November 17, 2008

My Weekend in St. Louis

I spent the weekend in St. Louis (Fairview Heights) with my friend Jared (Jordan, Jerry, Jake, David) leading worship for the youth of Winstanley Baptist Church. Compared to what the youth did, my part in the weekend seemed quite irrelevant and unimportant.

On Saturday, the youth changed the world through various projects around the city. A couple of groups painted fingernails at the nursing home. One lady asked if I was getting my nails painted, so I had my pinky painted blue.

A couple of other groups did yard work for some of the members of the church—raking, bagging leaves, trimming hedges. One of the youth accidentally cut through the extension cord, sending sparks everywhere! It was quite a show.

The other groups helped the Problem Properties Unit of St. Louis. One cleaned up a front yard, tearing down trees, installing gutter-guards, cutting down honeysuckle, filling up a large dumpster in the process. When they were finished, you could see a house where one couldn’t be seen from the street before. The other two groups helped clean and sort and throw away things in houses where the owners struggled with hoarding.

Jared and I led worship services on Friday and Saturday nights, and played in the Sunday morning service as well. Each night, we traveled to the houses where the youth stayed, visiting, laughing, taking pictures, eating tacos and chili dogs and cookies and being dared to drink some green plant gunk.

When Sunday afternoon came, it was time to head home. Numerous adults approached me and thanked me so much for my part of the weekend. Mel, the phenomenal construction genius who helped replace the siding on my house, said that he was grateful for all we’d done. This man opened his house to half a dozen youth, fed them, led them in a construction project, said I could borrow his Miata, and then told me that he was so thankful I could be there.

All I did was play guitar and sing.

God’s economy is so different than mine. Somehow, in God’s economy, an average guitarist and singer can change the world too. What an amazing God!


Jennifer H said...

Sounds like a great weekend! I'm about halfway through your book -- enjoying and being challenged =0)

Matt Paul said...

So, should I set up a separate blog for Stuart and Josh stories? Anyway, great weekend, and thanks so much for being a part of it. Your outlook on life, ministry, and God is what I want my youth to see, hear, and experience...