Organizers urged volunteers at the Convoy of Hope rally in Frederick on Saturday to consider the day “a movement, rather than a moment.” Of the thousands of working poor who came from Frederick County, half do not qualify for benefits of any kind, yet are not sure where their next meal may come from. Convoy of Hope treats them as honored guests for the day as they receive health screenings, community services information, groceries, haircuts, family photos, new shoes – and most importantly – smiles, hugs, and prayers of support. The goal of the group, led by various churches in the area, is to serve others and hopefully bring them closer to a long-term relationship with Jesus.
Trinity’s team included Pastor Donovan who stood in the heat to help direct parking and Chuck and Melissa Schwalbe who took on the challenge of washing feet – a reference to Jesus washing his disciples feet – which allowed them time to get to interact and hear the concerns of those they served. God as the “I am” and we as the “You Are” who acted as His hands for the day. Chuck says the experience was one of the most meaningful of his life, listening to the heart-wrenching concerns of a grandmother scared for the safety of her grandchildren.
Laura Kangas and I served at the entrance, greeting people with smiles and passing out tickets for shoes and kids activities. Sure, there were people there with new Nikes and Adidas, but there were far more people with shoes falling apart at the seams, who weren’t concerned with new shoes for themselves, but rather for their children. I was most touched and inspired by the three beautiful Miss Frederick Scholarship winners who sat with crowns and without gloves holding feet, while they smiled and chatted with them caringly. Wow!
I’m sure there are many stories that will abound of hearts touched that day. Organizers spoke of an example from last year’s rally in Frederick at which one of the feet washers asked a guest what had brought him there that day. He replied that he was looking to make a friend. The volunteer took on the call and became the man’s friend. Over the coming year, they spent time and fellowship and the man ultimately became a believer. Sadly the man died a few months later. Not only had he made a meaningful friendship for those final months of his earthly life, but he accepted the grace of God and found his heavenly home. A movement indeed!
Thank you to Laura for helping organizing our Trinity team. It was an experience that will stick with me with a long time to come and I encourage every member of Trinity to consider serving for next year’s Convoy of Hope, and in every way daily that they can. – Kristin Bowl
Photos: Handing out more than 150,000 pounds of groceries, 3 Miss Teen Frederick County winners helping wash feet, Laura helping bag 100,000 meals to feed hungry children around the world at the Convoy of Hope, Chuck chatting with some of the kids.