We’re counting our blessings…

Literally.  While preparing for their ski trip to Winter Park, the Northside Church of Christ in San Antonio has spent the past several months collecting outreach supplies for SEVENS.  Headed up by the youth group and an amazing set of volunteers, they came up with all kinds of clever names like the month of  “SOCK it to Satan.” They collected over 750 pairs of new socks for us to hand out when we do street outreach.  The donation drive ended with “Sacks for SEVENS” where the teens stapled a list of needed items to brown paper bags and passed them out at church.  Northside members then took them home and filled the bag with items from the list.  When everything was collected and counted, there were over 30 boxes full of stuff!

northside-ski-trip-and-sevens-127

We were amazed by the generosity of this church family and I was overwhelmed to the point of tears as we thanked them.  The boxes contained 750+ pairs of socks, 265+ deodorants, 6700+ baby wipes, 3200+ feminine hygiene products, $550+ in gift cards for fast food restaurants, thousands of band-aids, antibiotic ointment, tubes of superglue, athletic tape and gauze, pain relievers, and other items that make up first aid kits, and 789+ miscellaneous items such as hair products, shaving items, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and Kleenex.

WOW!  THANK YOU NORTHSIDE!!!

After everything was unloaded, we took them to the Pearl Street Mall where we do a lot of our outreach, and they did a prayer walk.  They met some of our street friends, which was a small taste of what awaits their group that will be joining us for our summer program, SABBATH, in July.

We have so many reasons to be grateful for the people at Northside.  They are also the ones who provided the money for us to purchase a much needed 15 passenger van.   The back end is already loaded with outreach items we’re using now and it will come in very handy in a few short months with our summer groups!  We’re hoping to have our new logo finished and painted on there soon.  We are blessed indeed!

Here’s the ski group in Winter Park right before we drove to Boulder.  Max and Zoe are in the front holding chunks of snow, Benny is in the back row on the left, Pete was already in the van because he was too cold, and that’s me in the black leather jacket on the far left.

northside-group

God has brought so many wonderful people into our lives.  We are happy to be partnering with the Boulder Valley Church of Christ who is not only allowing us to store stuff in their building, but they were the first church to commit to hosting Supper on the Pearl once a month.  Last month’s menu was Chicken Noodle Soup, rolls, cupcakes, and Gatorade.  They gave of their time and resources but most importantly, they gave themselves as they engaged the individuals and families that joined us for the meal.

We met a newly homeless family at the last meal.  The husband, Rick*, lost his job and is spending his time trying to find a place for his family to live.  His wife Jill* is on disability which doesn’t go far with them and their two young sons.  We were able to give them flannel shirts we had received from a youth group Benny had met in Florida last November, some packets of basic necessities from a youth group in Chicago, and of course some of the stuff from the Northside group.  It’s humbling and faith building to watch as God brings his people from all over the country together to provide for the needs of those we meet on the streets of Boulder.  To semi-quote that old Beatles song, “we get by with a little help from our friends!”

nell-and-terry

On a sad note, we lost a good friend recently.  Our neighbor Terry ended his own life two weeks ago today.  We’ve been doing our best to take care of his wife Nell, whom we dearly love. It was with great sadness that Benny spoke at the memorial service in the same place he performed their wedding last April.  If there can be a silver lining, through this tragedy we’ve had the opportunity to get to know Nell’s son and his wife a little better.  They are close to our age and are needing friendly support as well.  They have a daughter that’s Max’s age.  Please pray for Nell and Terry’s families and all of their friends as everyone grieves and remembers Terry in their own ways.  I pray that we are offering hope and comfort and showing them that God loves them, a fact that they are doubting right now.

Next weekend our friend Michael is bringing a group from Oklahoma State University to join us for Spring Break.  I’ll be back with an update after that.

Thank you for your prayers and support of SEVENS and the Nowell family!

~Niki~

*Not their real names

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Filed under Making a Difference, Niki, Reaching Out, SEVENS Partners

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