Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Trip - Day 8

Our young people have some marvelous stories to tell from our Servant Event day with Green Light New Orleans!

How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb?... How many times have we all heard that one before... but what I want to know is how much does the simple act of changing light bulb affect people?

Today during our day of serving we were told that we were going to change light bulbs in apartments for Green Light New Orleans, not many of us were completely thrilled with the idea, but we soon warmed up to the task after the realization hit that changing light bulbs can help a home owner with the amount of energy they consume but also help the environment.

The small group I was a part of met a very kind elderly lady. Our team adult sat with her chatting, while we busily scurried around changing her lights. We changed a total of 32 lights in her house. We replaced the old bulbs with new ones that would last for five to eight years. Over the period of five years those seemingly insignificant bulbs will save her a little over $1400 ... 32 bulbs that would cost an owner around $80 to purchase would save so much more. Those bulbs won't only save money, they also cut down the amount of energy that is wasted by normal bulbs and the amount of carbon dioxide produced. But what was most meaningful was the kind lady's face after we told her what those 32 little bulbs would do.


* * * * *

I never thought that by changing a light bulb could make such a difference in the world, and change the lives of others around me.

So when my church group found out that our service work was going to be screwing in light bulbs, we were like, "what the heck!?!? What can we accomplish by screwing light bulbs?' But sitting here now I have never been happier to screw in a bunch of light bulbs.

Because by screwing in those light bulbs myself and many other people were able to meet and connect with some really amazing and giving people. Also by screwing in those light bulbs we were able to help alot of people save hundreds of dollars.

I just don't know how to express the emotions that I felt today by bonding with those people. I just want to thank Green Light New Orleans so much for bringing the group together to meet new people. Also by having this non-profit organization donate the free light bulbs, and help thousands of people save a lot of money.

Thank you so much Green Light New Orleans!!!


* * * * *

38,000. That’s lot of Lutherans! You’d think that that would be overwhelming right? But it’s surprisingly the opposite, it’s humbling. When you live in your own little town of Des Moines in my case you feel powerful and important, but when you enter the Superdome and see all those people singing, dancing, and praising you feel so small. You feel powerless and unimportant. You feel like nothing. But then I remember that God doesn’t care where you come from, who your with, or how you praise. All he cares about is you, good old Iowa living corn picking you.

These past few days have been unexplainable. I’ll go home on Sunday and try to explain this week but I know I will be unsuccessful. You can’t feel what we’re feeling unless you are here which is a shame because the love and the security that I’m sure everyone is feeling (although I can’t speak for them) is unimaginable. Everywhere you turn there are kind hearted, loving Lutherans who welcome you with open arms. But I think this city would be this amazing with or without the Lutherans. Before the disaster they were residents of the same city, afterwards they are an extended family. They welcome anyone and everyone. Walking through the streets of Des Moines you feel welcome, but when has a complete stranger stopped you and thanked you for coming to their town? People will tell you their life stories in the middle of the street, and to most people that would seem distracting and just another thing that slows their busy selfish life down. But I have not found one selfish person here or in Jackson. This town has literally made us their own, and that is the most amazing feeling. Coming into a city for 4 days and becoming practically a citizen.

Not only is this city amazing but this convention is amazing. They have gathered the best of the best (and I’m not just talking about the Lutherans). The speakers that we get to hear every night are truly amazing. They are changing the world every day and getting everyone to join them city by city. They have made me believe that I can do the impossible. I can change the world, even if it’s with small acts. I don’t have to be old or powerful or even have to live in a big city. I can change the world from Johnston, Iowa. I can change the world at 17. The world can be good one day, I truly believe that. The world can be at peace. There can be justice in the world. And most important of all… everyone can love each other. I can say firsthand that I have been in a room where I felt love coming from over 38,000 people. How many people can say that?! (I mean besides the more than 38,000 people that were in the room).

God has made an amazing world, and amazing people to be in it. And I hope and pray that the almost 7 billion people in the amazing world we live in will one day come together and make this world a place of justice, peace, and above all else love.


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