We have a lot of stuff. It’s amazing how one family of four can collect/generate the amount of “stuff” that we do. I think if most Americans look around their house, they have a lot of stuff too. The question then is raised “What should we do with all of this stuff???”
Well, you could hang on to it for years…just in case you might need, you never know. You could just toss it in the trash…sometimes seems like the easy thing to do.
Well, about 4 years ago, one of our church’s Agape groups brought some of their “stuff” and put it on a table in our foyer. They said it was for anyone in the congregation who wanted it or needed it. When we saw that, we thought “Wow! Great idea! We have some stuff that could go on that table too!” Then, we had another thought…”Why not have everyone in the congregation donate their stuff & we’ll offer it to the community”. Thus, the Free Sale was born.
Free Sale…Like a yard sale, but everything is free!! That’s our slogan. Today was our 4th annual Free Sale. For about one month or so, our members have been collecting, donating and sorting clothes, furniture, household items, toys…the list goes on and on and on. We then put it all on tables and cart it out to our parking lot & invite the neighbors!
In the beginning, people were shocked. Really? This doesn’t cost us anything?? In this day and age, it’s hard to think you can get something for nothing, but we are serious…don’t give us a thing. We want to help you out. Come visit us sometime though! We would love to worship with you!!
Throughout the years, we’ve met a lot of people from our town. Many are so grateful for what we are doing. The stories we hear are amazing. Last year, one family shared with us that they weren’t able to get their children back to school clothes but, because of the Free Sale, they were able to get some much needed clothes.
Somewhere along the way, we started serving hot dogs. I always get tickled because they start handing them out early. Today…they were cooking them when I arrived…around 9:30 & by 10, people were shopping with one hand and eating a hotdog with the other :). Maybe a little too early for me…but whatever works for you!!
Now, I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m bragging…look how good we are…look at what we’re doing. I’m sharing to give the glory to God & hope that maybe this will inspire you to do something similar.
I heard a phrase a long time ago & it stuck with me. I’m not sure who the author is, but it goes something like this: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. When I think of this, I think of Jesus.
Jesus only had a 3 year ministry, but look at all he did during that time. He healed the sick, gave sight to blind, raised the dead, fed thousands with hardly any food at all. John says this:
“Jesus did many other things as well. If everyone one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25.
Three years. Jesus made it very clear how much he cared for the people he came in contact with. He met them where they were and made that connection. As we strive to be more like him, we need to remember that.
So, our Free Sale is over. The Goodwill truck has come and picked up the things that didn’t get taken. Tables have been put back and our houses are a little bit emptier than they were before. Now what?? My hope is that we will follow up with those who came to our Free Sale…to show that we’re truly interested in them…that we’re not just interested in getting rid of a bunch of our “stuff”. We want to give them something even more valuable than clothes or toys or a couch. We want to teach them about what God has done for them. That Gift is truly free.