Sisterhood of the Traveling Books (Episode 13)

Unpacking canned goods at Hope of Lancaster.

Unpacking canned goods at Hope of Lancaster.

It is the best of weeks; it is the busiest of weeks. For one week each year, my church participates in something called The Way. I believe this is the eleventh or twelfth year of this layman-led week of service to our community. When my younger daughter was in the eighth grade, our youth made a mission trip to Charleston to help elderly residents of a neighborhood there with lawn mowing, landscaping, and home repairs. 2014-07-21 19.32.43They came back saying it was wonderful to go to other places and minister, but we should do that in our own community as well. From that vison, one of our men was motivated to start this ministry.
Weeding at the Pregnancy Care Center

Weeding at the Pregnancy Care Center

There are twenty-four different tracks on which people can choose to participate. I lead the media track (still photography), and my team goes to the other twenty-three tracks to shoot pictures and video. We show our work during dinner and at the worship service following track time each night.IMG_0507

Repairing the flooring in the house of a handicapped man

Repairing the flooring in the house of a handicapped man

So far this week, I (or members of my team) have been to the Pregnancy Care construction site, the preschool care, VBS, crafts, worship, culinary, evangelism, PetCare, Hope of Lancaster, Handyman (four locations), Boys Home, creative, International (three locations), Caroline Court, Council on Aging, Jackie’s Place, The Closet, Livi’s Library, Washing Clean, grasscutting, and the hospital. Nearly all of these are service tracks; our members go into the community and build handicapped ramps, repair floors, fix water pipes, play with children, provide school supplies and clothing, organize food distribution centers, wash cars, use their creativity with face painting or manicures, and generally show people that we love them.

DSCF2530“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25:35-40

Laura Hile's  So Lively a Chase, Mercy's Embrace, Book 2, entertains a hedgehog. Writers keep strange company.

Laura Hile’s
So Lively a Chase, Mercy’s Embrace, Book 2, entertains a hedgehog. Writers keep strange company.

We end these weeks realizing that we have received more blessings than we have given. It really is true that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Of course, I needed a little reading material during down time. Guess what I found?

6 thoughts on “Sisterhood of the Traveling Books (Episode 13)

  1. Laura Hile

    Hedgehog readers? Well, sure! *Laura begins to devise book marketing strategies aimed at rodents*

    Strange writerly minds do think alike. Pictured below, my breakfast cup of tea in the campground.
    As you see, Robin’s Accidentally Yours “accidentally” drew readers other than myself.
    A very curious Stellar’s Jay and a busy chipmunk! Perhaps we’re on to something…

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    1. Laura Hile

      What interesting places your teams are serving, Robin. The hedgehog is a much cuter book promoter than, say, the snake. Although the title begs for snakes, doesn’t it? So Lively a CHASE? Run, run away!

      Truth to tell, snakes don’t bother me that much. We had garter snakes in the house (caged!) for several years. That’s the trouble with home schooling elementary-age boys…Mom is a sucker for any kind of “science project.” I took the snakes to my classroom when I began teaching and they lived on to intrigue students. Sadly, they mysteriously died one night. Our biology teacher, ever industrious, preserved their corpses in a lunch bag…in the teachers’ lounge refrigerator! She had her students do an autopsy.

      Live snakes—of the non-rattlesnake variety—are okay. But dead ones? Dissected? No thanks.

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      1. Robin Helm Post author

        Sounds yucky, the biology teacher had the right idea about the dissection (though she shouldn’t have left the snakes in your fridge). I have pics of bunnies and big turtles, too, but the hedgehog was just too cute.

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    2. Robin Helm Post author

      I wouldn’t mind having a Stellar’s Jay and a chipmunk in a logo of some sort. Chipmunks have a friendly feel. Think “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

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  2. Gayle Mills

    This is such a blessing to those who give and those who receive. I love the way our church reaches out to the community, to our nation, and to the far corners of the world. It’s encouraging to see other churches, too, begin their own “The Way” weeks modeled on the program started at a church in a small town in South Carolina. Living the mission.

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Yes, one of the major purposes of the media team is to document the week with Power Point and video so that other churches can see how to start their own The Way ministry. People in the community need to know that they are loved and valued, whether or not they attend church.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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