Chattanooga - Day 2

June 28, 2017
Kemo Jones, Director of Youth Outreach

Kemo Jones, Director of Youth Outreach

Today was the first of many and the second of many! For those who haven't met me yet, I'm Kemo Jones, the newest addition to ryeX and today was my second day as the Director of Youth Outreach. If I can be completely transparent, I was pretty nervous to go on a week long trip with 29 screaming preteens most of which I've never met! Despite my apprehensions, I've never met a more hilarious, smart, kind, and respectful group of kids. I'm honored to be your Director of Youth Outreach and I look forward growing with you and your families.

So, today was our second day in Chattanooga and first day on the work site. My group and I were assigned to painting the house of this sweet widowed lady named Hazel. As we arrived at the work site we got to work immediately after a crash course by our staff leader Sam. It was really great to see every kid put in a lot of work to get this project done with excellence. I don't even recall hearing anyone complaining. (At least not until about lunch time!)

After working, Mrs. Hazel invited all of us into her home and gave us a little bit of her story. In addition to having a cow memorabilia collection with over 1000 items (picture coming soon), she had been married for 30+ years and her husband passed away about 7 years ago. Since then she's been sick and hasn't been able to take care of the house as her husband normally would. She and her husband both had 5 children from previous marriages but now that she's become older, her children and grandchildren rarely come to visit. In addition to that, she expressed concerns about how after her surgery, no one from her church came to check on her or even called for 5 months to see if she was ok. 

After we got back to camp, during our counselor session, I thought about my conversation with Mrs. Hazel and wondered when was the last time I had checked on the widows in my own family. When was the last time I called or stopped by just to say hi?

I think that often we get so caught up in our own day-to-day that we forget to make time for those people society forgets on a daily basis. Even more so, it's interesting that I had to come all the way to Chattanooga to be reminded of the issues in my backyard.

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to do this on this blog but I'm challenging myself and I'd like to challenge you this week. Find 3 widows and either call or have lunch with them (or both)! I've found, and I think kids are learning too, that God dwells in moments of service that are powered by love. So I encourage you take the #WarmingUpToWidowsChallenge (totally, just made that up) and watch a God moment take place.

Kemo Jones
Director of Youth Outreach