Last week was an incredible game changer for our church! CityLifers hit the streets everyday and gave away more than $21,000 to hundreds of people in our city. We’ll be posting a full recap on the church’s Facebook page, but here are some of my favorite moments.
We spent a morning at The Academy at Palumbo serving breakfast and giving gifts to the forty seven teachers and staff who work at the school. One of the teachers wrote us afterward and said she was “stunned” by the generosity of the church.
One team passed out 125 tokens at some of the major SEPTA stops in the city. People were shocked they were getting free tokens with no strings attached, even getting off their cell phone conversations to say thank you!
Several Life Groups visited six different firehouses in South Philly with dinner from Famous Dave’s. My group hung out eating and talking with the firemen for about thirty minutes until the alarm rang. They were on the truck and out the door in about ten seconds. So cool to serve an awesome group of guys who are also committed to saving lives!
On Thursday night our team handed out 75 back-packs and 65 bag lunches to the homeless at Love Park. We were also able to connect three folks with Project Home to help them find a way off the streets. NBC even showed up with a TV crew and covered the event on the news–right before Jimmy Fallon came on!
On Saturday teams blanketed Philly and went crazy with generosity. We went into several stores and paid for everyone who came in. Dunkin Donuts. Ritas water ice. Frozen yogurt. Grocery stores. It was nuts!
Our team met one man outside Dunkin Donuts and invited him inside. He was out of work on disability and on his way downtown to pawn his watch so he could give $50 to his sixteen year old son. We gave him the $50.00 and prayed with him. He started weeping in the parking lot, and came to church for the first time on Sunday morning!
While buying groceries for people in line at the grocery store, our teams served three people who were searching for jobs, and one who had lost her job just last week. The store clerks couldn’t believe what we were doing and began rooting for us, getting swept up in the excitement of giving. And it was amazing to see God work out every detail. Several volunteers felt prompted toward a woman who had a large number of items in her cart. When we finished paying for her bill, we had exactly one cent left on the gift cards!
All of the generosity and love flowed into an incredible Easter weekend at CityLife. Our Dream Team stretched like crazy and we ended up serving 613 people in three services, with dozens of people making a commitment to follow Jesus. Leah and I remember gathering three years ago with about 25 launch team members for an Easter service at Jason and Dana Corosanite’s house. I’m blown away by all that God has done!
When we moved to Philly our dream was to start a church that would do whatever it takes to reach THE ONE who is far from God. Last week I saw CityLifers get radical and take that commitment to a whole new level! Way to go team. The best is yet to come!