“Service after the Storm,” Friend, June 2023.
This story took place in New Zealand.
Jacob’s gumboots squished into the ground wherever he stepped. He followed his brother, Isaac, carefully across the yard back to the house. There were leaves and branches all over!
A hurricane had hit New Zealand a few days before. Because of the storms, there was lots of flooding. Jacob was grateful his house didn’t get flooded, but lots of their friends’ houses did. Their family friend Monique and her husband Mark lived in a historic house that was now flooded.
Jacob and Isaac were moving things out of Monique and Mark’s house so they could mop the floors. They gathered loads of papers from all over the house. They found recipes, photos, and letters. Some of the papers were a little wet, but luckily not ruined.
They put the papers in a plastic bin and moved them to the trailer outside. The trailer was a little home Monique and Mark were staying in until the house was safe again.
After gathering all the papers, Jacob walked to a cupboard and found some board games and plastic toys. Some of the games closer to the floor were wet.
Jacob wanted to make sure they did a good job helping. “What next? Do you want us to move these toys and games out?” he asked when Mark walked by.
“Yes, please. Thank you!” Mark said.
Jacob and Isaac gathered the games and toys in their arms and carried them to the trailer. They raced back to the house for the next assignment.
“Thanks for the help, you two,” Monique said.
“No problem,” said Jacob. “What next?”
She looked around. “Do you mind mopping the floor now?”
Jacob took a mop from Monique and got to work. He did his best to mop up the puddles of water from the dark wood floors.
His legs and arms were starting to get tired when someone called, “Time for lunch!”
Jacob finished, then ran outside to meet Dad, Isaac, Monique, Mark, and some other friends.
Dad handed him a brown bag of fish and chips. The smell made Jacob’s stomach grumble. He’d been so focused on mopping he forgot about lunch! He took out a chip and dropped it into his mouth. Mmm, warm and salty.
“Thank you so much for your help,” Monique said while they ate. Her eyes were shiny with tears. “I don’t know what I would have done without all of you.”
Jacob felt a warm bubble fill his heart. He forgot all about his tired body. It would have taken Monique and Mark much longer if they had to clean out the house by themselves! He had helped friends in need.
“Thanks for helping today,” Dad said on the car ride home.
“It was fun,” Isaac said.
Jacob stretched his sore arms. “Yeah. Plus, if Jesus was here, He would have done the same thing. Right?”
“I think so too,” Dad said. “I’m sure Jesus is really happy you were there to help Monique and Mark.”
Jacob liked making Jesus happy. He wanted to be someone Jesus could always trust to help.
“What next?” Jacob asked.
Dad laughed. “What do you mean?”
“What are we going to do to help Jesus next?” Jacob said.
Dad grinned. “There might be more storms coming, so we can help make sandbags. Then we can take them to our friends so their houses don’t flood. How does that sound?”
Jacob smiled. “Perfect.”