A few years ago, my family, friends and I started a foundation called the Myles Singleton Foundation (MSF) so we can give back. One of the reasons why New Mercies is my church home is because they also believe in giving back to the community. I didn’t have a church leader or congregation like Pastor Curney and New Mercies growing up. So I wanted my sons to grow up going to a church that cares and makes a difference. I first came in contact with Partners Against Domestic Violence (PADV) through New Mercies. The Outreach Ministry asked for volunteers to visit the shelter. All we did was clean up and organize closets, but the women were very grateful. I noticed they needed some things so MSF became involved. As a result, they asked if I would like to become a member of their Holiday Committee. Last year MSF partnered with New Mercies to host Thanksgiving events for them.
At one location, MSF cooked while part of the Men’s choir sang. They enjoyed it so much that they started requesting songs. The men were excited and sang for a long time. By the time they were done, they were sweating! At another event New Mercies performed a skit. It was so good you could hear the laughter down the hall and in the offices. Later, the children (and I) were mesmerized by a magic trick while the food (cooked by a professional chef provided by New Mercies) finished. At both locations, MSF helped create “What I’m Thankful for Turkeys”. The turkeys are made out of construction paper and you write what you are thankful for on each of the feathers. We were surprised at how many of the women participated. Some of them even drew hair, jewelry and moles on theirs! I noticed that pretty much all of the ladies wrote God, family and PADV on their turkeys.
As the women thanked us for what we’d done, I kept thinking that we really didn’t do much. In fact, I felt I benefited more than they did. I was having a hard time putting into words what I had witnessed and experienced. I thought about how happy, confident and strong the women were at the end of the events compared to how quiet and reserved they were in the beginning. I realized our presence there was a message from God to the women; He loves them and will never leave them. God used us to affirm to the women that they made the right choice by coming to PADV!
Finally it hit me. What I was experiencing was being Christ like. People often think being Christ like only means to never mess up or turning the other check when someone has hurt you. It also means loving others unconditionally with no strings attached, no ulterior motives or hidden agendas. The only reward is that you helped someone take a step further to a real personal relationship with God. The wheels started turning faster in my mind. If I was being Christ like, so was everyone else that helped at the events. So what happens when everyone is being Christ like??? You form the body of Christ! The same scenario happened at the comedy show. Griff, the comedians and everyone who attended formed the body of Christ!!!
It is through events like these and volunteering that we will continue to move as the body of Christ.