Loving and Serving the People of Paquin Towers

This past Saturday, about 175 volunteers from The Crossing joined together to love and serve the people of Paquin Towers by cleaning and painting rooms and hallways, cleaning and painting their outside community areas, weeding and clearing out brush from their flower beds and gardens, and providing an open-invitation cookout for lunch. We divided the day into a morning (9:00-noon) and afternoon (1:00-4:00) shift. I worked the afternoon shift.

To be honest, I was highly uncertain how this would all go down. How would our presence be perceived and received by the people living in Paquin Towers? Would there really be enough work for 175 people to do? Would it honestly make that big of a difference? But then by the end of the day, I was convinced that this was one of the best things we’ve done as a church in our community. By 4:00 on Saturday, the places inside and outside Paquin Towers really did look great—vastly different than at the start of the day. What a great feeling to see that kind of transformation in just one day! And it was actually kind of fun. Working hard together is fun. My biggest regret is that I didn’t try to get my small group out there together with me. It would have been so good for us—fun for us—to do this kind of work of love and service together. Next time.

One elderly man came rolling outside in his electric wheelchair to tell me that he’d been watching our people working from his room window. He was emphatic that he’d never seen people work together so hard and so organized. He said that, from the upper-story view from his window, it was like watching ants hard at work, so integrated with what each was doing toward a common goal. He kept repeating the phrase, “You couldn’t PAY people to work like that!” I was also told that some of our volunteers saw a man at church on Sunday that they had seen Saturday from Paquin Towers. For whatever reason, he decided to attend The Crossing after seeing who we were and what we did there on Saturday. That’s pretty cool.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Josh Burrell (pictured left as he worked on Saturday) for heading up this project. I’m grateful that his leadership has already made a mark in our community. And he had a dedicated team of leaders who planned and led this project with him: Ashley Dawson, Ashley Coffman, Patrick Lee, Emily Minkel, and Chuck Crews. And then there were also project leaders on site to provide helpful direction that kept all the numerous volunteers fruitfully busy. And everyone seemed to do it with joy and humility and a servant’s heart for one another and the people of Paquin Towers. I was so proud of our church community (in a good kind of way; a grateful kind of way—the kind of way where I kept thinking, “I am so honored to be a pastor of a church community like this!”).

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