At Chets we take the call to love God and love others seriously but sometimes that love is shown in unexpected ways.
Deborah Lauzon lives on the Northside but started attending the Hodges Campus a couple years ago. She connected with people and enjoyed the worship and teaching. It was difficult for her to get there each week though because she didn’t have reliable transportation. She was talking with a friend about how much she loved the church and said, “I wish they’d put one of these on the Northside.” Just a few weeks later, Pastor Spike announced our North Campus launch. She was so excited!
Tyler Boston and his wife Suzanne were also thrilled to hear about the North Campus launch. Tyler is a navy pilot who’s been stationed in Jacksonville for four years and lives on the Northside. He and Suzanne tried out several churches before their friend Dan Effinger invited them to Chets Hodges. They immediately plugged into a LifeGroup and found community.
When Tyler and Suzanne heard about the North Campus launch, it was what Tyler described as a “God speaking to us moment.” They knew they were being called to be a part of what God was going to do in their neighborhood.
God is working at the North Campus. “I can’t pass someone in the hallway without them saying hi, even if they don’t know me. People there are so loving” said Deborah. But the love doesn’t stop in the church hallways.
Just a few months ago Deborah lost her husband after he’d been battling health issues for a while. Pastor Josh helped care for the details and provided support during what was a very difficult time for Deborah.
The church started a meal train and people brought over food every night. “It was so overwhelming that they kept coming in and coming in” said Deborah. She remembered the day Tyler brought his meal over. “He brought over Panera Bread and I said ‘Honey you shouldn’t have spent that kind of money’” she laughed.
Deborah and Tyler talked for a while and prayed together. Tyler asked if there was anything else he could do and she mentioned that she hadn’t been able to do anything with the yard since her husband passed away. Tyler asked if he and his LifeGroup could help.
He knew as soon as he shared what was going on with the guys that they’d be willing to help. He also knew they would have the landscaping equipment they’d need to get the job done quickly. “I knew it would be simple for us but would mean a lot to her” said Tyler.
Five guys from the LifeGroup came out to pull weeds, lay mulch, pressure wash, etc. Two of those guys had only been to LifeGroup for a week or two. Tyler says one of the cool things about serving together was that “It helped us get to know them better and they immediately got plugged in. It works both ways. As we served together we grew closer.”
The day the guys came over, Deborah was out of town. “When I got home I could not believe my eyes. I was so tickled” said Deborah. She said they unknowingly put down her husband’s favorite type of dark mulch. Even in the little things, God was reminding her He cared.
This past Sunday was Deborah’s first week back at church and she teared up when she saw Tyler. Deborah was thankful for all they’d done to make her yard look beautiful. “I was so overwhelmed because people cared” she said. “God wants us to love everybody and I’ve received that love” said Deborah. Sometimes love is shared in the form of a friendly greeting or time spent together and sometimes it’s shared through a freshly manicured lawn and new mulch.