Aprons: Lessons from DAIL to Park View

by: Larry Davies | Jan 16, 2016

“And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.” — 1 Peter 5:5-6 (Good News Bible)

Wearing an apron is a practical symbol of service. Jesus wrapped a towel around him similar to an apron to wash the disciples’ feet. If you want to truly be humble, put on an apron and serve.

I learned something about aprons and service, volunteering for DAIL Community near Seoul, South Korea. During the orientation we were given a bright orange apron by the founder, Rev. IL-DO (David) CHOI. Full of energy and enthusiasm, Rev. Choi is known as the “Babfor” Pastor which means “a pastor who scoops rice.”

We soon had our own “scoop rice” experience as hundreds of hungry people were already gathered, ready to receive their meal. Quickly, we took our stations and went to work. Every fifteen minutes or so, we would shift to another task. filling the tray with rice or soup, seating people, bringing food, cleaning tables or washing dishes. The work was tedious but gratifying. Very few people receiving the meal knew any English but it didn’t stop them from smiling and bowing thanks. For me, the experience of helping and serving at the DAIL Community was one of the highlights of my time in Korea.

Dail 6

Putting on an apron and serving others can seem tedious, messy and frustrating at times but the joy of helping someone can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling tasks you ever accomplish. The spirit of DAIL Community is “to practice God’s commandment to love each other, spread the Good News to others and to live our lives like Jesus stretching out our hands to our abandoned neighbors thus creating a more beautiful world. It starts with anything; it starts with me; it starts now.” (Website)

So grab an apron and remember: “It starts with anything; it starts with me; it starts now.”

DAIL Community started with Rev. Choi serving soup and noodles to one person on the street who was hungry. Now the Community feeds thousands of people daily and offers free medical services at 17 branches in 10 countries throughout Asia. The Korean word “DA-IL” means “pursuit of unity within diversity.” A diverse group of people working towards unity in the name of Jesus by leading a spiritual life and service to others. The Apron has become a symbol of their love and service.

How could I apply lessons learned at DAIL Community toward our mission in Lynchburg, Virginia?

Situated in one of the poorer areas of Lynchburg, Park View Community Mission quietly goes about the business of providing a hot meal and worship every Wednesday evening. Also, every Thursday and Saturday, the mission assists over 700 families per month with a shopping cart full of eggs, meat, vegetables and canned goods from Food Banks, churches and area grocery stores and restaurants.

Remember the verses from 1 Peter: “And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.” (5:5-6)

We ordered aprons. When you volunteer at Park View Community Mission now, you will be given an apron as a symbol of our work for Jesus as we share our food and look for additional opportunities to help. Our mission center now offers a free medical clinic, narcotics addiction support, Bridges Out of Poverty training, family and youth counseling, low-cost internet help and a welcome center designed to connect with additional services throughout the area.

Park View Aprons

“God resists the proud but shows favor to the humble.” – 1 Peter 5:6

At one point the DAIL Community was in deep financial distress. Food supplies were critically low while the number of people standing in line to receive the meals grew substantially. Pastor Choi calculated and purchased enough Ramen Noodles to last a month or more but within two weeks the noodles would be gone and there were no funds to purchase more. Without the noodles, Pastor Choi would no longer be able to serve the poor and the DAIL Community would collapse.

That day, a large delivery truck pulled up in front of the center. The driver informed Pastor Choi that the company producing the noodles had experienced a recall that made it impossible for their company to sell an entire production run of noodles. They had no choice but to discard literally tons of their noodles. The truck driver was told to deliver the entire quantity of recalled noodles to DAIL.

“God resists the proud but shows favor to the humble.” – 1 Peter 5:6

Park View Community Mission continually needs more funds, more volunteers, more supplies, more leadership, more creative energy and the list goes on and on. But each day, we are given the opportunity to put on our aprons of humility and serve others in a way that is deeply gratifying. Each day, God provides opportunities to continue our ministry of service. Occasionally God even provides a miracle or two as a blessed reminder that we are never serving alone.

So, grab an apron and remember the words and lessons of Rev. Choi and the DAIL Community: “It starts with anything; it starts with me; it starts now.”

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2 responses to “Aprons: Lessons from DAIL to Park View”

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