By Jennifer Harris
Word&Way News Writer
Youth from Holmeswood Baptist Church received a taste of creativity in missions on their recent trip to Helena, Ark. The team of 32 youth and adults served Together for Hope ministries alongside Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries Ben and Leonora Newell during the weeklong trip.
Together for Hope is one of CBF’s rural poverty initiatives. Helena is rated the 12th poorest county in the United States.
“Ben and Leonora Newell, are an amazing couple with three wonderful children serving alongside them,” said Kathy Pickett, associate pastor over youth and missions. “Their goal is to bring hope back into the community through a multiple of creative ways.”
During the week, those “creative ways” included the beginning of Blessings Ministry. One day the team went into the community to pick up trash and pray for individuals in the neighborhood.
“We made door-to-door stops, knocking on the door, asking the person inside how we could pray for him or her and then taking the time to pray for the specific request,” Pickett said.
They also held a free car wash at a new grocery store, where they prayed with the owners of the vehicles, mowed yards and delievered homemade bread to a nursing home using zucchini picked from the community garden.
“This Blessing Ministry was such a hit I believe Holmeswood will be challenged by our youth and the adult counselors to begin the same thing,” Pickett said.
One of the adult counselors, Matt Murdick, brought equipment on the trip to assist with minor plumbing needs. According to Pickett, they calculated the hours and estimated he saved Together for Hope $5,000.
“One question we really thought about was, ‘What if?’” Pickett said. “What if we brought back the same attitude to serve others, black and white, in rich neighborhoods and poor, right at home? What if we quit labeling people as different, or communities as ghettos, and instead saw everyone as children of God? What if we practiced being a blessing 24/7 regardless of the conditions? There is much work to be done for the Kingdom.”