The youth group from Mount Olive Baptist Church in Rockingham has taken serving the “least of these” as a challenge over the past few months.
In July, the group took a mission trip to Jacksonville Beach in Florida. That trip impacted the group in different ways.
November was the first time Mount Olive Baptist Church in Rockingham held a “Picnic in the Park.” Through the event homeless people were fed and clothed. The youth were inspired after a mission trip to Jacksonville, Fla.
“God knew what He had planned the whole time for this group,” said C.J. Smith, youth director, who said the youth worked with Light of the World Ministries serving the homeless and less fortunate in Jacksonville.
Shortly after returning from the trip, the local homeless shelter in Rockingham – the Baker House – was destroyed by fire.
“Since that time, this youth group has taken an initiative to be the hands and feet of Jesus for those that are homeless and less fortunate in the area,” Smith said.
In November, the group held its first “Picnic in the Park” for homeless.
They used the time to hand out jackets, blankets and clothes, as well as feed the people. There was a medical and prayer table set up at the park, and a Bible study was held with those who were interested.
Residents who were staying in the local shelter have been forced to use tents and cardboard boxes in nearby woods.
The group is praying for more individuals and churches to step out in faith and minister to these people, including sharing the gospel. Smith shared the story from Matthew 25 where the goats and sheep were commanded the same thing from Jesus. Both groups responded differently to the command.
“The sheep helped those in need and were blessed for it,” he said. “Meanwhile, the goats did not listen and faced punishment because of it.”