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Scattering Together to Serve as a Community

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“...the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few,” Matthew 9:37 (NIV).

This verse is one of the most memorable in the Bible for me, but what does it mean to you? Recently, our newly formed White Oak community got a chance to live out this verse by performing a simple act of kindness to a community in need in our very first scatter time.

Our community is a small, diverse group of young people: Kenzie Conway, Danielle VanHorn, Jaelin Ballard, Mark and Laramie Pence, and ourselves, Ken and Melissa Melton, along with our two daughters, Joelle and Vivian. 

We multiplied from the Four Corners South group in June. Since then we have worked through The Well’s Primer documents, and during this process of building our foundation, we recognized that we all have a great sense of service. We were meant to serve in our scatter times, but there were no immediate opportunities within White Oak’s boundaries. Still, we decided that serving in some way would allow us to create a deeper community bond. We realized that, while our community is based in White Oak, our mission as Christians extends past this boundary, and we can serve wherever we can – in whatever capacity we can.

We reached out to the Montgomery Housing Partnership and identified a direct need to provide school supplies to a class of 24 lower-income Pre-K students in Wheaton. From the outset, this task was easier said than done. We had a shorter time frame than expected, and being a new community, we needed a grant from The Well to help fund this. But we wanted and needed to do this.

As the day approached, we bought supplies and packed the bags. Our kids even helped! But more than simply giving them supplies, we wanted to show them neighborly, Godly love. We added in a gift bag (with Christian stickers and stamps, and bubbles), personalized name tags, fliers for the upcoming Summer Games, and cards made by kids from The Well Elementary group and Kenzie’s day camp class.
           
Later in the week, Mark delivered the backpacks to the school. At first, he was greeted with skepticism and mistrust, but when they saw his sincerity and the gifts, a wall fell down. Tears of gratitude and disbelief filled the eyes of the teachers there. God was moving.

A few days later, the Meltons, along with Melissa’s mom, showed up to present the bags. In a weird twist of fate, the center had made a name mix up. One class received the cards and name tags, and another class received backpacks. Our steadfast, loving God found a way to take our work and double the efforts for His glory. We were able to share with the class about God’s love and read a story to them before they received their backpacks. They were overjoyed to receive them!

It doesn’t matter where you are or what situation you are in, we are ALL in the position to bless someone else because our God has blessed us. We want to encourage others at The Well to look beyond the boundaries of their community and find ways to reach those outside of our comfort zones. We could have easily been discouraged about not being able to help our immediate community and missed a chance to bless 48 kids with Christ’s love.

The words written in our great text, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few,” still resonate today. I think it is far past time to put our hands to the plow and help in the great harvest. Don’t you?
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"We are a welcoming family of believers, supporting one another in reaching our co-workers and people in and near White Oak with the truth of the gospel." - White Oak Community Vision Statement.