact Cares one!
Russ Oom on behalf of Impact Cares.