The fall semester for students across the city has looked very different than the typical year, and that’s because classes are partially online and partially in person. This has put a tremendous stress on teachers. Not just the stress from making sure everything gets done, but also the emotional stress of deeply caring about their kids’ abilities to succeed in this hard season.

The Ponca Florence Friends City Group knows many teachers who have personally experienced the overwhelming and emotionally exhausting days. They also noticed this in their neighborhood’s elementary school, so they asked the question “How can we love and serve these people well for the ultimate purpose of showing them how Christ has loved and served them?”. This question shows a deep desire to care for other’s physical needs, but at the root of the question is an even deeper desire to care for their spiritual needs.

What a beautiful question to ponder; “How can we love these people well, so we can invite them into community and show them an even greater love, God’s love shown to us through the Gospel.”.

Over the next week, the group decided to buy and organize teacher baskets with snacks and other goodies along with an encouraging note thanking them for all that they do. Several of these baskets were then dropped off and the teachers were extremely thankful for the Ponca Florence Friends gifts.

This is because the simple project does three things for the teachers.

  1. It acknowledges them, communicating “We see you and we want to thank you”.
  2. It strengthens them, communicating “You’re doing great and we want to come alongside you”.
  3. It gives them hope, communicating “We’re here for you and want to invite you into community”.

Citylight, as we celebrate this story of a City Group engaging their neighborhood for the purpose of communicating the Gospel, be encouraged that the huge burden of stirring others’ affections for Jesus is not on us but rather is the work of the Holy Spirit, and He is faithful to produce fruit. We also want to encourage you to keep pursuing those who God has placed in your life. Maybe it’s your coworkers, maybe it’s your neighbors, or maybe it’s one of your college buddies. As you and your group look around, ask yourselves how you can love and serve your spheres of influence for the ultimate purpose of inviting them into community and sharing the Gospel.

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