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For most of her life, Clara would come home every day from her shift at the hospital to care for her adult son who suffers from schizophrenia. When her son tragically passed away last year, Clara found herself alone. At 74 years old, she’s not yet retired and still works long shifts at the hospital. These days, she says she doesn’t quite have the energy to do much more than work.

Her neighbor, Casey, hosts a life group out of his home, across the street from Clara. When trying to think of ways his group could help their community, he immediately thought of her. Over the years, Clara’s front yard had become neglected and extremely overgrown. The group agreed, they proposed the idea to Clara, and she accepted.

Before they got to work, they invited Clara over for lunch. “I was a little surprised,” Casey said, “at how readily she accepted our offer, as she is rather shy and quite independent. When she showed up for lunch, I was really proud of the way the guys made her feel comfortable and engaged her in conversation with care and genuine interest.”

After enjoying lunch, the group got to work on the yard. “What I thought would be an hour job actually turned into about 3 hours,” Casey said, “We ended up with 20 huge trash bags full of bushes, trimmings, and leaves when finally done.”

Casey snapped this iPhone photo as yard work got underway.

Casey snapped this iPhone photo as yard work got underway.

Although the yard work was transformative, Casey says the highlight was the impact it had on the entire neighborhood.

“Several of our neighbors came over to find out what we were doing and they liked it so much that they wanted to help,” Casey said, “One person even went to the store to get us some drinks with cups and ice.”

When the project was done, the group had the opportunity to circle up and pray for Clara. Even their neighbor who’s a practicing Buddhist grabbed hands and joined the circle. “There was a great sense of goodwill that surrounded the whole project,” Casey told me.

This is one of the many ways we’ve seen RHCM Life Groups Bring Beautiful to Orange County. Casey and his life group took the posture of Jesus as they made themselves servants to their neighbors, sharing love and the gospel with open hands.

When all was said and done, Clara dropped off this note for Casey and the life group:

“Thanks to all of you, the front of the house is looking much more stylish and happy. The plants are now getting sunshine and rains. Thank you all! I will never forget your kindness. Yes, I thanked the Lord, too. I truly enjoyed my time with you all and again say thank you for all your efforts in my behalf. You made my day, week and year…

Agape Love,
Clara”