This is an exciting update on the CUP project that my SS Class group from HGBC North participated in over the holidays. First off, just before Thanksgiving, 54 families identified by the counselor at Druid Hills Elementary were visited and brought Thanksgiving food and turkeys and a Bible last month. From these visits and meetings with the families, 18 of the neediest families from this group were then visited with more food for a Christmas meal and a Wal-Mart gift card last weekend. From that 2nd visit, 12 of the families were targeted for a 3rd visit with toys provided from an Angel Tree project at a local church and some blankets, housewares, and juice from CUP this past weekend. As a result the teams were able to deliver practical help and make a loving connection with the families most needy, share Christ with several of them, and introduce CUP to most of them. The multiple visits were really enjoyable and a blessing for us as well as the families. Visiting 2 or 3 times makes a big difference in actually connecting with someone with credibility.
All the people involved in this had a great experience and many touching stories were shared. We met people who recently lost their home to fire, lost loved ones in tragic ways, and had seemingly dim hopes. We also met people who had little but faith and encouraged us. One lady who was only in her mid 30’s and had 8 children and 2 grandchildren living with her, was so happy and blessed because she recently got a job as a nurse’s assistant with elderly people in their homes, it made our day. We gave her 6 bags of food which she appreciated. She said she needed nothing else except our prayers that she “gets it right”. Some visits had one child and some had as many as ten. Often Grandparents were raising children. On the repeat visits especially, we were welcomed in and had the chance to pray with most and share Christ’s salvation with several.
I feel there were more than a few special times. Here is one experience that Kathy and I had. This was last week, the 2nd visit to this home…we walked in an open door (because the door was missing and being replaced….project housing) and we said that we were from CUP and wanted to bless them with some food for Christmas. They stared at us like they saw a ghost. Four people were there and a man excitedly pointed at the woman of the house and said “she just finished saying 3 seconds before you walked in, that she was out of food stamps and her welfare was gone and there was no food in the house and won’t be any for Christmas.” They really did not have anything but a couch and had lived there over 4 years. I told her that God timed things (we even arrived early from our schedule because other people weren’t home) so that He could get her attention. She cried and admitted that she had not been giving God any time or honor and I believe was convicted right there. We prayed and hugged and I know that God did all that to touch this lady right then. Her Sister and Brother-in-law also witnessed this spiritual moment and we had an opportunity to help them also with some food.
This project was a really positive experience for our Class. Several families participated monetarily and/or with their time and the goal of serving God by connecting with people in need was accomplished. Thank you very much to David and the servants at CUP for organizing this project and for having such a warm heart. This project helped make my Christmas special.
I hope that more of these sort of projects can be taken on in the future. It is a good outreach project for a SS Class, requiring low funding and moderate hands on effort suitable by men, women, and children..