October 23, 2007

Miracle Day, pt. 2

Miracle Day is a one-day event that has been compared to an Amish barn-raising, or a Habitat for Humanity build. It involves getting huge numbers of people to commit to one day of volunteering at a church that, due to its size, age, or lack of resources, is in need of some major refurbishment or repairs. This was the second time the Christian Church in Northern California had a Miracle Day event. Two years ago, 150 people came to Fairview Community Christian Church (the church I currently pastor) to do some major repairs.

This time, Miracle Day took place at four other northern California congregations. Because several hard-working individuals from Sparks gave so much to the Fairview Community Miracle Day two years ago, my wife and I decided that we really wanted to go to Sparks for their Miracle Day.

We woke up and stopped for a quick breakfast on our way to the church. Ethan (age 10) wasn't happy. "I'm going to be bored! Why did you make me come!" He was upset, and it seemed like the day was going to be a long one.

We arrived at the church at 7:30. At 8:00, we gathered with everyone else in the sanctuary for a brief opening worship, followed by some safety instructions and job assignments. Then it was off to work. I ended up in the basement, drilling screws into countless ceiling tiles to keep them from sagging and falling; then I joined with others in repainting the entire room. Ginger was outside, working on landscaping.

Ethan and Tristan also found jobs to do. Amazingly, Ethan found that work can be fun. He had a smile on his face as he carted loads of rubbish to the dumpster, and as he and Tristan helped paint the basement downstairs. That he could find so much satisfaction in a day's work was one of the miracles of Miracle Day.

By 4:00, the church was transformed. So, too, were the hearts of those who participated. We had a brief closing worship/celebration, during which we heard reports from the 3 other Miracle Day sites. A total of nearly 450 people had spent their Saturday helping to refurbish several small and/or needy congregations in northern California. We then headed for home, a little sore, yet satisfied.

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