A mission here at home

Published 6:41 pm Saturday, July 15, 2017

Jesus told his disciples that the world would know they were his followers by their love. The world may have an ever-evolving definition of the word “love,” but Jesus was clear about what he meant by the term. His followers would show their love for him by keeping his commandments, among which was the command to love one’s neighbors by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick or imprisoned.

While those specific activities may not have been part of the agenda for a group of youth and adult volunteers working under the Serve Suffolk umbrella this week, the Christ-like characteristic of loving others by serving them, which is suggested by the ministry’s name, was on full display in the things the more than 120 participants did around Suffolk.

Volunteers spent time at Elephant’s Fork Elementary, Kilby Shores Elementary, Booker T. Washington Elementary, Nansemond Parkway Elementary, Forest Glen Middle, Lakeland High and King’s Fork High schools, where they painted hallways, polished desks, cleaned windows and assisted with landscaping.


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“They’ve helped to make it a lot more pleasant for the kids,” Kilby Shores Principal Lorri Banks said. “What they do is extremely important, and it’s a great way to give back to the community.”

There was no desire for recognition on the volunteers’ part — in fact, the Suffolk News-Herald only learned about the effort because of calls from a couple of the schools that were blessed by the work. There was no evangelistic agenda other than the simple act of being living witnesses of God’s love through their actions.

Many people think of missions work as something that takes place in other countries. But a Christian’s first ministry should be at home, and that includes the community in which he or she lives.

Suffolk Serves sets a great example for followers of Christ — not to mention those who are not Christians — for how to show love in the community. Congratulations to all the participants for a successful week of missions right here at home.