It’s truly remarkable when I read the books of the Gospel, particularly because I believe it illuminates fascinating insight as to whom Jesus’ ministry was targeting; similarly like that of Peter whom Jesus trusted to care for his sheep (Jn 21:1-19), as a disciple of Jesus, I too have a part in God’s on-going ministry.
I realize Jesus’ ministry has common theme in which he chose to engage himself in, it included but not limited to, ministering to the poor, the sickly, the outcasts, orphans, to those who had slim to nothing at all and I cannot forget the fact that Jesus came to meet their severely broken spiritual need.
Now, where am I going with this you might ask? Well, Jesus has quite the interesting approach, it seems initially he wasn’t so quick to talk about the kingdom of God, that at first he addressed practical needs of those he came in contact with and even people who traveled from afar just to see him. And it was almost after the fact that when Jesus provided their practical needs that people began to wonder about who he was, what power did he do the miracles in, why at all was he acting counter-intuitive of what the Jewish community expected of him to be Messiah; yet when we read his historical narrative, scripture says that the thousands of people were amazed and became genuinely repentant to God because Jesus’ response to their curious/seeking hearts.
Jesus was definitely making waves of positive change within almost every community he was in. SOLFUL, aka Summer of Love in Fullerton is like that of Jesus ministry and tactic. It seeks to serve the practical needs of parents and their children and also address why do what we do- because of our love and commitment to the Faith. For the past two years, I had the wonderful experience be part of something greater than myself at SOLFUL.
There were many opportune times where I found myself connecting with the children, simply talking about- how their weekend was, how they felt that day, what they ate for breakfast, what they like to do, playing sports together, learning together, being silly, and eating lunch with them. My favorite part I relished was my group of sleepy little 2nd graders. Since the day started 8am, I would make it my goal to figure out a way to make them laugh and wake their little souls up. Entertaining them was so enjoyable for me. I am a firm believer that if positive and constructive change is to happen it starts with the family. I love children. Their innocence, playfulness, candidness and their apparent desire to enjoy life is endearing to me.
SOLFUL is a very real and tangible approach to be an influence for Christ in the community. Although, this event is not strictly traditional evangelism about the Salvation of Jesus Christ, there were moments with the children in their natural settings when I did talk about my personal relationship with God. And it’s in those times I feel the Holy Spirit watering the seeds our volunteers were planting in each child we got a chance to share our love for God in both our acts of service and during explicit conversations.
One lesson I learned from my experience at SOLFUL is the longing in children for someone they can cherish as role models. Children cling to those who show them a way about living joyfully, compassionate and that they stay near to those who are faithful to believe & support them; but more importantly these are indicators which made it clear to me the need for a savior is more apparent within the lives of children than it is with adults. What a humbling experience it was volunteering at SOLFUL.