The week of the block party we had three mission teams here. Two were working on the church and the house where we are staying, and the third one was running the Vacation Bible School. When thinking about the block party the only way I can begin to describe it is with an Old Testament verse: “As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).
As I looked down at my paint-covered hands, I felt defeated. Rocks and paintbrushes had been ripped out of my hands, only to be started and left because the girls were over the craft. I was annoyed. I had put all of the time in getting the supplies, setting up and preparing during a week that was already exhausting. In that moment, I was ready to walk away. In fact, I did. I took my 10-minute break and walked away. I walked away from where God had placed me. In that moment, I was bitter and selfish. I wasn’t thinking about doing God’s work or about what he was doing. I was more worried about me. The reality is my view of the block party was behind a table where I was too concerned about my feelings to realize what God was doing.
I failed to realize I was sitting at a table where I got to meet a majority of the kids who came to the block party. Yes, there were some who frustrated me to no end and ripped rocks out of my hand, but I made a lot of kids smile and feel loved. I don’t know what is going on in every kid’s life, and I never will know. I don’t know what God is always doing, and that is a good thing.
I also failed to realize I went into the event with a terrible attitude. It thought: “This won’t be a ministry event. It is just us entertaining the community.” However, we had the whole community at this block party. We were loving on each and every person where they were. After loving on them, we were able to show them the reason we do everything. At the end of the block party we had 15 baptisms. 15 people professed their faith. How amazing is that?
God is moving in McKees Rocks. I don’t know exactly what God is doing, but he is working. I don’t know what he will have us do while we are still here, but he is working, just like Ecclesiastes 11:5 says, “You do not know the work of God who makes everything.”
Jessica Barnett, a student at the University of Texas, is serving with Go Now Missions in McKees Rock, Penn.