Last night was amazing.
In August, one of our church members, Jennifer Curtis, had the idea to go over to Linbergh Elementary School in our neighborhood to see if there was anything we as a church could do to help them. You should know that our church building is not located in an affluent part of town. Through her discussions, we found out about Tulsa's "Adopt-A-School" program, and in early October, the Memorial Drive Church of Christ and Lindbergh Elementary School officially entered into a partnership agreement through that program.
Throughout the course of this semester, we have had members read for the children, provide supplies for their art classes, provide snacks for their teachers, and gifts for their secreteries.
Our motives are simply to let those families know that somebody cares for them and is cheering them on to success. And, as they experience that love and acceptance, if any of those familes find themselves in need or searching for something greater than the struggles of this life, we hope they will know that Memorial Drive is a place they can turn to for physical, emotional, and spiritual help.
Now, most of you know that I am (at best) a little uncomfortable around children, although I am getting better. So, being musically but not necessarily children inclined, my thoughts turned to how I could encourage their music teacher. Figuring that every school has to have some sort of Christmas program (sorry, "Holiday program"), I asked her if they would be willing to perform that program for us on Wednesday night, December 6. She said yes.
So, last night we had about 65 2nd and 3rd graders from Lindbergh on our stage. Along with them came parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. Our Rainbow Room was packed with guests from the neighborhood and our own church family. I would venture a guess of up to 175 visitors, most of whom had probably never set foot inside our church building, and I imagine many of whom have no church family that cares for them. When you add our own members there were probably 350 people in attendance. We welcomed them with smiles, handshakes, hugs, applause, cookies, brownies, coffee, and lots of love. No pressure, no strings attached. Just a thank you for sharing your kids with us tonight.
This was a huge night for the kids. Their music teacher told me she can't remember them being invited to perform anywhere in her 12 years there. They were remarkable. Their dance moves were soooo cute. And they sang with such pride and volume. I hope they went to bed last night feeling like something special.
And I hope their parents went to bed last night feeling like something special, too. Because that's how God views them. And we were able to share a little bit of that love with them last night.
Who said Wednesday nights don't count?