Ivanildo C. Trindade, Associate Pastor of Outreach Ministries at the Grace Brethren church in Wooster, Ohio (Bob Fetterhoff, pastor), sends along this summary and these photos of Second Saturdays @ Grace:
It’s Saturday morning in Wooster and the day starts with a little bit of rain. That’s not unusual in these parts, except that on that was supposed to be a big day for us at Wooster Grace.
You see, that Saturday was a second Saturday of the month and our people know this is the day we go out as a group to share God’s love in practical ways with people in our community. In spite of the rain, more than 70 volunteers showed up to serve that morning.
One of the activities we had planned was raking leaves, but with the rains the night before and the rains now, it didn’t look very promising. We headed out anyway and started to work. After all, we had “adopted” an entire street and told the people we would be there on that day.
Soon we found ourselves in people’s yards, racing against the rain to get as many houses done as possible. Then the weather changed, the sun appeared and we were able to complete more than 20 homes.
This is a just a sample of what can happen at Wooster Grace every Second Saturday of the month. We gather at the church at 8:30 a.m., hear our marching orders from the Word, receive our assignments and go into the mission fields of Wooster to spread God’s love in tangible ways.
On that Saturday, November 10, we also did 50 free oil changes to single moms and seniors who are not physically or financially to do it themselves. We gave away 200 donuts at one of the local grocery stores and talked to a lot of people about what it means to receive something totally free of charge.
We cleaned three homes of disabled or elderly people who live in government housing and built a wheel chair access ramp in the home of a lady who lives in our town.
All of that just so we could bless people in need and have the joy of telling them: “No, it’s free, just like the gift of salvation we have through Jesus Christ.”
On a previous Second Saturday we gave away free pumpkins. Jeana Harley, our Outreach Event Coordinator, recalls the story of one family in town: “just minutes before we knocked on their door, a mom had just been explaining to her children that this year they wouldn’t be able to afford to have a pumpkin because the money was short. Then there was a knock on the door. There stood someone from our church with a pumpkin. There were very touched and excited for our ‘random act of kindness’ which, I believe, was really an appointment by God.”
We have discovered it is a lot easier to speak truth of Christ into our community when we are already spreading the love of Christ into our community. People tend to listen to us more attentively. They believe that we genuinely care.
We are working hard to stop being just “this big church in the north end of town,” to being “this church that really cares for people in need.” And we want people to know that we care about them because Jesus cares about them.
We know that ultimately only Jesus Christ can cure the ills of this society and this will only happen when people surrender their lives to Him. But we believe that by giving back to our community we are helping them to see who the Person of Jesus Christ really is and why it is exciting to be called by His Name.