Recently, our team participated in Practicum—a week of service projects and community investment that will, hopefully, give us an insight into what outreach could look like. Team Phoenix departed for the Fort Wayne, IN area with the mission to help an after-school program supported by five area churches.

Two of the week’s biggest challenges, from my perspective, were fatigue and battling the idea that what we were doing could make a difference. Our week was very busy. We completed several service projects, including power-washing a deck and the front of the building, washing the school bus, general building maintenance, and building relationships with the staff, interns, and community. All of these activities played a role in how tired we were throughout the week.

After returning from practicum, I started thinking about our impact. Did we make a lasting impact? Will people remember us being there with them? I found these questions, among others, popping into my thoughts. As I wrote this, Colossians 3:23-24 came to mind: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (ESV).

Helping others is not about our glory; everything we do as followers of Christ is to bring him glory. Sometimes we can spread God’s glory by what we do, but it’s often through relationships because our God is a relational God.

Then I thought about our goodbyes and how sincere they were. Based on the responses from the people we met, I realized what the Holy Spirit was doing throughout our week of outreach. One outreach coordinator had lost her mother and expressed how touched she was that we were there. The other outreach coordinator was blessed to have us there to know him and help him with his maintenance responsibilities. The kids had an undeniable excitement for us to fellowship with them. Their enjoyment of our presence especially showed on our last night, when they stayed 30 minutes after the program finished just to hang out with us.

“I think I can speak for the team in saying that we are all even more excited to engage with ministries in Phoenix!”

I can say without a doubt that the team and I were blessed to partake in God’s plan for last week. I saw Jesus’ light shining through us and touching the lives of those around us…and the best part? It wasn’t about us at all! I sincerely believe that any team who was seeking God’s will would have made a similar impact.

How are we feeling after a week of outreach? I think that I can speak for the team in saying that we are all even more excited to engage with ministries in Phoenix! Please be praying that Team Phoenix will be able to stay present and engaged in our local outreach, seminars, and daily activities at the RIC. Thank you for continued prayer for team unity—we continue to be blessed as we grow together.

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