Brothers and sisters,
I am excited for us to be participating in Operation Inasmuch this year for two reasons. The first is simply that it is nice to do something that feels like “normal” after the last two years. It feels good to be able to take part in a big mission project together. It feels good to work with each other and pull together toward a common goal. It especially feels good to know that we can reach out to people who are in need — whether it is the healthcare workers over at UNC who need to hear how much we appreciate them, those folks experiencing homelessness who need basic supplies to survive, or the children over at Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital.
The other reason I am excited for us to be doing Operation Inasmuch this year is because of some of the memories I have of participating in it as a youth at my home church. I think I have mentioned this before, but I grew up in Goldsboro and was raised at First Baptist, Goldsboro. My home church is a very missions-minded group, always looking for opportunities to help others. So when we first heard about Operation Inasmuch twenty-some years ago, we jumped at the chance to get out and help people! Each year I was inspired by how many people at First Baptist came out to help other people and I was shocked at how many different ways people had thought of to help! Some of us went and did yard work for homebound Goldsboro residents. Some went and built ramps onto houses for people who used wheelchairs. Some stayed at the church and baked cookies for local first responders and wrote them notes. Others sorted through all kinds of donations made to the church that were going to local shelters. And I am sure there were other things we did that I just did not see!
Typically, whenever we did Operation Inasmuch, I would invite my friends to come and participate as well. There was one year in particular that I remember one of them saying, “This is great! I like how everyone is working at different sites, but you’re all working together to help people! It makes it feel like everyone is a team just trying to help.” At its best, that’s what Operation Inasmuch pushes us to do. It pushes us to work together, even if we are separated, in order to accomplish a common goal — helping others. Christ tells us that we are to help our neighbors, to love them as we love ourselves. Operation Inasmuch is such a wonderful expression of that belief. It is a week in which we put actions behind our words.
So, to everyone that is participating in any way, shape, or form, thank you! If you would like to get involved, the most pressing needs we have right now are for new packs of socks and under-wear of all sizes. These will be delivered to Urban Ministries. We will be collecting those through-out the next week, from March 27 through April 3. If you would like to make a blanket for the children over at Lenox Baker, please be sure to contact Barbara Sanders for a kit to get started! And to those of you that have volunteered to bake cookies or write cards for the healthcare workers at UNC, remember that those are due to the church this Sunday, March 27. Again, regardless of how you want to get involved, thank you! This is a wonderful way for all of us to use our time and our talents to provide a blessing to our neighbors here in Durham!
Grace and peace,