Reaching People in Their Radius
About 30 students and leaders from Radius Church (remember then from the Zoo Trip last fall?) spent last weekend in Allendale. For them, it was a combination retreat / mission trip. But for this community, it was a huge blessing.
These students and leaders (along with other adults from their church who came down just for the day) jumped right in last Saturday, serving in 3 different projects on Saturday — building a wheelchair ramp, planting shrubs at Vision Ministries, and doing yardwork for people in Allendale.
But their impact went beyond these tasks. Most meaningful was how they built relationships with pastors from three different churches and some other community members. These conversations started as phone calls in the weeks leading up to this event, and they continued all weekend long — especially when the students split up and worshiped at those three churches on Sunday morning, and then participated in a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on Monday.
And not only were they a blessing to the community, but they greatly encouraged me by their presence, and especially by something the pastor said during their Saturday night worship service. (By the way, the student pastor was the first youth at Grace Church back in the late 90’s.) This is what he said,
“This will be a long-lasting relationship with our friends here in Allendale. . . . We are one church.”
Every now and then, I feel discouraged, and I doubt that we are having a significant impact in Allendale. I wonder if God will really redeem this community, or (gasp) if it really can be done. Silly thoughts, I know, but just being honest.
But when this pastor is saying that he is planning this to be a long-lasting relationship, it reminds me that we are not alone. And though he didn’t say this with me as the intended audience, it was just the encouraging reminder that I needed.
God used him to assure me that there are going to be some really great things that are going to happen in Allendale. God will work here in many ways.
After all, He already is.
- Students Winter Retreat – Allendale (Radius Student Blog)
- Favorite Things from Last Week (June 18): Radius Church sponsored a field trip