Our neighbor, Uncle Hosea, sits out on his porch. Almost always. This is great for us because we get to talk to him often, and on Saturdays can go there to take a break from walking… and maybe grab a quick nap?  In spending so much time on the porch, I’ve heard a fair number of stories from Uncle.  One issue he has talked about was the empty lot next his house that was overgrown – and the city hadn’t come to clear it.

One of the Mission Year values is service, so on the last weekend of May, our team participated in Green My Hood – a tangible way to serve out neighborhood.  With the help of a local tool bank, we gathered supplies to go and clear the lot.  The day was hot, but went to work – cutting a fallen tree, trimming vines, cleaning sticks & trash and mowing the lot.  Sporadically, we would take breaks with Uncle up on his porch.  At the end of the afternoon, we were able to to enjoy the view from the porch as we shared a spaghetti dinner with Uncle.


This was one day where service was at the front of my mind, but as I reflected, many other instances came to mind:

  • Tommy and I helping Mr. CIA with the community garden and other lawn projects.
  • Getting to walk with neighbors to their bus stops.
  • Sitting and sharing stories and time on Ms. Helen’s porch.
  • The additional tutoring for STAAR testing that Kelly, Maggie & I helped with at RYSS.
  • Neighbors and co-workers providing food/meals for us – individually and as a team

As I’ve thought about it, there have been so many ways that service has surrounded this year. And I suppose that makes sense, especially considering the words in Matthew:

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


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