Fishers UMC Blog

Jesus and an Egg Hunt

I have always wondered how did the tradition of the Easter Bunny and the egg hunt transpire? Mind you not wondered enough to actually find out, but wondered just the same. But what does an egg hunt have to do with the redeeming power of Jesus? You will have to do your own research to find out, but I have my own story about encountering Jesus’ power to transform at an egg hunt.

Two years ago the church decided to build relationships in our immediate community by hosting an egg hunt at Cumberland Crossing Apartments. It occurred on the first beautiful weekend after a particularly cold and snowy winter. About seventy-five children and their families attended and made crafts, played games, munched on cookies, got their picture taken with the Easter Bunny and, of course, hunted eggs. It was a great afternoon people lingered, talked, and everyone seemed to have fun.

It wasn’t until later in the summer that I found out the significance of that afternoon. At Fun Friday, where we invite the community for a cookout in the park, a woman approached me and said “I saw you at Vacation Bible School and the egg hunt. I wanted you to know what an answer to prayer the egg hunt was.” Wait, what? The egg hunt an answer to prayer? I am sure I probably stammered when I said, “Oh, I am so glad, how so?”

The woman, Mary, shared that she and her son had moved into the apartments in November and due to the bad weather he had not made connections and the isolation was taking its toll. She explained they met a family at the egg hunt and the boys became fast friends. About this time two boys wondered over and I knew one of them who “happened” to be in my Vacation Bible School small group—he was the boy her son had met. After their positive experience at the egg hunt they decided to go to Vacation Bible School and from there they came to the Fun Fridays.

I enjoyed talking with her so much I got her contact information and we periodically stayed in touch. I also got to know the other boy’s mother, as she “happened” to work at the grocery store where I shop. I had a school assignment involving discovering the power of a meal to build community, so I invited my two new friends and a few others from church to my home for dinner. We had a great evening talking and hearing each other’s stories. Mary shared she was looking for ways she and her son could serve together and also some of the challenges of being a single mom and her desire for positive male role models for her son. My family is involved in Boy Scouts and I invited her son to join our scout troop, when he met the age requirement, as what she hoped for scouting might offer.

In February, I contacted her again and she agreed to bring her son to an information meeting. He happily joined until he realized it was going to involve monthly camping. He was ready to drop out when some older scouts helped gather all the gear he would need and that gave him enough encouragement to at least try. It was a rough first campout but everyone did their best to support and include him. He came away with a new sense of self-confidence and a whole new group of people who cared for him and his family. It has been a year since he joined and he has not missed a campout yet.

Mary and I have grown in friendship through the experience and she turned out to be the first person that laid hands on and prayed for me after I experienced a call to become a pastor. She also has found a way to use her gifts for scouting in a way that blesses her and others.

So through a simple egg hunt both my family and hers have encountered Christ in each other and have been blessed—the abundance and power of community!

We are hosting another Egg Hunt on March 26th at Cumberland Crossing Apartments beginning at 2pm. Maybe you should come and see how God might use the experience to bless you and someone you meet.

Susan Hobson
Outreach Ministry Coordinator 
Cumberland Crossing Apartments are located at 10225 Stage Coach Trail, Fishers.  The Egg hunt will begin at 2pm at the playground.
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Mommy……….Is this for Poor People?

While dropping boxes of noodles and canned goods into the donation box marked “Feed the Hungry” a little boy assisting his mom asked, “Mommy is this for poor people?”

As a parent, how would you answer this question? A simple yes is correct especially given that the state of being poor is generally considered to be lacking the funds to support one’s self. However, what does this little boy, who may never have experienced hunger or the challenge to stay warm at night, really think being poor means? Does he think that everyone who is poor now has always been poor? What do the faces of the poor look like? Would his perception of the word poor change if he knew the little boy he plays with across the street is getting help from a local food pantry? Unless he has spent time with people lacking financial means he might conjure up an image of citizens who cannot do tasks themselves, or he might even be a bit fearful of the mystery. If we wanted to take the time and explain the concept of poor to the little boy, we might ask him “Can poor people be poor but be rich too?”

There are many blessings to be counted: we see them all the time in the families that visit the Come to me Food Pantry.

What about having a wealth of love and support at home? Psychological professionals have noted that a healthy home is a safe refuge after a long, laborious day. It should be a sanctuary where you are fully accepted and therefore, you may speak freely about the good and bad happenings of your day. Most importantly, home is a place where you can be appreciated for you. In the food pantry, we frequently hear stories about the patience a husband or wife has maintained with one another during difficult times. We see how awesome they are with their children, even though the stresses are heavy. On a daily basis, being rich in love and support can mean a person has a safe place to land after a long day: they can show vulnerabilities and receive support. A loving family can significantly contribute to one’s daily quality of life.

Adding to this, we see long term situations and financial difficulty due to critical illnesses. For example, we see one partner quitting their job to stay home and care for family members with severe illnesses. With these long term situations, we see that they love each other and know they are making the right decision. Most importantly, these families never complain; they accept their chosen path with a plethora of courage.

Also, what about being rich with a good sense of humor? During rough times, this person can not only laugh at oneself for having done something stupid, but they can make other family members and friends laugh at their own mistakes too. Maybe, the person with the big sense of humor is rich with the world. We are able to not only empathize with their families, but we laugh with them too.

What about being rich with values and integrity? We occasionally hear in the news of a financially troubled individual who turned over to the authorities, the envelope full of cash he found in a parking lot. Chances are, he feels pride instead of guilt, knowing he knows he acted out of honestly, and was concerned about the loss of the other person. Maybe this is why he is sometimes hungry; however, the spark in his eyes is there because integrity prevailed.

Of course, the big one is rich in faith. We see this often in the food pantry and these are the people that carry a strong trust in God. They truly believe they are being heard by God the Father through prayer. This trust allows confidence and peace to prosper through the difficult journey they know they are strong enough to handle. It is amazing how big and bright a person’s can smile be, even during the most difficult times, when they trust in God.

Sometimes, people rich in money, cannot smile.

Renee James
Lead Advocate, Fishers UMC Food Pantry
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