Have you ever experienced a «no good deed goes unpunished» moment…?
Last Saturday 20 members of our church wanted to be a blessing to our community by removing snow and ice from the bridge and its sidewalks – a place traveled by hundreds of Tara pedestrians every day. For nearly three and a half hours we labored to make a clear and safe passage for our citizens. Not only we did something amazingly helpful, we were also witnessing in the process. Our blue jackets said “Everyone needs God” with a scripture verse below it:
[pullquote]Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20[/pullquote]
Many people thanked us and many cars stopped by as we worked to ask who we were and why we would do such a thing! What an opportunity to share our testimony and let our light shine before men!
It was not surprising for us to get a call 4 days later from the mayor’s office. But their reaction was shocking … they were furious! Whaaaat?
Their three complaints were:
- The bridge is considered a strategic federal structure. How dare we not ask permission to do any work on it?
- We violated numerous safety regulations by working on the road and sidewalks without proper licenses, training, warning road signs…
- We made the administration look foolish in front of their superiors for taking care of their responsibility (I believe this was the only real reason they were upset, they simply added the other two to mask their embarrassment).
What would you do in this situation? Tell them “Sorry, we won’t do it again?” Although it did cross our minds to use this line, what we actually answered totally changed everything!
“I am sorry, we want to help YOU to make our city blessed by God. Do you have any other projects we can lend a hand?”
This one meek reply removed all hostility our caller had – “Sure, let me check and I’ll get back with you.”
Today 2 of our missionaries-in-training had a sit-down with the Mayor. “We have 3 areas that need snow removed. Can you help?” the city official asked. We promised to clear at least one. What the Administration did not know was that God just today sent us 10 more mission students in addition to 20 men and ladies we had from our church. Beside clearing snow and ice from affected areas we plan to involve a couple of unsaved truck drivers and actually pay them to haul the snow out of town. Underpromise and overdeliver!
During the same meeting with the Mayor, he said that he wanted to ask the local paper and the TV station to air a segment about our congregation. What an opportunity God gave us! We covet your prayers for the chance to show and tell our town who Baptists really are. To God be the Glory!