More than 35 volunteers offered their service to the community during Olive Grove Church’s ServeDay 2016 last week.
According to the church pastor, the Rev. Russ Emmanuel, ServeDay is when local churches around the world partner with hundreds of other churches to make a worldwide statement that God loves people, and as a church, Emmanuel and the volunteers showed God’s love through serving.
“We were willing to serve in any capacity as long as it was something we could do and do it with excellence,” Emmanuel shared.
The volunteers first visited the Clinton Police Department and provided officers with blessing bags. These bags were filled with personal items the officers could carry around when they are on duty. Clinton PD employees Belinda Parker and Brittany Locklear assisted the volunteers with ideas of items to give to officers.
The church also collected non-perishable food items and provided them to veterans who are in need, but unable to get government assistance. This donation was given to the Sampson County Veterans Council.
Volunteers stood at the intersection of U.S. 701 and N.C. 24 and handed out over 200 bottles of water to drivers and passengers as they made their way into town. The volunteers also paid for laundry to be washed at a local laundromat and provided all the item necessary to wash clothes.
“Everything went extremely well, for those who received and those who gave,” Emmanuel shared. “For those who received, it gave them a sense of gratitude that people cared for them. For those who serve, it built momentum within our church and brought a clear perspective of how good it felt to give to a cause that is bigger than us all.”
The volunteers also painted benches at Sunset Avenue School, as well as painted doorways in various areas of the school.
According to Emmanuel, the purpose of this event is to establish serving as a culture in the church by compelling people to become what Jesus was to us, a servant and to impact those served by fueling their joy, and hope that this is what faith in God looks like and can lead to.
“ServeDay helps others by giving people the opportunity to experience fulfillment in life by making a difference,” Emmanuel said. “People will show up when they feel their life matters by helping others and this what we call living life on purpose.”
Emmanuel said the reception from the community was very grateful and appreciative of the services being done.
“People were humbled and extremely grateful,” Emmanuel said. “In some cases, feeling like they needed to give back and that is the response we were hoping to spark. By our church utilizing serve day as a catalyst it would impact the lives of others and connect them to Christ. Our mission at Olive Grove Church is to reach people far from God, leading them to experience a God first life. We believe this is done beyond the walls of a building and that life change happens in the context of relationships.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.