“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
The Riverside Youth For Christ dedicated 2018 as our “Year of Service”. The teens volunteered in several areas of the church including church cleanup days, serving as VBS staff, and assisting the adults in preparing for fellowship dinners, decorating for special events, and providing meals for families who had lost loved ones. As the year ended, the group decided to adopt the two-mile stretch of Alt. Hwy 74 in front of the church. This decision was due to a desire to become more involved in our local church community.
However, probably the most eye-opening experience of the year for our youth was our outreach to the Lumberton Christian Care Center. During Easter break our teens, accompanied by several adults, went to the Center to help serve lunch. The LCCC President, Mrs. Clementine Thompson-McCormick, took our group on a tour of the facility and shared with us about the ministry the LCCC has to the homeless in Lumberton and the surrounding areas. She also shared with us some of the Center’s needs. The youth decided that they wanted to do more than just serve meals â€“ so they started a quarter fundraiser for the Center. In August, the youth returned to the Center to help serve lunch again, but this time they left something at the Center. The Riverside Youth For Christ presented Mrs. Thompson-McCormick with a check from funds raised through their quarter drive efforts! The adults at the church also felt led to help â€“ so the Adult Riverside Outreach group collected and donated clothing and other needed supplies for the Center. The Center was very appreciative of all of gifts as well our service. We have been asked to return to help this year â€“ which we plan on doing.
During this past year, our youth were able to experience first hand what it feels like to serve and minister to others. For some, it was an eye-opening experience. For others, it allowed them to desire to do more for others. For all involved, it was a growing and learning experience. It is our prayer that our young people will continue to grow in their desire to serve and will allow the following verses to be their guides:
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)