One of things we have wanted to do, both as a family and church body, is seek ways that we can say to our local community “we love you” through acts of service. We want our children to understand the value of unconditionally serving others, just as Jesus gave all for us, no strings attached. Japan is sort of tricky in that there are not as many obvious ways to serve as there are in the US, so we decided to get a little creative.
We have neighbors down the street that will be moving in another month. We know how difficult moving is, especially trying to balance work, relationships, packing, saying good-byes, and not wanting to check-out too soon yet still wanting to look forward to the future. Over the past few weeks, I noticed that their yard was growing into something quite interesting. I talked with Wendi, and we thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we offered to do some gardening so that they have one less thing to worry about in getting ready for their move?” We agreed that it would be a good idea, so we called the neighbors and asked if we could. They were more than happy to receive some help. We told them that if they have things going on that they didn’t even need to be there, but they had some time and joined with us.
In 2.5 hours we were able to trim hedges, cut grass, pull weeds, and set them up for not having to do too much more before they move. The kids were troopers and worked hard. In the end, they were all tired, but they all said how glad they were to be able to go and help. We had a great time talking and spending time with our neighbors, too. Very cool Sunday morning!
Here is a picture with the kids, our ministry partner Mary, me and our neighbors.