Saturday, usually a day known for sleeping in, has become an opportunity to make a difference in the community for many members of Fellowship Community Church in Salem on Saturday, May 22.
That weekend-day became a day about the community to the over 300 people who participated in the outreach event known as “Takin’ It To the Streets.” This day was designed to bring everyone together with one cause- to make an impact in the community through God’s love. Consisting of 30 different projects, there were groups picking up trash along the Roanoke River, visiting with residents in local nursing homes, buying breakfast for McDonald’s customers, and providing quarters for laundromat and car wash customers. Others spent the morning doing clean-up and general maintenance for inner city ministries such as Straight Street and Acts2, washing windows, cleaning homes for people in need, or offering a free car wash simply to be a blessing to the community. One group built a ramp for a lady with disabilities so she would be able to continue to live in her home. Another spent the day doing renovations to a family’s home- painting walls and putting on a new roof. Stories continue to be heard across the Roanoke area from the many people Fellowship’s members interacted with on that day.
The President/CEO of the Blue Ridge Women’s Center, Phil Holsinger, sent an email praising the group that served his ministry: “WOW, what a great group of women, they were awesome as they worked here last Saturday. Honestly, they tackled the project and didn’t quit- all with a great attitude and with servant hearts. It was a pleasure for me to see and it was a special experience for my 15 year old daughter who was helping me last Saturday as well. I really think she got to see a group of women who love the Lord, had hearts of servants, and had fun all at the same time. It was a great way for her to experience adults joyfully serving the God. They were all sweaty at the end but I hugged each one of them as much for their attitudes as for the help they provided. Thanks for sending them our way.”
Stories and comments can also be heard from Fellowship’s participants in the outreach day. Robbie Willard, a Fellowship member commented, “[I] had so much fun ‘Takin’ It To The Streets’ today! In reflecting on the day with [my wife], it was great to be a part of Kingdom work, but it doesn’t stop with today! God calls us to take it to the streets every day.” This was the ultimate challenge of “Takin’ It To the Streets,” given by Fellowship’s Director of Missions earlier that morning in a group rally. She challenged the group to remember to, “[d]o whatever it takes to carry someone to the feet of Jesus! Don’t just do outreach and recruiting for church! Make a difference, and tell them about Jesus!”
With 10 international mission trips scheduled for 2010, Fellowship’s vision is to be a church that lives outside of its four walls and makes a difference in the world around them. Over 5,000 bottles of water and 200 pounds of food have been sent to Haiti, 200 families have begun financially supporting children all around the world living in poverty, and $61,000 was raised to drill wells for parts of the world lacking clean water. Closer to home, Fellowship members recently collected 190 pounds of bread for the Salem food pantry, and now 300 people participated on May 22nd. Maybe you saw them out that day. Maybe you’ve heard stories. Maybe you wonder why so many people would give of themselves in such ways. They’ll all tell you it’s because they’re called to serve and to love, and to tell people about hope in God. For more information about Fellowship Community Church, you can go to fcclife.org.
Submitted by Stephanie Painter