Why Kindness Still Matters
… and transforms
1 John 3:18
Amplified Bible (AMP)
18 Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).
Long lines of people form as they come to receive a hot meal, dry goods and Christmas gifts in the church gymnasium. People of all ages and backgrounds come seemingly out of nowhere, their need often unseen and overlooked by those that pass them by. A mother of five staying at a hotel, unable to afford a place of her own. An older woman suffering from liver disease, often spending the night on the streets. Each person or family has a story.
During this time of the year, they come 200-300 at a time to celebrate Christmas with the loving people of Somebody Cares Center in Lowell — Rev. Rafael Najem, Lynne Saffie and their team of volunteers. They share a warm meal together with laughter filling the air as children run around excitedly with the new toys they just received.
The community looks forward to and helps put on this (and other) event(s) each year. Teachers collect gifts for the outreach at their schools, families gather gifts throughout the year to bring to the event, food comes from the local food pantry as well as from Somebody Cares New England, and volunteers from all backgrounds come to participate.
The heart of Somebody Cares Center- Lowell is to make sure the people in their area feel loved.: “We try to provide to the community as much as we can”, says director Lynne Saffie. They do this by hosting a variety of local outreach activities throughout the year, bringing the love of Christ from inside the church out to the community. Activities include city-wide block parties called ‘Bless the City’, where community projects are done while also reaching out with fun and games for the locals to enjoy; Thanksgiving meals; Harvest outreaches; and children’s programs. In the words of Rev. Najem, “We don’t even preach. We just give them extra kindness.”
That ‘extra kindness’ has gone a long way. Fellow Somebody Cares partner Marlene Yeo told us “Pastor Najem is being used by God to gather the pastors and model transformation through prayer, caring, and sharing. It is the first city in New England that is actually doing what others talk, preach, and teach about.”
To find out more about the activities of the Somebody Cares Center in Lowell, go to Somebody Cares Lowell. Consider supporting us as we equip other communities in transformation efforts through compassion evangelism, prayer initiatives, disaster & crisis response, and leadership development in areas across the U.S. and around the world!