Saturday was a big day. All across New Albany, hundreds of folks from Northside Christian Church went out into the community, simply to serve. They did all kinds of stuff, and I got to invite college age students to mobilize to work and beautify S. Ellen Jones Elementary School in downtown New Albany. We had 28 people take a full truck of mulch (thankfully, not the kind that smells like poop) and place it in the needed areas around the school.
The weather was beautiful and the mulch was plentiful, and this group of hard workers made short work out of the project we took on. So, from there we moved on to Riverfront Park (which is right where one might expect it to be, but more so to the side of the river than to the front of it…that has always confused me) to give a shot of adrenaline to another team of Northsiders working there. (The project leader there said that watching the crowd of students come up over the hill was like watching the cavalry arrive.) And after we spread some more mulch at the park playground, we went to fill our bellies with the kind of delicious food that can stop your heart at any moment…Rally’s.
I’m just so proud of them. Yeah, they were working hard, but they were having a good time doing it. It was cool to see them laughing and joking and making fun of me for bossing them around so much. (I admit, I earned the nickname, “Captain Woods.” If you’ve ever gone to Romania with me, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) These students are great.
People say that college students are flaky (I confess, sometimes I do too) but this is an example of college age people who care, who show up and who work hard. They are completely capable of bringing beauty in simple ways to the world around them. I count myself fortunate that these incredible people are letting me be a part of their lives. The ministry we are creating is going to be about shared experiences…about making memories together and knowing each other and moving us all forward in our journey of knowing Jesus.
Saturday was just a piece of that, and I so look forward to many more times like it. I’m so excited about what’s next…
Photos taken by the one and only Nicole Melton.