‘What Are You Doing for Others?’

In 2018, Grace Klein Community hosted 36 serve teams that provided invaluable support and volunteer work force to our day-to-day operations. Without 100 volunteers EVERY week, GKC cannot operate effectively.

As we enter 2019, we are trusting for 52 serve teams, to average one a week, to keep us energized and operating smoothly. For January 2019, we are off to an excellent start with 5 incredible groups of people, 7 serve sites, and over 160 people represented. Consider something incredible – these numbers do not include the 59 volunteers who retrieve rescued food every day of the week, the teams who host Sunday Trade Market, or the individuals who SHOW UP throughout the week to lend a hand. We are an army for Jesus!

Out the gate, a surprise serve team formed on January 12th when community members came together to serve at Community House #2. No one really coordinated this serve day, but it organically happened when friends began walking in the door and jumping in to serve. Donations were sorted, pallets broken, shoe molding stained, trim and shutters painted and a volunteer even showed up with a pot of taco soup.

Without one another, we cannot accomplish the vision God has planned for our 2019 year. The work can appear daunting until we watch who shows up!

Through the Disciple Now movement, we will meet many new students in 2019. Our inaugural group were 9th and 10th grade girls from Shades Crest Baptist Church on January 19, 2019. They arrived bright and early, grinning ear to ear and ready for whatever serve day challenge we set before them. On this particular day we received a massive truckload of sheets and pillowcases from a hotel donation that were in desperate need of sorting. These girls dove right in to separate the sizes, flat sheets from fitted ones, and the pillowcases. Once they were sorted into piles, they were folded, grouped into complete sets and taped together to be given away at our monthly food box delivery. In addition, to this tremendous job of over 100 complete sheet sets, these girls helped unload a truck of lettuce, swept and cleaned the downstairs, rearranged and folded all the clothing bins in our Give and Take Room and even took the time to hand decorate food boxes with personal messages of love and faith! If that wasn’t a jam packed day, we ended our time together with a short devotion and a prayer for all. Much gratitude to all the girls, Bible teachers and moms who provided a terrific Saturday serve at GKC.

Due to freezing temperatures, we last minute relocated our next team, the Helena Belles, from Community House #2 to our office on January 21st. The flexibility and willingness of these girls to serve on Martin Luther King Day, on their day off from school, inspired all of us.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is… ‘What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King, Jr

The Helena Belles spent their day sorting fresh produce, folding clothing, building boxes and washing freezers. They DID for others.

2019 is proving to be a year of exceptional blessings. Not only was this month the one with the most food box recipients to date, but GKC also had a surplus of donations. With last minute blessings of cereal, crackers, meat, chicken pot pies, bleach and paper plates, we were able to extra bless our 314 recipient families. God is so good. He begins our season by letting us know He will always provide for us, and He will never give us a challenge we cannot overcome.

During our preparation for food box delivery, GKC was graced with volunteers from Shades Mountain Baptist–they have been a part of the Grace Klein family for a long time now, and they are always an invaluable resource. On this frosty Friday morning, these sweet friends gave their entire spirit and heart to the cause of serving the families at hand. They conquered tasks such as packing boxes, hauling boxes, rationing donations, and writing thank-you cards.

Much like always, Shades Mountain Baptist closed their time at GKC with a Bible study. Pastor Jonathan led a beautiful lesson cautioning the group on making assumptions about people at face value and how we are all children of the same Lord. Despite the differences in our past, once we make the commitment to live as a child of God, we are accepted and forgiven. Through His power and the help of our community, all things are possible; as proven through the immense success of 2019’s first food box delivery. Without the constant support from our beautiful Shades Mountain Baptist volunteers, Early Seekers from The Church at Brookhills and countless other friends, Grace Klein Community would not be able to have the same impact. Only through the grace of God and faithful volunteers can His love truly shine.

 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. –Ephesians 4:2-6

Immediately after food delivery ended, community volunteers prepared to host over 90 of The Church at Brookhills Collide youth for an afternoon serve day.

…so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. – Romans 12:5

High school for many of us went one of two ways: it was either the time of our lives, or it was a period that we would never dare think of re-living. High school is a time of social development, self-discovery, and self-identification. Many find themselves engaged in bouts of existentialism and internal debates on what it means to be good. But through this struggle and journey, we can gain the ability to see beyond ourselves, and manifest the image of who we want to become. Finally, with this knowledge, we can then share our gifts with the community, and be the light in someone else’s darkness.

The Church at Brookhills Collide students served with GKC this past January, and this remarkable group of young adults automatically lite the entire office with their confidence and positive outlooks on life. The teenagers and their pastors served at multiple locations, providing GKC community house #1, the GKC office, and the up-and-coming community house #2 with tireless effort. In talking with the volunteers, several characteristics became abundantly clear:

1) They love God with their entire hearts

2) Their grace and maturity far exceed their ages

3) There is no “us” and “them”because we are all part of the same mission.

The volunteers from Brookhills Collide donated four hours of their Saturday morning doing a myriad of projects. While some were inside the office, helping to reinforce the non-perishable shelves, restock the newly enforced shelves, clean the office, meticulously sort the Give and Take room, and preserve donations, others worked outside repairing the driveway, breaking down boxes, and cleaning the windows–even the ones on the second story! There was nothing this tenacious troupe did without gleaming positivity.

In any generation, teenage years will undoubtedly be met with mental, social, spiritual, and of course, physical growing pains. However, many may agree that our current society is one that is offering special challenges for young Christians. They are pulled and compressed by a medley of pressures, so when they chose to honor Christ and reach for something greater than the present, it shows a true determination in faith. GKC could not be more grateful and honored with the time and energy of this earnest, good-hearted group.

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Grace Klein Community, 1678 Montgomery Highway. #104, Birmingham, AL 35216

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